Annals of DDT: No DDT produces benefits in Thunder Bay, Ontario


My news grabbers frequently take in articles about the recovery of some wild species in some far-flung place, a benefit of our having stopped the use of DDT in the area.

It occurs to me these stories should be filed away somewhere for future reference.

For example, here’s a letter to the editor of The Chronicle-Journal, in Thunder Bay, Ontario:

Let’s not reverse gains in falcon population

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I grew up in this town in the 1960s and ’70s never having seen nor heard a bald eagle or Peregrine falcon. I could only listen as my father (an MNR game warden) treated me to stories of the magnificent raptors previously living along the Nipigon River, Sibley and the Nor’Westers. I was 25 years old before I saw my first bald eagle and that was in Minnesota.

Decades of DDT use decimated the predator bird population to almost extinction in Ontario. The government eventually recognized the problem and corrected it by banning DDT in 1970. With the help of local groups, finally the birds are back.

In 1989, the Thunder Bay Field Naturalists, with support from the Ministry of Natural Resources, launched Project Peregrine “in an attempt to reintroduce this species to the Superior north shore . . . In 1993, successful nesting peregrines were recorded for the first time in the last quarter-century . . . due to an abundance of excellent habitat.”

A mere 20 years has gone by. Are we going to allow another crime against these species?

Allowing Horizon Wind to rape the escarpment for a few megawatts that we do not need now or in any foreseeable future is falling into a bully trap.
Parties have stated there will be no harm to the birds or to the escarpment. Au contraire. The blasting alone, not to mention the construction and roads, can be compared to demolishing the whole north core downtown and building a skyscraper no one intends to occupy.

Leave the birds and the escarpment alone. Go home, Horizon Wind.

Maggie Cummins
Thunder Bay

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