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South Niagara chapter defends Thundering Waters Forest

The Council of Canadians South Niagara chapter will be organizing two ‘peaceful awareness’ rallies – one on July 7, the other on July 11 – to protect the Thundering Waters Forest.

Their Facebook outreach notes, “There are efforts to destroy over 200 acres of dry forest adjacent to over 200 acres of wet forest and if you think this is wrong then please join our efforts to give a voice to our Mother the Earth, to oppose the proposed Thundering Waters Secondary Plan.”

In early April, the chapter began opposing a plan by GR Investment Group to secure approval to destroy 13 acres of provincially-significant wetland to accommodate a $1 billion ‘Paradise’ development project, which includes a hotel, entertainment facilities, apartment housing, and a private school. GR had argued that this loss of wetland could be ‘offset’ by reproducing it in another area. By late April, after several community protests, the developers backed away from the idea of ‘biodiversity offsetting’. But the Thundering Waters Forest is still slated for destruction.

Just last week, Karl Dockstader wrote in Niagara At Large that, “GR (Can) Investment Co. is still intending to destroy 200+ acres of Carolinian forest, protective thickets, and other delicate spaces adjacent to 200+ acres of protected Wetlands and no government entity or authority has expressed any opposition to or advocated for protection of this proposed destruction. …The size of the Thundering Waters Forest is one of the largest remaining continuous forests in the region of Niagara and the protected parts of the slough forest wetland complex are interconnected with the unprotected parts”

Dockstader has also noted, “This deforestation is in conflict with the spirit of Treaty law and is an affront to traditional Indigenous leadership. …None of the established Niagara leadership has sought out input from traditional Anishinaabe or Haudenosaunee leadership about this forest.”

The rally on July 7 (at 6 pm) will take place at Niagara Falls City Hall, while the rally on July 11 (at 4 pm) will take place at the Gale Centre Arena in Niagara Falls.