There is good news this week coming from the Municipality of Powassan where it turns out common sense is winning out over misplaced good intentions.
The drama of the now infamous little songbird, the bobolink, appears to be reaching it’s conclusion as the municipality has garnered approval to displace the birds after their nesting season concludes this summer.
For more than a year now, the pretty but otherwise seemingly unremarkable creatures have been garnering headlines as they appeared to be swooping in to block the development of a proposed industrial park near Powassan’s fairgrounds just off of Highway 534.
The reason was that in Ontario the bird is considered to be at risk, not of becoming extinct, but of not having a viable population within the province.
Elsewhere in the world we learned throughout the regulatory process, there is no shortage of bobolinks with reports that in the Gulf of Mexico some resorts have resorted to hiring staff just to handle swarming flocks of the feathered beings.
So it is a relief to see that common sense has prevailed and with it some assurances the province’s laws and their enforcement when it comes to threatened, endangered and at risk species are not about heavy-handed trampling of property rights and throwing up barriers to developing privately or publicly held lands. Rather, that reasonable steps are taken to ensure humanity does not unduly tread on the ability of wildlife to survive.
We think this is an important message from the Ministry of Natural Resources for everyone who has wondered what might happen should a too rare species of plant or animal show up in their backyard. The Species at Risk Act on one of its first brushes with our region appears to be working as intended and while there may have been furrowed brows around the Powassan council table we have to believe that all parties, bobolinks included, are happy with the upcoming solution.