Archive for September, 2007

Flyers about the proposed destruction of the UNB Woodlot were passed out to students. Many students were aware of the plans and voiced their opposition to the plans. The UNB Student Union president promised to hold a public forum on the UNB Woodlot in the near future. Very tasty apple and cinnamon, and banana pancakes were given away to students with the message that some things should be flat like pancakes and some things should NOT be flat like the UNB Woodlot. The t-shirts and patches sporting the messages “I [love] woodlot” and “UNB Save the Beaver” were a hit. We have only a few t-shirts and patches left. Contact woodlotwatch@gmail.com to find out how you can get one of these very cool t-shirts or patches.



first customer
enjoying pancakes

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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. 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. 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. 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. 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 Environmental Impact Assessment prepared by the environmental consultants Jacques Whitford for the City of Fredericton for the road being built through the UNB Woodlot states: ?..the Woodlot is of low social and cultural value.? Weeks after the road construction began,

an area of Corbett Brook turned chocolate brown.
The development of the UNB Woodlot is unconsciousable in today’s knowledge of the conservation importance of such natural gems.

UNB Woodlot For Sale?
UNB has sold UNB Woodlot land to the City that was not theirs to sell;  this is called conversion and is covered under Section 322 (1-5) of the Criminal Code of Canada. Trustees of a public institution that take part in conversions, with intent to defraud and in contravention of their trust, can be charged with criminal breach of trust and this is covered under Section 336 of the Criminal Code of Canada. The UNB land sale for the 4-lane road in the UNB Woodlot is illegal.
The King George Land Grant of 1800 could not be more clear that this land is to remain “forever” in the trust of UNB Governor and Trustees.  This obligation was further strengthened by the Royal Charter for King’s College (December 15, 1827) that requires trustees “…shall be able and capable to have, take, and receive, purchase, acquire, hold,  possess, enjoy, and maintain, to and for the use of the said College any Messages, Lands, Tenements, and Hereditament…..” This same

language was preserved in the Act to Incorporate the University of New Brunswick (April 13, 1859). The original 1800 Land Charter states: “To have and to hold all and singular the aforesaid Lands Tenements Hereditaments and Premises hereby granted and every part and parcel thereof with their and every of their appurtenances unto the said Governor and Trustees of the College of New Brunswick and their Successors and assigns ” (Land Charter from King George III, Grant

#378, College of New Brunswick, July 18, 1800, page 534, Book “B” Land Grant, Microfiche F16302, Provincial Archives of New Brunswick, UNB Campus, Fredericton, New Brunswick).

UNB must impose a moratorium on development of the UNB Woodlot immediately in recognition of public outcry, the damage already done and numerous mistakes that have been made. UNB must then genuinely involve students, faculty, the university community and the wider public on decisions regarding the UNB Woodlot.
Contact: woodlotwatch@gmail.com

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City must protect wetland

The Daily Gleaner, Published Monday September 17th, 2007

Appeared on page C7

In response to the front-page article of the Sept. 14 Daily Gleaner entitled, Second wetland discovered at new arena site, I view this as an opportunity for the city to step up and do the right thing.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case when I read the comments of community services director Wayne Tallon.

Tallon says, “he is confident the Department of Environment will rule in the city’s favour” which would entail altering the wetland.

I offer the following quote to city and environment staff from renowned conservationist

Aldo Leopold to consider while making their decisions: “We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us.

When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”

According to Environment Canada, wetlands are critical ecosystems that provide the food chain with a remarkable amount of support because they offer an abundant supply of food and water and a wide variety of ecological wniches.

It is estimated that wetlands in Canada are home to nearly 200 species of birds, 50 species of mammals, 40 species of amphibians, 50 species of reptiles and several insects and other aquatic species.

Once again, Leopold sums it up very well: “To keep every cog and wheel of a system is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.” Altering or disturbing a valuable wetland certainly opens the door to losing some crucial cogs and wheels.

The University of New Brunswick has already demonstrated with its misguided woodlot development that’s blinded by greed over sustainable development and science.

Hopefully, the City of Fredericton and DOE staff will have more foresight.

Troy Lifford

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