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Fredericton – Groups in New Brunswick concerned about groundwater and air protection intend to bring the discussion surrounding the Alward Government and the shale gas industry’s intentions to move forward with development to public debates by panelists presenting each side of the issue. In October 2011 Premier David Alward publicly stated that Members of the Legislature would be organizing town hall and information meetings later that month, “to hear directly from their constituents on this important issue.” In the spirit of Premier Alward’s suggestion, the group Friends of the UNB Woodlot will host the first of these debates this Thursday, May 10, starting at 7:00 pm at the Cathedral Memorial Hall, 168 Church St. in Fredericton. Continue Reading »

fredericton-shalegas
Photo caption: The light brown layer depicts SWN Resources’ shale gas license in the Fredericton area.

Fredericton residents are concerned by the license area granted to SWN Resources to do shale gas work, which includes a large portion of Fredericton’s northside and the UNB Woodlot.The Friends of the UNB Woodlot, a citizens’ group concerned with the big-box store development of the University of New Brunswick’s land endowment, which includes urban forest and wetlands, plans to issue a call for a ban on shale gas activity in the UNB Woodlot.

Last Saturday, July 9th, 2011, approximately 300 people gathered at the Old Burial Grounds in Fredericton to honour water. The public was invited by the Maliseet Grand Council to discuss the threats to water in the Wulustukyeg territory that include fracking, the controversial method used in shale gas extraction.

The UNB Woodlot development was promoted as an environmentally progressive and sustainable project, which should have been a state-of-the-art showcase for the university and a source of pride for students, staff, alumni and the greater Fredericton community.

Former President John McLaughlin proudly announced in a News Release on Oct. 4, 2004: “First and foremost we will seek to conserve and preserve UNB’s ecologically, educationally and environmentally valuable land holdings.”

Unfortunately this is not what is happening.  Phase 1 development is unfolding in a destructive and disappointing fashion, and contrary to the vision of current President Eddy Campbell, does not demonstrate adherence to the “best of current practices anywhere in the world”

But…what was promised?

The UNB Board of Governors, Faculty, Alumni, and the general public were guaranteed 80m buffers for “Ecologically Sensitive areas”. For example, on October 04, 2004, UNB President John McLaughlin held the UNB Open House on the Woodlot Implementation Plan.  A professionally-produced document was presented as ‘Display Panel 3’ (from the Internet Archive, page 1 and page 2) which explicitly detailed the 80m buffer guarantee for Ecologically Sensitive areas including … “Regent Bog, Larch Swale, Corbett Brook Marsh, Corbett Brook Caves, and various areas of known rare or uncommon plants and animals”.
Continue Reading »

Thursday, April 14 at 12:15pm – 12:45pm
Wu Conference Centre (on UNB Campus across the street from St. Thomas University)

We have lots of extra signs for everyone. We want to make it clear to the UNB Board of Governors that the Costco development plan violates the guarantee of 80m buffers that was made to the Board of Governors. As documented by UNB, Corbett Brook Marsh and Larch Swale are “Ecologically Sensitive areas”, and the Costco building and parking lot must be built outside this 80m buffer.

If the UNB Woodlot continues to be developed as planned, we are going to see the loss of this valuable teaching and research resource, increased taxes, increased insurance costs, increased flood risk, and decreased quality of life for our community and children.

Don’t pave over our woodlot. Don’t pave over our future.

killbigboxColourful floatation devices, signs and streamers are part of a rally to save Fredericton’s wetlands and the UNB Woodlot on April 7, 2011. Photo: Kevin Matthews. 

Over 50 people gathered over the noon hour on Thursday, April 7 to protest the University of New Brunswick’s development of its woodlot. Participants lined up along the New Maryland highway in front of the future Costco site and made up impromptu chants in favour of saving wetlands and the UNB Woodlot. They donned floatation devices, scuba gear and blue streamers to make the point that wetlands are essential for water retention and flood control, especially in a time of climate change.

Read more at nbmediacoop.org

Saturday, April 9, 3:00pm – 6:00pm

Learn about the history, ecology and threats facing the UNB Woodlot. Present will be Friends of the UNB Woodlot and the UNB Environmental Law Society. Meet at 4pm in the back of Home Depot. If taking the bus from campus, meet at the SUB to grab the 3:22pm bus to Regent Mall, across from the Woodlot.

Contact: stusustainability@gmail.com

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