The Western Grebe – Saving A Nesting Ground

Ever have one of those weeks when opening up your mailbox changes the whole course of the week?

We had just been away for the long weekend. Just like most people, one of the first things you do once you get home from being away is to open your mailbox and go through the mail.  The stack of mail went like this: junk mail, junk mail, junk mail, thick envelope from Lac Ste. Anne County (Alberta, Canada), junk mail……..”wait, what was that thick envelope about?” was the first think to run through my head (followed by putting the junk mail in the recycle bin). We open up the envelope only to be greeted with bad news (thick envelopes are never good news), a resort development was being proposed for a location minutes away from our cabin on Lake Isle, Alberta. Even worse, it is proposed for an area along the shoreline where there are always a huge number of nesting birds. This resort would annihilate the nesting grounds.

Lake Isle, Alberta

Lake Isle, Alberta

After getting over the initial reaction of anger we decided to attempt to do something. After a bit of research we discovered Lake Isle is a nesting area for the Western Grebe. The Western Grebe has been listed as an “at risk” species and is showing declining numbers. Research we have read indicates Alberta only has 6 to 10 lakes where the Western Grebe actually nest and breed, so losing the breeding ground would significantly impact the survival of the species of the Western Grebe. Research also indicates that Alberta is home to 10-19% of the WORLD’S population of the Western Grebe, so protecting this bird and its nesting grounds is very important.

I have spent the last two days writing email after email to environmental and conservation groups, individuals involved in the environment, government offices and politicians in hopes of raising awareness in the importance of protecting the shoreline. I am hoping that if I can raise a very vocal community in support of protecting the habitat that the Lac Ste. Anne County will see that the habitat of an “at risk” species is more important than an RV Park with rumoured quadding trails.

Once this habitat is gone it is gone FOREVER. Once the species is gone, it too is gone FOREVER.

I feel it is so important to show the importance of this natural area rather than take the easy way out, stay quiet and watch it bulldozed.

If any readers are interested in speaking up as to the importance of protecting the nesting grounds please feel free to email me for further information. We need a loud voice to fight the bulldozers, RV’s and quads.

For those interested, the file numbers for the proposal are:

Files: 06REDST2012 & 07REDST2012

If you wish to contact Lac Ste. Anne County (Alberta, Canada) with regards to the proposal, I have listed the contacts below. ALL WRITTEN CONCERNS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY JUNE 6TH, 2013.

Mr. Matthew Ferris
Planning & Development Manager

Ms. Diane Burtnick
Development Officer

Any help we can get in keeping this natural area intact is greatly appreciated.

11 thoughts on “The Western Grebe – Saving A Nesting Ground

  1. […] post here. The last few weeks has been a blur of time at the cabin, a trip to Pender Island and our Western Grebe incident. (Please feel free to read “The Western Grebe – Saving A Nesting Ground” […]

  2. Good luck, it is so important that individuals are pro-active in things like this. I live in Italy where the population doesn’t seem to feel they can do anything. Christina

    • I am hoping we succeed. I have been fortunate to get some supportive feedback from the environmental community. Trying is the first step.

    • You might find this interesting, the Western Grebe winters in areas around the Gulf Islands. We thought it was cool that the birds we see in the spring at our cabin could be the same ones we see in the winter on Pender.

      • I always keep an eye open for you guys as well. We’ll have to get together this summer. I’m still working working at the fire department on most weekends, which keeps me off the water on some of the nicer days. A bit of a drag, but just the way life is right now. By the way, Alert Bay is about a 6 hour drive from Swartz Bay. The highway is incredibly good with very light traffic. Sointula is the other interesting port of call up there. We hope to get there next time.

      • We’ll be out for Canada Day Long weekend and August long. We’ve started doing shorter trips so we can come out more often. Send me an email or text if you are out and about on either of those weekends.

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