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Archive for July, 2007

The Department of Environment is investigating whether development projects in Fredericton are the cause of sediment getting into a brook. Read more…

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Chocolate Brown Corbett Brook

Several UNB Woodlot Watchers reported a muddy Corbett Brook near Alison Boulevard to the Department of Environment in July 2007. Changes in the colour and siltation of the brook are suspected to be the result of land clearing for the road currently being built through the UNB Woodlot. The Department of Environment has yet to respond to those who filed a complaint and those who filed the complaint are left wondering if any action has been taken by the Department of Environment to remedy the situation and protect the Corbett Brook watershed.

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The University of New Brunswick Woodlot is over 3,500 acres of wondrous wild woods found across from the Regent Mall on Regent Street or south of Vanier Highway centered on Highway 101. The land was given to UNB to be used for the benefit of “the fledgling institution.” This land is traditional Woolastook territory, never ceded to the British Crown or Canada in the way of treaty or land claims agreement.

Corbett Brook UNB Woodlot

Corbett Brook, UNB Woodlot. Photo: Earle Arnold.

Many citizens of Fredericton enjoy the Woodlot as a place of recreation and refuge and escape from the increasing proliferation of concrete, asphalt, litter, light, noise and visual pollution.

Ski trail, UNB Woodlot

Ski trail, UNB Woodlot, January 2007. Photo: Earle Arnold.

UNB Woodlot Watchers were shocked to read the following statement in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the proposed road through the Woodlot, prepared by environmental consultants Jacques Whitford for the City of Fredericton: “..the Woodlot is of low social and cultural value.”

In recent years, UNB and the City of Fredericton have reached the conclusion that it is best to develop this land. For instance, 99 year leases are being granted to big business like the Home Depots.

The Department of Environment quickly granted approval of the EIA prepared for the proposed road that will cut through the woodlot and affect a number of wetlands. Machines were busy clearing land at the corner of Alison and Kimble before the EIA was approved in March 2007. Conditions of the EIA proval can be read here.

Map of Road Extension

Map of road extension.

Clearing begins at Kimble and Alison March 07

Clearing begins at corner of Alison and Kimble. March 2007. Photo: Earle Arnold.

Road through UNB Woodlot

Road through UNB Woodlot. July 2007. Photo: Earle Arnold.

The development of the Woodlot is unconsciousable in today’s knowledge of the conservation importance of such natural gems.

  • The Woodlot is one of the most unique treasures found in Fredericton. How many cities can boast a wild area of its size in its city limits? The UNB Woodlot is four times the size of Vancouver’s much celebrated Stanley Park but sadly the UNB Woodlot does not garner the same respect and protection.

  • The Woodlot is home to mature forest, wetlands and wildlife including several species of conservation concern. Green spaces are becoming increasingly more valuable and appreciated particularly near urban centres. Natural wetlands and mature trees and the associated flora and fauna are necessary to ensure protection of water sources.

Beaver Dam, UNB Woodlot

  • The Woodlot is used by students and faculty as an important natural research lab for fish ecology, forestry and other studies.
  • Urban forests such as woodlots reduce air pollutants and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is a key factor in mitigating climate change.


* Take a stand for the Woodlot! *

1. Write to the UNB President John MacLaughlin and the Mayor of the City of Fredericton and tell them you care about the Woodlot and want to see it protected.

2. Spread the word. Write a letter to the editor. Get on the radio.

3. Join the Woodlot Watch group, a group of citizens who care about the fate of the Woodlot. Contact us at 458-0163 or by emali at: woodlotwatch@gmail.com

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The NB Minister of the Environment has affirmed that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was not conducted for the 3.5 hectare Corbett Brook Marsh. An EIA should have been triggered for a wetland of that area as mandated by the provisions of N.B.’s Environment Act.

Send letters to the Minister of Environment demanding that environmental laws be followed in this province and an EIA be conducted on the Home Depot development and all other developments affecting the Corbett Marsh.

 

 

Send letters to:

Hon. Roland Haché
Minister of Environment
Province of New Brunswick
Marysville Place, Fredericton, NB
Roland.HACHE@gnb.ca

Some points to include in your letters:

 

* Ministers of the Province of New Brunswick are bound by the provisions of the Clean Water Act and the Clean Environment Act.

*As stated in the Watercourse and Wetland Alteration Regulation – Clean Water Act 10(7) “The issue of a permit under this Regulation does not exempt the person to whom it is issued from the provisions of any Act of the Legislature, the regulations under such Act, any Act of the Parliament of
Canada or the regulations under such Act.”

 

*The NB Department of Environment has immediate access to the size of the Corbett Brook Marsh through their own Provincial Wetlands Inventory. The Environmental Impact Accessment (EIA) was mandatory for the Home Depot
development but it was never initiated.

*Please refer to the Department of Environment’s website that is explicit about the EIA regulations  (www.gnb.ca/0009/0377/0002/0006-e.asp) . As stated in the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulation – Clean Environment Act, “projects that must be registered under EIA Schedule A Undertakings” includes “(v) all enterprises, activities, projects, structures, works or programs affecting
two hectares or more of bog, marsh, swamp or other wetland;”

 

*Environment Department officials do not have the authority to exempt Corbett Brook Marsh from the EIA process in
accordance with New Brunswick Regulation 87-83 under the Clean Environment Act.

*Regarding the location of a second big box store even closer to the Corbett Brook Marsh than the Home Depot store –such a development should be prohibited or limited so close to this protected ecosystem, a Marsh that is used to teach our children about protection of the environment.

 

* The Clean Environment Act of NB gives the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Natural Resources the ability to designate all or any portion of a wetland as a protected area through the issuance of a Wetland Designation Order.

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