The destruction of a valuable wood lot by developers in Kanata is devastating. Not only is it a significant loss to the community as a potential place for passive recreation, the trees cut down will mean increased storm water runoff and poorer air quality.
But, there is an unseen side. It is the very negative impact that this will have had on wild birds and mammals during a time when they are most vulnerable – the nesting season when they are struggling to care for their young and when many of these young, still in the nest, could not escape the chainsaws.
Regardless of what charges are laid or how large the fines, it will not replace this forest, at least anytime soon.
This is not the first time this sort of thing has happened nor will it be the last unless there are some changes made in how the City handles its land planning affairs. For starters there needs to be a long overdue Site Alteration By-law put in place. But, of greater importance, the City needs to take much more direct control in assessing and continuing to monitor, at regular intervals, lands proposed for development.
It simply makes no sense to have turned this responsibility over to developers and their consultants and expect that they will be inclined to fully identify the natural features and/or wildlife in reports that will limit the company’s ability to develop a property.
Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre