Revised draft Wildlife Strategy
The City of Ottawa’s revised Draft Wildlife Strategy is now available, in html in 13 pieces on the City’s web site:
ottawa.ca/en/wildlife-strategy-city-ottawa or here as one PDF file (1.52 MB).
The earlier (2012) version is here (also 1.52 MB).
Comments are due to staff by May 24, 2013. Write to Nick Stow.
Alliance Response to the City’s draft Wildlife Strategy
Here is the Alliance’s response to the City’s revised draft Wildlife Strategy, submitted on May 24, 2013. Our recommendations:
- We are calling for the establishment of a Wildlife Strategy Implementation Advisory Group, with representation from the key City Departments (rural office, planning, operations etc.) and community stakeholders, particularly those with expertise and experience in the management of human/wildlife conflicts. Without such an opening up of the process the war of words will likely continue and probably intensify – a nonproductive state of affairs. In our view, establishment of such an advisory group will be a key test of the City’s willingness to engage the community in an open and transparent manner.
- We conditionally support the creation of a Wildlife Biologist staff position, although its reporting to ARAC, given that most human/wildlife conflicts originate in the urban, not rural, areas does not appear logical. Given the nature and challenges of the work, it is imperative that the incumbent not only needs to have extensive knowledge of the field but also needs to be a focal point for public concerns regarding wildlife issues. The incumbent therefore needs to have strong negotiating skills, be an excellent communicator with the public and be able to work well with citizens’ interest groups. However, our support is contingent on the establishment of a Wildlife Strategy Implementation Advisory group as outlined in recommendation #1. Otherwise, we see little chance of improvement in the way the City handles human-wildlife conflicts.
- The City should reconsider having an educational kit developed by the Let’s Talk Science program at the universities. There are other, much more experienced, resources in the community, such as Michael Runtz, who could develop such a tool.
- It is important that the City allow meaningful experimentation on flow devices for storm water, culverts and municipal drain installations. Experiments to date appear to have been designed to fail.
The Strategy was on ARAC’s agenda for July 4, 2013 and was approved by City Council on July 17. ARAC heard ten public delegations, most of whom complained that the consultation had been inadequate; several said this item should have gone to other Committees as well. (Minutes) Still, staff tabled a 10-page report on its public consultation efforts starting in 2010, plus in appendix 85 pages showing all written comments received.
With one word change (removal of the word “urban”), ARAC and Council adopted the report as presented. Please refer to: