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Great Lakes Article:

Environmentalists fear pristine area in Ont. will be destroyed
CBC News
08/11/03

FORT ERIE, ONT. - Nestled along the shores of Lake Erie is one of the country's most endangered ecological areas-Marcy's Woods.

Located in the Carolinian zone in southern Ontario, its warm climate makes the conditions optimal for several rare plants and animals.

The Marcy family used to own the land, but it was sold after a family dispute.

The new owner, the DiCienzo family, is a land developer, and locals fear the lush land may be destroyed for development.

"The fear is that either this owner or a subsequent owner is going to develop the property and destroy its unique character," said Rowland Richards, the Marcy's grandson.

However, the DiCienzo family's lawyer says they don't have any plans for commercial development.

"The property has so many government restrictions on it, there is very little that can be done with it," said Don Delorenzo.

"Mr. DiCienzo bought the property knowing that so I really don't understand the controversy."

However, Fort Erie's mayor, Wayne Redekop, says any of the local and provincial restrictions could be challenged at the Ontario Municipal Board.

"The OMB has shown a penchant to allow development, sometimes contrary to the wishes of the community," he said.

Environmentalists want the land expropriated and put into public hands. However, the MPP for the area, Tim Hudak disagrees.

"Going after somebody and taking their land away from them just because you don't like them is frowned upon by the courts," Hudak said.

Provincial and local government officials say they hope to meet with the new owner to find a way to ensure that Marcy's Woods will stay just the way it is.

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