All hail Blanding’s turtle. The rare reptile’s presence at Ostrander Point in Prince Edward County has prompted an environmental review tribunal to block a proposed wind farm.
The roads associated with the wind farm would bring “increased vehicle traffic, poachers and predators, directly in the habitat of Blanding’s turtle, a species that is globally endangered and threatened in Ontario,” and that would result in “serious and irreversible harm” to the species, the tribunal has found.
As a result, a wind farm proposed by Gilead Power cannot proceed on the site, near the southeasterly tip of the county.
The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists had objected to the development, complaining it would harm migratory birds and bats as well as the turtle.
The tribunal found that birds and bats would not suffer irreparable harm from the wind farm.
But the roads that would be built to accommodate the wind farm, and the increased traffic associated with them, would in fact damage the turtle, it decided.
It, therefore, revoked the provincial decision allowing the project to proceed.
The wind farm would have had nine turbines, each 135 metres tall.
Most wind farms are on private land in Ontario.
“This is the first wind project approval in Ontario that is proposed to be located entirely on Crown land,” the tribunal noted.
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