• Protecting Water and Farmland in Simcoe County

Little Brown Bat in Freele Tract underlines importance of this woodland corridor

In Council Watch
Dec 19th, 2017
Little Brown Bat

From the Friends of Simcoe Forests

Good news! An important discovery has been made in the Freele Forest: at least one endangered species has been detected.

Specifically, our expert field naturalist has confirmed Little Brown Bats are using the forest ~ this is a game changer for our campaign to save the Freele Forest!

In addition, we are waiting on tests that could prove this habitat is exactly as significant as we have been saying all along.

The County is seeking rezoning and official plan amendment approvals from the Township of Springwater as well as an official plan amendment at the county level. To date, County staff has not addressed the numerous questions and concerns the Friends and others brought forward during the planning process. Our understanding is that County staff intend to have this complete for the spring of 2018 at which time they expect to be site secured and ready to proceed with site specific RFP’s (Request for Proposal).

Numerous obstacles and delays continue to plague the vigorous efforts of County staff who appear to have tunnel vision when it comes to their desire to build the ERRC at the Horseshoe Valley Road site.

Friends of Simcoe Forests continue to work extremely hard to raise funds to hire professionals to perform peer reviews on studies performed on behalf of the County. We believe these reviews will raise a great number of solid concerns about the suitability of the Freele Forest and identify a number of deficiencies with data collected and conclusions made in the reports produced by the County’s consultants, GHD. To continue this campaign, we need your help with financial contributions to continue this work.

The more we continue to learn about the Freele Forest through our own professional studies, we see a very clear picture being painted, exposing numerous constraints which make this site far less than ideal.

Award-winning environmental consultant, writer, artist, nature photographer, educator and naturalist Bob Bowles worked in and around the Freele Tract this year on behalf of Friends of Simcoe Forests. Bob has provided us with some extremely valuable insight into the importance of this woodland corridor and how it helps support numerous species, including species at risk and endangered species like the little brown bat and salamanders.

Our experts were able to record and identify bat frequency callings of endangered mitosis from the little brown bat family. The presence of this endangered species triggers habitat protection enforced by the MNR (Ministry of Natural Resources). It is the professional opinion of our expert, Bob Bowles that this habitat needs to be protected and that no trees should be removed since they are part of the habitat of an endangered species.

NOW is the time to Push Harder.

Tell the County of Simcoe to find an appropriate site, better suited for this industrial project. Our Natural Heritage needs to be protected, not developed to manage garbage. There are existing industrially-zoned sites which would be far more suitable and cost effective, as evidenced by the County’s recent offer of multiple 100 acre+ site options to “Amazon”.

The project will make our roads less safe, as hundreds of trucks will be coming and going on a steep and hilly stretch of road.

Please join us and provide your comments to the County at errc@simcoe.ca and info@simcoe.ca

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