Save Ontario’s Eagles from wind
This Open Letter was sent to the Government of Ontario by Mark Duchamp, President, Save the Eagles International and Chairman, World Council for Nature, on August 27
One of our Ontario members, the Association to Protect Amherst Island, has advised us of the approval of a wind project that will cause a 25-year running massacre of “protected” wildlife. Amherst Island, as you know, is an internationally important migration stopover point for Monarch butterflies and many threatened bird and bat species. It is also a famous wintering area for 11 species of owls, all of which are protected by law, and all of which are particularly in danger where wind turbines happen to be erected. Words fail us to express our dismay at this abominable decision, which relies on an environmental impact study (EIS) authored by a consultant hired by the promoter. Experience shows that such studies are so biased as to be worthless. The Wolfe Island wind farm proves the point: Its EIS, written by the same consultant (Stantec Inc.), did not predict the turbines would be killing so many birds and bats, including eagles, ospreys, and dozens of other protected species. They will keep doing it for another 20 years, in numbers at least ten times higher than the official figures, taking a high toll on the protected wildlife of Ontario, Quebec, the United States and Mexico, a toll which is all the more unsustainable when considered cumulatively with other wind farms. Amherst and Wolfe islands are only separated by 8 km of water. In the highly-developed industrial and commercial environment along the shores of Lake Ontario, they stand as largely preserved natural habitats. They are essential to the survival of increasingly endangered migrating species, which need staging posts along their way. Wind turbines produce intermittent energy, which independent engineers denounce as useless for a modern economy, and immensely costly to boot. This makes the crime of destroying rare wildlife, ruining natural areas as well as the life of wind farm neighbours, a particularly odious one. What is most remarkable about the approval of the Amherst wind scam, is the cynicism it reflects. The Ontario government obviously doesn’t mind about the slaughter of protected eagles, ospreys and other species that is occurring year after year on Wolfe Island: it is willing to repeat the same mistake on Amherst. It is the responsibility of Save the Eagles International and the World Council for Nature to denounce such aggressions against biodiversity, at a time when greed and politics have corrupted the main conservation NGO’s. Let the record show that we have condemned the political decision to convert Amherst Island into a population sink for owls, ospreys, eagles and other rare birds, rapidly declining populations of bats, and Monarch butterflies.