Target: David Heurtel, Quebec Environment Minister
Goal: Stop destruction of beloved community woodlands.
The Hirondelles Woods, a six hectare old growth forest in Montreal, Canada is in danger of being destroyed in order to build thirty luxury homes. This forest is home to an endangered plant, wild ginseng, which is protected under the Canadian Species at Risk Act. In addition, the local population strongly opposes the development. The development needs a permit from the Quebec Environment Ministry to move forward.
Not only are these woodlands important to the community, they are also important ecologically. They contain one of the last fifty populations of wild ginseng in the province of Quebec. Wild ginseng is an endangered species and as such it has legal protection. The Canadian Species at Risk Act makes it illegal to tamper with its habitat. Still, the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) suggests that the environment minister may allow the development under certain conditions. One condition is that the developer transplants some of the wild ginseng elsewhere on the mountain. However, according to Canadian biologist Tanya Handa, the cause of the ginseng’s scarcity is that it does not transplant well. Therefore, attempting to transplant it would not help save the species.
The local community is strongly against the development. Over 200 people have turned out to protest. Join your voice with their’s and tell the Environment Minister to help save these precious woodlands.
Dear Minister Heurtel,
The plan to develop Hirondelles Woods must not go forward. These woods are both beloved by the community and home of the endangered species, wild ginseng. The environment ministry, which you represent, has called the Hirondelles Woods rare and exceptional. They are much too exceptional to be sacrificed for development.
The wild ginseng population would be seriously damaged if you allowed the development to proceed. Even if the developers were required to transplant ginseng, the transplant may not be successful. Wild ginseng is so rare precisely because it is difficult to transplant. The Canadian Species at Risk Act makes it illegal to damage a wild ginseng habitat. Save the ginseng and the woods it calls home.
In addition, the community around Hirondelles Woods opposes the development. More than 200 people have protested it. Show your respect for the law and the wishes of the community and halt the development.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Putneypics