One of the objectives of MFN is to promote the wise use of our natural resources, including soils, waters, woodlands, and plant and animal life, and so we have taken positions on a number of local and provincial environmental issues.
PROPOSED BRACEBRIDGE WESTERN BY-PASS TRANSPORTATION CORRIDOR
The District of Muskoka has proposed a western by-pass for the Town of Bracebridge to reduce traffic congestion within the downtown area during peak volume times. Two possible transportation corridors have been suggested by the District, and MFN has expressed concerns related to sensitive habitat and species at risk, including Canada Warbler, Bobolink, and Eastern Whip-poor-will, with both corridors. In November 2013 we prepared a position statement on the proposed northern route that formed part of the official 2013 Environmental Assessment Public Review.
PROPOSED EXEMPTIONS UNDER THE PROVINCIAL ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT, 2007
Muskoka is home to several species of plants and animals that are designated Endangered. MFN believed that changes proposed to the legislation, creating a broad suite of exemptions, would weaken the ESA's standard of protection.
Unfortunately, the changes were passed, despite the concerns expressed by over 60 local, provincial, and national nature organizations.
DRAINING OF HENRY MARSH
Henry Marsh, see photo banner above, is a small wetland, part of the larger Beaumont wetland complex, that lies south of Beaumont Drive, just west of downtown Bracebridge. It is actively managed by beavers and is home to a wide variety of plant and animal species, including Golden-winged Warbler and Least Bittern, both species of concern, which have nested there. In 2008, a beaver dam was removed and the marsh was drained by a neighbouring landowner due to flooding concerns. The dam has since been allowed to be rebuilt and the marsh is regenerating. Henry Marsh remains an area of concern for the MFN.