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October 2016
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Declines in songbirds and seabirds

A lengthy article in the LocalXpress includes interviews with local birding authorities Eric Mills, David Currie and Ian McLaren to give a local context to the continent-wide declines in songbirds and seabirds which have been highlighted recently. It’s informative if somewhat sober reading. View PAUL SCHNEIDEREIT: Is this the global swan song for seabirds and songbirds?

Thursday Oct 6, 2016: Detecting fishing vessel behaviour from space

Kristina Boerder, a PhD student from Dalhousie University, will tell us about how she is making movements of fishing vessels visible (even when they are out of sight!) using satellite technology in ecologically important areas of our world’s oceans.
7:30 p.m. at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History.
Read more

Shaw Group/Nature Conservancy of Canada Proposal: Supportive staff report goes to Regional Council

GOOD NEWS: Halifax regional council moves ahead with proposed Purcells Cove park.
See Metro News

“It is recommended that Halifax Regional Council direct staff to:
Williams lake1. Proceed with negotiations to acquire the lands (PID 00052407) and return to Regional Council for consideration of the key terms and conditions for the 379 acres that address the following:
a. Suitable acquisition terms… Read more »

Williams Lake Backlands – Big decision by Regional Council on Sep. 20, 2016

Wms lake backlandsHalifax council will be presenting a recommendation Sept 20 on whether to approve a proposal by the Nature Conservancy of Canada to acquire almost 400 acres of land in the Williams Lake backlands and set it aside indefinitely as a wilderness preserve.

Please visit the Urban Wilderness Park Website for more about the proposal and how to support it by writing to Mayor and Councillors.

Council rejects development in Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes

The 1500 letters paid off…”Regional councillors roundly rejected a June report that would have allowed development in the Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes area.” Read more in Global news Report

Tuesday, September 6th at 10AM at City Hall: BMBCL

BMBCLYour help is needed to protect what could be the largest urban park in all of Canada. The long-promised but yet-to-be-delivered Blue Mountain Birch Cove Regional Park is under threat. It could be a mini-Keji for Halifax, but a terrible report from an independent facilitator, released in June, is recommending that a massive urban sprawl development be allowed inside the core of the future park. Immediately following the release of the flawed Independent Facilitator’s Report, Councillor Reg Rankin quickly put forward a very bad three-part motion for council to debate and a vote on. After several delays his motion comes up for the big vote at Council this Tuesday, Sept. 6th. Read more

Tues Aug 30: Information session about possible park for Backlands

Williams Lake BacklandsThere will be a public information session to learn more about the opportunity to acquire 379 acres of pristine centrally located land in the Williams Lake-Colpitt Lake area as Halifax’s largest wilderness park.

DATE: Tuesday, August 30, 2016
TIME: 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
LOCATION: Captain William Spry Community Centre,
16 Sussex Street, Spryfield, Halifax NS

Some background and information is available

August 25 2016 5:07pm 02:01

Also: Nature Conservancy of Canada wants new Halifax urban wilderness park (Global news video)

Volunteers needed at Harrison Lewis Centre

In exchange for quality time on a beautiful South Shore beach, we are looking for two to four volunteers to help with workshops and other events at the Harrison Lewis Centre. August 24-29, August 31-Sept. 4 (Labour Day Weekend), Sept. 8-12, and Sept. 22-25. Duties are primarily of a house-keeping nature as the Centre prepares for hosting students or researchers, looking after up to 24 people in residence, and restoring the Centre to order after each of the groups leaves. Pick a weekend or all. Give us four hours of help each day and the rest of the time is yours to read a book, walk on the beach, appreciate the natural surroundings, or perhaps simply “cool out.” Your cabin in the woods promises restful nights.
For board we offer groceries and a pick of the garden, along with access to a fully equipped kitchen in which to prepare your own meals.
FBook: Harrison Lewis Coastal Discovery Centre

Parrsboro Field Naturalists Saturday Events

Parrsboro shore John Brownlie, an HFNer from way back, is organizing naturalist outings in the Parrsboro area on Saturdays. “There is an event every Saturday except during the Gem and Mineral Show on the 20th of August when the Fundy Geological Museum is offering a variety of geology and dinosaur excursions. For all events but one, we meet at the Fundy Geological Museum at 1:00 pm and then proceed from there by car caravan to the site of our exploration. All sites are within 15 km of Parrsboro…These excursions are family oriented. We don’t walk more than a couple of km at most and events last for about one and a half hours.” See Events for Aug 13-Sep 24, 2016

Reg Rankin’s controversial motion sidetracked, consideration of BMBCL on Sept. 6

Reg Rankin’s controversial Item 15 was moved up the agenda at the Regional Council meeting this afternoon. After a confusing set of discussions and motions about “Map 3A” (cited in item 15) and whether it should be released in camera, a motion was passed requesting that a full Read more »

The Gem we could lose

Irwin Bennet has posted some remarkable pics from the Blue Mt Birch Cove Lakes area. See pics.

And look at this Backgrounder if you need more reasons to urge the Mayor and Council to stick to the original plans for a Regional Park.

Reg Rankin makes untimely motion to amend the concept plan for BMBCL Regional Park

In a break from Reg’s usual support for green initiatives in HRM, he has put forward a motion for next Tuesday’s Regional Council meeting that tacitly accepts the highly criticized Facilitator’s report on Blue Mt Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park, see Item 15. It also means, apparently, that the 1500+ letters written to Mayor and Councillors urging them to reject the Facilitator’s report topic will not be in the packages for councillors. Those who support the original concept of the Regional Park are urged to attend Regional Council at 1 pm on Tuesday when this item is likely to come up (See Agenda). See op-ed in the CH July 22 for a few of the many reasons why Reg’s motion would best be withdrawn and if not, soundly defeated.