For Immediate Release: Canada’s Richest Biodiversity Reserve Under Threat in South Frontenac
OCTOBER 13, 2023 –
OPINICON LAKE, TOWNSHIP OF SOUTH FRONTENAC – A rapidly escalating showdown is brewing as hundreds of concerned residents, backed by conservationists, scientists, and lake associations, rally against the controversial expansion plans of Skycroft Resort’s trailer campground.
Skycroft aims to expand its total number of waterfront sites to 231, more than 4.5 times what the South Frontenac Official Plan permits, in the heart of what UNESCO lists as “the most biodiverse region in Canada” – the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve.
Home to 29 species at risk, the Frontenac Arch is a refuge for endangered wildlife, including the Cerulean Warbler, Blanding’s Turtle, Gray Rat Snake, and Pale-bellied Frost Lichen, all of which have been documented on or near the property. Beside the resort lies a network of protected lands set aside for research, teaching, and public outreach by the Queen’s University Biological Station.
Scientists anticipate that the major increase in truck, boat, and foot traffic resulting from the expansion would have a significant adverse impact on several species at risk. In a report shared with Council, ecologist Mark Heaton stated that: “Forest habitat of endangered and threatened species will be destroyed because of the proposed project.”
South Frontenac Township Council is scheduled to vote on the proposed Skycroft expansion on Tuesday, Oct. 17.
“Council turned back a similar development application by Skycroft in 2016,” said Reade Davis, a professor of anthropology and environmental studies. “It’s hard to understand how a similar proposal can be deemed more acceptable now with our environment facing increasing pressure from climate change and a host of other factors.”
Protect Opinicon, Inc., a diverse collective of over two hundred community stakeholders, formed last year to resist this alarming expansion. The group has since partnered with Small Change Fund to crowdsource funds to support the fight and have hired David Donnelly, one of Canada’s leading environmental lawyers to challenge Skycroft’s application.
“The United Nations is telling us that species extinctions are occurring at rates unprecedented in human history. In the midst of a global biodiversity crisis, why would we even consider compromising the integrity of the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve and of this invaluable biological research station?” Donnelly asked.
For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:
David Donnelly, Donnelly Law, (416) 722-0220, email@example.com
Protect Opinicon, Inc., firstname.lastname@example.org
Donations can be made to Protect Lake Opinicon and will receive a tax receipt.