You are here

Recent comments

  • Reply to: City of Ottawa's Regressive and Costly Response to the Emerald Ash Borer   3 weeks 1 day ago

    (This is a belated posting to the web site of a belated posting to the GA List on May 24, 2013.)

    I must have missed this... a memo from Maria McRae to Council on the EAB program, dated September 2012.  Figures in addition to what could be found in the Budget:

    - as of 2012, a total of 2,309 Ash trees were in the treatment program (1,512 in 2012);

    - 1,267 trees were planted in the spring and another 2,700 were planned to be planted last fall, for a total of 3,967 in 2012.  The memo confirms that the City is now planting 50mm caliper trees instead of 25mm ("In response to community suggestions");

    - 56 traps were installed in 2012, to collect monthly data on insect population and movement.

    In part, the memo claims to account for the additional $1 million allocated by Council on July 11, 2012 (taken from the Environmental Lands Acquisition Fund).  Reported are:

    - an additional 262 trees in the injection program;

    - a new notification process for inter-planting;

    - "design tree plantings plans for communities that have yet to receive new trees."

    Presumably a portion of the 2,700 fall plantings are also financed by the additional allocation.

    Doesn't look like a million dollars worth to me.

    There are no figures on how much wood Ottawa Cedar Lumber is taking, nor where that wood is coming from except that it all appears to be diverted from the Trail dump since the tipping fees are reported to be going down by 30%  and the wood is being moved "directly to a processing site."

    There is no indication in the memo about whether the City is chipping the barks of felled trees on-site, nor what is happening with the football field of dead Ashes at the Trail site.

    There is no information about how many Ashes have been felled.


    (Excerpts from a January 13, 2013 post on the 2013 Budget that focused on the Environmental Lands Acquisition Fund and the EAB Program:)

    The Fund

    + As per Council decision of 11 July 2012, $1 million was transferred out towards the EAB campaign. Ref.: Motion 38/13, <>.

    + On 13 July 2011, Council adopted Motion EC 9/3 as modified by Motion 16/4, resolving to increase funding for Council's "Strategic Initiative No. 22 - Increase Forest Cover" in 2012, 2013 and 2014; a specified portion was to be used specifically for the EAB Program.  Ref.: <>.  The amount for 2012 (which turned out to be $805,000, from an original $700,000 in the Motion) was to be borrowed from the Environmental Lands Acquisition Fund and repaid in 2013. These ins and outs can be traced in aforementioned Document 2 and are corroborated in the 2013 Budget papers for the Finance and Economic Development Committee, pages 124-131. 

    The EAB Program

    + The 2013 Budget papers give just one hint about what was done in 2012: A 1-page briefing note from Forestry Services, states that "1,512 trees were injected in 2012"; ref. Environment Committee 2013 Budget, page 32. 

    + 2013 Funding for the Forest Cover initiative as per the 2011 Motion (as amended) is found on page 37 of the Environment Committee Budget ($725,000; of the original amount, $900,000, $400,000 was to go to the EAB Program). 

    + The "Lifecycle Renewal - Tree Program," which has 3 components, is allocated $1,175,000.  One of the components references tree replacement related to the EAB disease (page 44).  Page 52 of the Budget papers reveals that, as of 24 September 2012, $1.031 million of the 2012 authority for this program (almost half) was neither spent nor committed.

    + EAB is also mentioned as one subcomponent of a 3-item $375,000 allocation for "Rural & Urban Environmental Initiatives" (page 45).

    + Overall, Forestry Services saw its 2013 Budget increase by $1.5 million, to $14.620 million.  Its Full Time Equivalent staff will increase by 5.58, to 87.18. Two of those FTEs are allocated to aforementioned Forest Cover initiative; the others are in support of "Growth" (ref. pages 1, 35 and 37).


  • Reply to: Useful Links - comments and suggestions   1 month 6 days ago

    Dec. 8: Two more links added: City Repair Ottawa (=Imagine Ottawa) and Eastern Ontario Model Forest.

    Dec. 19: Kanata Environmental Network added.

    One more, Jan 2, 2007: Trees Canada Foundation.

    One more, Jan 10: The Citizen Submissions page of NAFTA's Commission for Environmental Cooperation.

    Jan. 16: The link to the consolidated version of the Ottawa Official Plan, Volume 1 has been added; the previous link now points to Volume 2.

    Jan. 23: Two more local groups: Friends of the Jock and the Botanical Garden Society.

    Feb 14: Today added the wildly successful non-profit organization, Project for Public Spaces (New York, US).  It's a bit of a stretch to call this a "voluntary" organization but it seemed other categories are worse.

    March 5: Three Québec organizations added: Aux Arbres Citoyens!, SNAP (Société pour la nature et les parcs du Canada - section Québec) and Réseau Québecois des Groupes Ecologistes (RQGE)

    March 30: a direct link to SARA's Public Registry has been added.

    April 20: "Green Ottawa" added -- thanks, Ron!

    December 19: "Development Application Review Process" for Ottawa added -- thanks, Al, for bringing this to my attention.  Also added the Friends of the Tay Watershed Association.

    Januart 18, 2008: updated the link to Ontario's e-laws and added F.U.N. (Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods of Ontario) to the list.  The Alliance is a member of the FCA; FCA is a member of F.U.N.

    January 20: added know-uranium, a web site serving three local groups, Ottawa Coalition Against Mining Uranium (OCAMU), the Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium (CCAMU) and the West Quebec Coalition Against Mining Uranium (WQ-CAMU).  Update, 30 Nov 2010: Only two of these orgs appear to have survived.  The links list has been updated.

    January 25: added the Petitions process in the Office of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (Auditor General of Canada).

    January 28: added Pesticide Free Ontario.

    February 5: added Ottawa Community Garden Network.

    March 4: added Wildlands League (a CPAWS chapter, hq'd in Toronto)

    May 20: added the NCC's page on the Urban Lands Master Plan -- the 100th link!

    June 9: recently discovered that Council meetings, going back to December 2003,  can now be viewed on the City's web site!  Rogers' hold on these tapes has been broken.  A step forward in transparent government.

    July 6: how could I have overlooked until now The Bishops Mills Natural History Centre, maintained by Frederick Schueler and Aleta Karstad!

    September 21: Jane's Walk added -- for the first time, walks in Ottawa are organized in 2008.

    October 10: The NCC's page on the Greenbelt added -- thanks, Sol!

    November 1: The Ontario government issued revised Statements of Environmental Values for many of its Ministries.  A link to it has been added.  Thanks, Ken!

    January 16, 2009: Added Prof. David Gordon's web site on Planning the Capital (Queen's University; includes access to documents).  Thanks, Sol!

    February 28: Added the Greenbelt Coalition of Canada's Capital Region.

    March 28: Met Howard Clifford at the Wildlife Festival today.  Lanark is a bit out of our area but, hey, if the Alba Wilderness School bothered to come to Billings Bridge, we may as well reciprocate and welcome it to the family of Links here!  Their web site is delightful and the School surely meets the criterion of "helpful in the preservation of greenspace."

    May 9: Added "Choosing Our Future" -- a joint project of the NCC and the Cities of Ottawa and Gatineau.

    May 21: Added "Save Our Boreal Birds", locally sponsored by the Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club.  (Listed under National voluntary organizations.)

    August 25: Added a link to the City of Ottawa's "OPA#76" - from there you can access the OPA itself as well as an annotated Official Plan text.  This is "OP 2009" as passed by City Council on June 24, 2009.

    August 29: Added the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal.

    November 22: Added Gravel Watch Ontario.

    December 11: Added the new City of Ottawa web site with a long reference list for studies and plans to support development applications.

    January 16, 2010: Added the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre and the Ontario chapter of the Sierra Club.

    April 21: Added the Ottawa Pilot project for a Biosphere Eco-City (part of UNESCO's MAB program). 

    October 5: Added the NCC's page to access the archive of the public meetings of its Board of Directors.

    November 11: Added "Ottawa's Great Forest," the web site created to promote the Stewardship Plan for the Beaver Pond Forest in Kanata.

    March 5, 2011: Added GuideGatineau, a volunteer group enthused about Gatineau Park, including its history.

    March 13: Added PERC - how could I have forgotten it for so long!  PERC recently spiffed up its web site.

    March 25: Added Champlain Oaks, the web site of the Champlain Park community celebrating its ancient bur oaks.

    March 27: The Wildlife Festival is always such a good place to meet or get re-acquainted with other activists!  As a result of this year's Festival at Billings Bridge, I've added Friends of Gatineau Park / Les Amis du parc de la Gatineau, the Rideau Trail Association, and the Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, even though the first two are more recreation-oriented and so perhaps somewhat at the margin of the mandate of this list (and the Greenspace Alliance), being a list that aims to assist in the preservation of greenspace.  We have so much in common!

    March 27: Also added today, TEEB4me's effort to convey its message about valuing nature to citizens.  TEEB stands for The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity.

    September 10: Added the NCC's "Horizon 2067" page.

    October 20: Added the City of Ottawa's Trees in Trust program -- free to homeowners!

    December 16: Added the Can/US (Washington State/B.C.) ForestEthics organization.

    17 February 2012: Added the web site of the Wakefield group trying to stop the current plans for an extension of Highway 5 at Gatineau Park.  And added "Green Communities Canada" - thanks, Bryan!

    10 April: Added the Ontario Rivers Alliance, "a Not-for-Profit grassroots movement of individuals, groups and organizations who have come together to protect, conserve and restore healthy river ecosystems."

    10 April: Immediately after the Choosing Our Future reports were tabled, the Ottawa staff group was disbanded and the web site was deleted.  The link is now to the staff report (City Council meeting of 22 February 2012), from where the project's reports can be accessed.

    22 April: The Alliance has been working with the South March Highlands group for some time but their web site hadn't made it on the Links section!  We never claimed to be perfect...

    23 May: Added ParkScore, a new initiative from the US Trust for Public Land. Using a straightforward methodology (not much to do with biodiversity), 40 US cities are compared.

    2 June: Added Globaïa, a wonderful source of educational material on the environment in a global perspective.

    8 August: Added "The Caen" - a new news aggregator and blog tracker about the Canadian Environment.

    2 September: Added NatureServe Canada, the network of government-sponsored natural heritage information centres.

    10 December: deleted the Ottawa group of the Sierra Club.

    12 January 2013: Added 3 in 1: The "Sustainable Eastern Ontario" website includes the "National Capital Environmental Nonprofit Network (NCENN)" and the Green Pages Directory.  (It also houses the Community Energy Network and the Green Map.)  The Alliance is registered with NCENN and in the Green Pages Directory.

    6 March: Added Hidden Harvest, Ottawa Chapter.

    19 September: added "geoOttawa" -- about time! -- and also redirected the NCC's Urban Lands reference to its new page.

    22 October: added Boisés Est, a voluntary organization of woodlot owners, centered around Plantagenet.  I met Jean-Claude Havard, the secretary, at the November meeting of NCENN.

    16 December: added, with thanks to Donna DuBreuil, OREG, the Ontario Road Ecology Group, on the Toronto Zoo's web site.  Locally, Drs. Fred Schueler (Bishop Mills) and Lenore Fahrig (Carleton U) are advisors.  OREG was founded in 2009. Its web site suggests that its volunteers are supported by government, so that's where you'll find it.

    19 December: with thanks to John Almstedt, added the Ottawa-Gatineau Geoheritage Project, initiated earlier this year.

    23 January 2014: with thanks again to John Almstedt, added the Bonnechere River Watershed Project and two other related Renfrew County web sites, the Renfrew County BiotaBase and Nature Notebook.  The Biotabase is a public participation (citizen science) project.  Nature Notebook was created by the Ottawa River Institute. And Heather Hamilton spreads the news that Bumble Bee Watch, another citizen science project, is now operational!

    6 February: and again via John Almstedt, added Asinabka Blue Water Trail, a dream to add a paddle route around the island of Hull, and do so in conjunction with the development of the former Domtar lands.

    28 February: added a reference to MOE's information about the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment process.

    2 March: with thanks to Owen Clarkin's post to Facebook, added Global Forest Watch, an extremely powerful visualization of forest cover, gain and loss.  "Global Forest Watch (GFW) is a dynamic online forest monitoring and alert system that empowers people everywhere to better manage forests. For the first time, Global Forest Watch unites satellite technology, open data, and crowdsourcing to guarantee access to timely and reliable information about forests. GFW is free and follows an open data approach in putting decision-relevant information in the hands of governments, companies, NGOs, and the public."

    3 April: added a link to Ottawa's Urban Tree Conservation By-law.

    27 April: added the new Huntley Highlands group - "To preserve the Carp Hills for the benefit of nature and the community in perpetuity."

    27 May: via Windmill Developments' proposal for the Domtar lands, became aware of the "One Planet" principles, promoted by BioRegional -- head office in North America is here in Ottawa.

    26 June: added the Ontario Urban Forest Council (OUFC) which just celebrated 50 years as a not-for-profit volunteer organization dedicated to the health of the urban forests in the province.

    23 December: added the Boreal Songbird Initiative's new web site to the list of national/international voluntary organizations.



  • Reply to: Kanata North: Community demands that cut forest be fully restored   1 month 1 week ago

    9 December 2014

    The November 27 "pre-trial" court event turned out to be closed to the public. On December 4, staff informed us:

    "I cannot comment on the trial at this point. ... While it is in front of the courts, it will not be discussed by the City.  ... we will be receiving an INTERNAL update from the City’s legal team on the pre-trial. We will not be circulating this to the public. If there are any relevant dates, we will pass them on to you. ... We will keep you in the loop."

    23 December 2014

    Later we learned that court will next be spoken to on February 5, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 102, Centrepoint.  The company that cut the trees under contract to Metcalfe, Ottawa Valley Tree Experts, also has been charged and will return to court on February 5th as well.

    Another point to note is that the status of the "S20" forest remnant (see above) continues to be hotly debated between City staff and the developer.  The City must now apply the guidelines found in OMNR's Natural Heritage Reference Manual (2010) so this is a first case and could set a precedent.

    Finally, CN has removed the railroad tracks which ran along the east side of the property.  We understand that the City has indicated an interest in acquiring the right of way for recreational purposes.