Urge Minister Gravelle to Save Endangered Species (Jefferson Salamander) from 4 Lane Highway

  • By: Neil E. Taylor
  • Target: Hon Michael Gravelle - Ontario Minister of Natural Resources

To: Ontario Minister of Natural Resources

Whereas Jefferson Salamanders have been listed as Endangered by COSEWIC

Whereas previous environmental assessments for the River Road Extension failed to properly study all the potential breeding ponds in the Hidden Valley area under appropriate weather conditions,

Whereas populations of endangered Jefferson Salamanders have been confirmed by years worth of environmental assessments in Hidden Valley in the City of Kitchener Ontario in the Region of Waterloo,

Whereas regulated habitat for Jefferson Salamander protects wetlands, pools and ponds that are being used by Jefferson Salamanders or those that were used in the past 5 years,

Whereas areas within 300 metres of these wetlands, pools and ponds that provide suitable conditions for foraging, dispersal, migration or hibernation are also protected as habitat,

Whereas areas that provide suitable conditions for dispersal to other suitable breeding areas, as well as the suitable breeding areas to which Jefferson Salamanders may disperse, up to 1 kilometre away from protected breeding ponds are protected,

Whereas a proposed River Road Extension in the city of Kitchener will damage known habitat areas within Hidden Valley where Jefferson Salamanders were confirmed during years of EA studies,

Whereas populations of confirmed Jefferson Salamanders, found within the 300 meters of their breeding pond, are currently being excluded from the regulated habitat delineation in maps currently provided by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources regarding the River Road Extension,

Whereas Canada has ratified the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity and has listed Jefferson Salamander within its Species At Risk Act (SARA),

Whereas Ontario has established policies to protect biodiversity including the Ontario Endangered Species Act, the Ontario Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act and the Provincial Policy Statement,

Whereas the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has the mandate to promote healthy, sustainable ecosystems, and conserve biodiversity,

We the undersigned concerned citizens of Ontario hereby request that the Ontario Minister of Natural Resources mandate a new environmental assessment to review and identify all potential Jefferson Salamanders, their breeding ponds, habitats, and expansion areas in Hidden Valley in Kitchener, Ontario in order to secure reasonable regulated habitat delineation to protect and preserve this endangered species in compliance with existing legislation and international commitments.

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