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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Sauble Going To Court Over Plovers

Sauble Beach | by John Divinski  

A stop beach work order from the Ministry of Environment is being issued this year.

The Piping Plover issue versus Sauble Beach maintenance is going to court.

The move comes after South Bruce Peninsula was charged with destroying Plover habitat in April 2017 and now a stop work order being issued as well for this year.

Mayor Janice Jackson says, "The charges against the town are clumsy and an expensive way to communicate with us."

Jackson says the stop work order prevents the town from doing any maintenance on the beach until further notice.

She says they tried to talk to Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry people who at first, seemed to be on the same page as the municipality.

Jackson says now there's an about-face and "Reason doesn't seem to play any factor in this situation at all."

The mayor says the town will challenge the summons and the stop-work order in court but a first court appearance isn't expected until sometime in June and then a hearing after that.

According to a prepared news release, following a closed-door session of council on Tuesday, (APR 3) "The town has been in consultations with another branch of the Ministry on an annual beach maintenance plan.  Spring maintenance and habitat protection for the endangered piping plover are important parts of that plan.  Our draft plan includes elements to enhance and preserve the dune eco-system and provide protection to the piping plover and its habitat."

Mayor Jackson says the area in question, from the parking lot, just south of Crowd Inn, northward for 11K, is an integral part of the beach that draws "800,000 visitors each year."

Jackson says their day in court appears to be the only way to overcome the problem "Because the local ministry office here just will not sit at the table with us and discuss this issue."

The ministry summons was issued on March 22nd, while the stop-work order was received March 28th.

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