Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Students Protest Beaver Pond Forest Development

      The Beaver Pond Forest in Kanata is under housing development, so students protested in order to stall tree-clearing work. There were 20 students in the effort that sang about the forest, about 100m from the entrance to the Goulbourn Forced Road. The students were surrounding the machinery demanding that the city and province get an assessment on the environment and archaeology; students shortly left when police asked them to leave. A group of developers named KNL, is going to clear a 29 hectare section of Kanata's South March Highlands; this consists of 2 square kilometres of Beaver Pond Forest where they are making 3300-unit subdivisions. There were similar protests a week ago regarding that the forest belong to interests of Algonquin people. There was a previous archaeological study in 2002 that was approved by Tourism and Cultural Ministry from KNL and later confirmed the decision in 2010; it was approved by Ottawa's city council in 2004. In fall the city planned to swap land with the developer in order to protect a small portion of the land through constructions of the houses, but the city could not afford to pay 40 million dollars to preserve land from the developer.

      I feel that the people protesting is the right of a citizen as they have a strong opinion and are trying to protect their own land. What the city should have done is estimate what would happen in the following years after agreeing with the developers; now they can have another assessment. I feel that already there is enough places that have construction but since Kanata doesn't have much people they could use a little room. I feel that 29 hectares is a load too much to cut and perhaps to make a compromise to have the houses integrated into the forest so all around the houses and yards there are trees, that way we are preserving nature (cut as little trees as they can) and building the benefits of subdivisions. This solution would probably be the best but most likely the government would have to pay the developers a lot of money. So they would have to compromise a certain price that is a win-win situation for the developers and the citizens. People have to start thinking about the environment or else we could not live a healthy lifestyle, maybe that is what these protesters are doing.

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