Protecting Carden Alvar

Endangered Loggerhead Shrike. (Photo by Teresa Boyle-Middleton, Carden Alvar, April 2018)

Today we read the following message from Jean Iron, one of Ontario’s premier birders, to the Midland-Penetanguishene Field Naturalists Club and became instantly concerned. Jean writes:

“I’m wondering if the Midland-Penetanguishene Field Naturalists Club knows about this proposed shooting center. If not, would you please pass on this information to your president and board.

The attached and following information about a proposed shooting center on the Carden Alvar will be of great interest to your members
​because of your club’s interest in the Carden Alvar and long association with its preservation.

On Tuesday 17 April 2018, I, Jean Iron, went to a meeting of the Carden Forum for stakeholders and residents in the Carden/Dalrymple area.

Ron Reid of the Couchiching Conservancy presented information about a building proposal and change of land use on the Carden Alvar.

Please see attached the proposed shooting centre on Cedarhurst Ranch that borders the northeast boundary of Carden Alvar Provincial Park as well as several properties owned by The Nature Conservancy.

Sandwiched in the middle of it is a conservation property in green, and to the north is Nature Conservancy’s North Bear Alvar and more Couchiching properties. The Nature Conservancy of Canada put in an offer to purchase Cedarhurst Ranch but because they are not allowed to offer more than market value, they were outbid by the proponents of the shooting center, who now have a conditional purchase agreement with the seller.

The property has Golden-winged Warblers, Eastern Whip-poor-wills, and other species-at-risk, as well as having the finest quality alvar on the eastern third that borders Wylie Road. The conservation groups have been seeking to purchase this property for years but would only be able to acquire it at market value.

Please read the attached. Be sure to click on the link that tells all about Premier Shooting Center. Very interesting is the video on the bottom right side.

Ron Reid thinks this proposal will require a re-zoning of the lands by the City of Kawartha Lakes, licensing by the RCMP, and presumably some kind of road upgrading agreement. The proponents have already had private meetings with the mayor of the City of Kawartha Lakes, planning staff, roads staff, and the local councillor Rob Macklem.

Ron Reid and several others are planning what can be done to defeat this project. One important step is to send a letter to the Mayor and Council:

https://www.kawarthalakes.ca/en/municipal-services/mayor-and-council.aspx

Telephone: 705-324-9411 extension 1320

The local Kawartha Lakes municipal councillor:

Rob Macklem at rmacklem@kawarthalakes.ca

You can also contact Ron Reid for more information:

ronreid@couchconservancy.ca

Thank you, Jean Iron”

We have looked at the proposal for the shooting centre and do not believe that it belongs in proximity to Carden Alvar Provincial Park and Important Bird & Biodiversity Area. It is our hope that you will agree with us and click “sign now” on the email below. Clicking will send a copy of the email to the Mayor and the City Councillor responsible for the area that includes Carden Alvar in the City of Kawartha Lakes.

Protecting Carden Alvar

Mayor Andy Letham and City Councillor Rob Macklem

Gentlemen,

Carden Alvar is recognized as both an Ontario Provincial Park and Important Bird & Biodiversity Area.

A proposal has been made to purchase a parcel of land virtually surrounded by the park and areas owned and maintained by conservation groups and turn it into a Shooting Centre.

If you follow this link and view the video on the home page of the proposed centre (https://www.premiershootingcenter.com/) we are certain that you will agree that this proposed centre has no place alongside conservation areas.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada put in an offer to purchase the property but, because they are not allowed to offer more than market value, they were outbid by the proponents of the shooting center, who now have a conditional purchase agreement with the seller.

Carden Alvar is home to a number of sensitive flora and fauna including some threatened and endangered bird species including but not limited to:

Eastern Meadowlark- Threatened
Loggerhead shrike - Endangered
Bobolink - Threatenened
Whip poor will -Threatened
Golden-winged Warbler - Special Concern

Instead of agreeing to the necessary zoning change we request that the council look at ways of promoting this ecotourism jewel.

Birders come from all over Ontario and from many parts of the world to view the Alvar and while doing so spend their money locally.

We ask your help in maintaining this area in its natural condition.

Thank you.

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