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APPEC appeal attempts to protect Blandings turtles – out of hibernation early

New evidence in opposition to the clearing of vegetation at the Army Reserve Road section of White Pine’s 27-industrial wind turbine site will be presented to the Ontario Court of Appeal Wednesday morning.

Eric Gillespie, Environmental lawyer for the Alliance to Protect Prince Edward County (APPEC) is expect to speak to the clearing of the land because endangered Blanding’s turtles have been spotted in the area – out of hibernation early due to the mild winter.

“On the weekend Blanding’s turtles were found by knowledgeable observers. These early sightings show that the turtles have emerged from hibernation and are moving through their habitat,” said Orville Walsh, APPEC president. “The destruction of their habitat and potential nesting areas, in spite of the ERT ruling, poses a serious risk to the turtles.”

In February, the ERT ruled the turbines would cause serious and irreversible harm to the Little Brown Bat and the Blanding’s Turtle. The decision is pending remediation hearings which no date has been set.

The Court of Appeal hearing is at 10 a.m. at Osgoode Hall in Court Room 7. Osgoode Hall is at 130 Queen St. W., Toronto (southwest corner of University and Queen Street).

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Gary says:

    What is the hold up on the Ostrander Point ERT decision? Should have been out by now. Perhaps some government fingers have gotten busy!

  2. Susan says:

    No Dennis, they will be more vigilant than ever in succeeding with this venture in Mr.Smiths riding. I have to wonder since the MOECC are working hand in hand with the government how we can have any faith the ERT is independent of influence.

  3. Dennis Fox says:

    Congrats to all for stopping the destruction – at least for now. At what point will the government finally do the right thing and tell wpd that the gig is up? Ever?

  4. Susan says:

    And thank you Mr.Turtle!

  5. Gary Mooney says:

    APPEC has been granted an interim stay by the ERT, pending more detailed consideration.

    Kudos to APPEC and Eric Gillespie for their perseverance.

  6. hockeynan says:

    I don’t know how you can stop people clearing there own propety

  7. Taffy says:

    Eric Gillespie for APPEC is today (Friday) holding a hearing with the Environmental Review Tribunal,the one that turned thumbs down on the project in the first place and then refused to stop construction activities. He is again asking for a stay of construction backed up by very current photos and evidence of meaningful sightings. Decision expected later today. The hearing is not face to face but electronic. I’m not connected with APPEC, PECFN or Gillespie but I admire their perseverance and refusal to be beaten by the anti-democratic opponents they face.

  8. Cheryl Anderson says:

    The turtle was spotted in the vicinity of proposed turbines 26, 27, 28, 29. The point being that turtles on the South Shore are emerging from hibernation early in April. The Renewable Energy Approval allows construction in April which puts emerging turtles at risk of serious harm from construction equipment.

  9. Cheryl Anderson says:

    The turtle sighting photos are date stamped: right click on image, in “File information” “Saturday April 02, 2016 1:10PM on a device XT1563”
    The sighting has been reported to the Natural Heritage Information Centre.

  10. julian says:

    What is interesting to note about the pictures that were submitted by APPEC regarding the early arrival of the Blanding’s Turtle is that there was no time or date stamp digitally imprinted onto the photo, and they were spotted in area far from Army Reserve Road, at Cty Rd 13 and Gravelly Bay Road. This in itself does not prove they are awake. Does the public just believe everything they read or get told?

  11. Cheryl Anderson says:

    In response to Jeff: I wrote the phrase “knowledgeable observer” to indicate that the people who saw the turtles have a good knowledge of what the Blanding’s turtle looks like. I know that by now everyone might be expected to know that, but when you are trying to convince a court of something it seems that you have to have special expertise – not just a general knowledge. So in one case we had a photograph and in the second case the individual is a naturalist that is used to identifying turtle species quickly by sight (the turtle in question slipped back into the water too fast for a picture). I hope that explains the phrase satisfactorily.

  12. Mark says:

    The clearing particularly on the Army Reserve Rd will also cause great distress to the deer population in all likelihood Does preparing to give birth and vulnerable to coyotes. But if you are sitting in Toronto with your mate it probably means little.

  13. Borys says:

    You can find the photos of vegetation clearing at

    Today’s appeal was withdrawn by APPEC.

  14. Susan says:

    Any report on today’s appeal?

  15. Les Stanfield says:

    Wind cocnerns Ontario has just posted some photos of the destruction going on as part of the wpd “vegetation clearing”.

    Everything that was predicted in the expert testimony is proving to be accurate. Notice the ruts in the photo. This will permanently impact the drainage and waterflows in this area. It is shallow soil over limestone. The ruts will permanently alter flows,which will impact wetlands and terrestrial habitat and the animals and birds that use it. Using heavy equipment in limestone plains is not like using it anywhere else. It will effect the habitat and biota especially Blandings turtles that use this area. This was described at the ERT and ignored. Altered drainage- altered waterbodies-altererd habitat. This will be permanent, not repearable as the tribunal wishes it to be. But he tribunal chooses to ignore it.

    This was totally predictable by anyone and everyone in the county, including our local contractor, who knows this area and they just don’t care. Greed trumps everything else it seems!

  16. Jeff says:

    Can you please tell me what is considered a knowledgeable observer

  17. hockeynan says:

    I am concerned about hydro one cutting trees and brush along county road 8 where the land seems the same as the turbines are going and no one is concerned about this but every time Wpd moves we have to go to court.Would this not be picking on WPD ? Seems Blanding turtles only live where the industrial wind turbines are going

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