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Great Lakes Article:

Habitat Watch # 280
Great Lakes United
July 27-August 2, 2003


Rare Marcy’s Woods sold to developer

(With details from the Niagara Falls Review July 23) On July 22nd, a Buffalo judge cleared the way for Marcy’s Woods, a rare forest and shoreline property, to be sold, and on July 29th the property was in-fact sold to a private developer. The sale had been held up due to a court injunction.

Before the injunction was put in place, there were competing bids from a Niagara Falls hotel and casino developer and the Nature Conservancy of Canada for the property. The provincial and federal governments had also offered funding.

This biologically rich 115-hectare property located along the shore of Lake Erie near Point Albino, has remained virtually untouched by humans. Just a few of Marcy’s remarkable biological characteristics include:

· Seven nationally threatened or nationally rare, nine provincially rare and 26 regionally rare plant species

· Three "nationally vulnerable" or "nationally threatened" birds
· Thirteen birds of "regional significance" and 11 species of "regional concern"
· One "nationally vulnerable" mammal, the southern flying squirrel
· Three "nationally rare" and "provincially rare" reptiles or amphibians
· One of only three sites in the world with old growth eastern hemlock

Marcy’s is recognized as an "Area of Natural and Scientific Interest" by Ontario government researchers, an "Environmentally Significant Area" by the Regional Municipality of Niagara, and is cited as one of the most critical unprotected natural areas in Canada’s Carolinian Zone by Carolinian Canada.

Tim Hudak, the MPP at Queens Park, vowed to explore whatever tools are necessary to keep the property undeveloped. Expropriation, declaring Marcy’s Woods an area of natural or scientific significance or amending the towns zoning bylaws could control development in the area. Hudak wants to look at all options to see which would be most viable and effective. To receive updates and information on what you can do to protect Marcy’s Woods, please contact Deanna Lindblad (905) 353-8333 or deanna@niagara.com.

Comment on listing Asian carp species as injurious

In October 2002, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service received a petition from 25 members of Congress representing the Great Lakes region to add bighead, black, and silver carp to the list of injurious wildlife.

Public comments on listing the black carp occurred last year, though the comment period was reopened in June, 2003 "to gather more economic and scientific data on black carp" after concerns with economic impact were voiced by the aquaculture industry. The black carp public comment period ends August 4th. If you have not yet commented on listing the black carp as an injurious species please try to do so despite the quick turn around. The Federal register notice is at: http://policy.fws.gov/library/03-13996.pdf If you would like to review GLU’s letter on the black carp, go to: http://www.glu.org/bhptf/GL%20Exotic%20Species/asian%20carp.html

The silver carp public comment period just opened on July 23rd, and comments can submitted on or before September 22, 2003. Please take this opportunity to voice your concern on this invasive carp species.

http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/14mar20010800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2003/pdf/03-18654.pdf Please feel free to email jen@glu org if you need the Federal Register notices emailed to you directly.

Great Lakes United’s Habitat and Biodiversity task force produces Habitat Watch with support from the George Gund Foundation and GLU coalition members. The task force is committed to protecting natural areas, wildlife, and strong conservation laws across the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River ecosystem. To join the coalition, subscribe, or send stories, contact GLU at: (716) 886-0142; fax: (716) 886-0303; or email: jen@glu.org. Past issues of Habitat Watch can be found at: http://www.sustain.org/Bulletins/index.cfm

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