We believe that the Salmon River is precious and loaded with natural riches, and we want to ensure that it will continue to be so in the future.
We are a non-profit organization formed in 2004 made up of volunteers with an elected board of directors. The funding for projects is raised through membership fees, donations, grants, sponsorship and fund raising events. We are people who enjoy the benefits of the ecologically healthy and beautiful watershed of the Salmon River.
Statement of Community Outreach:
FSR Statement about the Stone Mills Storage Project near Tamworth
Friends of the Salmon River has been monitoring the proposed Stone Mills Storage Project, a 200 MW battery energy storage site (BESS), proposed to be built by BluEarth Renewables. We’ve participated in public consultations and township meetings on the topic. We are aware that a number of local citizens have concerns about this large battery facility. (See the group STOP the Stone Mills Mega BESS) The BESS technology is still very new; our community is overwhelmingly rural with many pristine natural features, including the nearby Salmon River, that could be affected. The proposed project is near sensitive wetlands of the Salmon system and would cross over a tributary of the Salmon. As a group dedicated to the protection of that river and its watershed, FSR shares some of those concerns with citizens.
There are other concerns about battery technology, safety, and the uncertainty regarding regulations about proper setbacks, etc. because the BESS technology is so new.
Any new large-scale development should be scrutinized: this is the essence of local democracy and good environmental stewardship. We therefore encourage everyone in the community, including individuals, organizations, and public institutions to pay close attention to this project. We also understand that energy storage is a necessary part of the energy transition, and of a sound electrical infrastructure. Our township also needs employment opportunities and tax revenue. Balancing protection of our environment, health, natural resources (especially water) with reliable, renewable energy production and energy storage is not easily achieved. However, that is what we should strive for. We will therefore continue to be very vigilant and will do our best to ensure that the Salmon River watershed, our groundwater, our children, friends and neighbours, are not negatively affected by this project.
Up to this point, BluEarth has provided some public and (limited) private consultations and information sharing. BluEarth held an open house for the public on May 16 in Tamworth. Stone Mills Township Council has had several presentations on this project, including BluEarth Renewables and the Stone Mills Mega BESS group.
Friends of the Salmon River will continue to engage with BluEarth, Stone Mills Township and all relevant stakeholders to monitor this project.
More about the project:
This is not a renewable energy project. This BESS installation would store surplus electricity from the grid when demand is low and input electricity to the grid when demand is high. This is to help maintain a stable supply of power.
The BluEarth proposal is to connect a storage installation to the existing electrical substation on Miller Road just south of Tamworth.
For Project Details:
From BluEarth’s Stone Mills Storage Overview
The Stone Mills Storage Project is being proposed in response to the Independent Electricity System Operator’s (IESO) request to competitively secure 1,500 MW of new capacity through an expedited procurement process, referred to as E-LT1. The expedited process is intended to secure 900 MW of electricity storage facilities and 600 MW from resources other than energy storage in Ontario. The process is being undertaken by the IESO to address an upcoming period of emerging electricity needs in the province driven by increased demand, the retirement of the Pickering nuclear plant, the refurbishment of other nuclear generating units, as well as contracts for existing generation facilities that will be expiring in the next few years.
BluEarth is proposing a 200 MW (800 MWh) energy storage facility co-located with our Loyalist Solar substation approximately 6 km from Tamworth, Ontario. This location was selected to minimize the length of the transmission line required to interconnect with the Hydro One transmission system. In addition, this location was chosen based on BluEarth’s familiarity with the area and existing landowner relationships where the project is proposed.
The project will consist of a battery energy storage system and associated infrastructure including inverters, collector lines, a perimeter fence, access roads and a substation. A 250-meter transmission line to connect the project to the Hydro One transmission system will also be required. The project study area is approximately 25 acres, with the actual project footprint anticipated to be smaller, as determined by the final project layout. See the reverse page for a preliminary project layout map.
For more information, contact: email@example.com or 403-668-1575.
Coalition Petition on Key Land Use Planning Issues
Please see the submission from the Coalition of Ontario Water Guardians and sign the petition to support its four recommendations on the Province’s latest disaster on land use planning, which seeks to amalgamate the Provincial Policy Statement with A Place to Grow.
This is about more than just the Greenbelt. This proposed policy by the Province will lead to:
The expansion of municipal boundaries into sensitive headwater areas and agricultural lands
Land conversion that will turn natural heritage, agricultural lands, and some currently protected areas into housing and expressways
The petition: https://act.newmode.net/…/ontario-water-guardians-urge…
Its four recommendations are:
1. Given the severe damage to the public trust caused by the Premier’s changing positions on the Greenbelt, we urge the Province to issue a clear vision to protect and indeed expand the Greenbelt;
2. The Province needs to withdraw ERO 019-6813 and retain the existing Provincial Policy Statement;
3. Further consideration on amending the Provincial Policy Statement must include both the required reports of indicators on the performance of the PPS and extensive consultation; and,
4. We support the intent of the Township of Archipelago to ask the Great Lakes and St Lawrence Cities Initiative to express its concerns about the impact of Bill 23 while calling for the reinstatement of many of the environmental protections that were abandoned in the bill.
Petition: Ontario’s Water Security Must Be Better Protected
Please consider signing this petition about preserving our water security in the face of all the massive threats to our environment and waterways from actions by the ON government. Friends of Salmon River is a member of the Coalition of Ontario Water Guardians; we support their great work. If you hit the link to the petition, you’ll see that it will go directly to your MPP. Thank you for your help!
March 21: No-Till Vegetable Gardening – Retire your Rototiller and Cherish your Dirt
Do you want a garden that truly thrives?
Come and learn about “No-Till” on Tuesday, March 21st from 7 to 9 pm at Newburgh Community Hall.
The evening is hosted by the Lennox and Addington Stewardship Council.
Justin Schaude and Molly Touzel of Red School Farmstead along with Andrew Michalski of St. Isidore Farm (both near Yarker) will present this down-to-earth workshop.
Tilling the soil actually results in soil compaction; it disrupts the complex symbiotic relationship that exists between the surface of the soil and the underlying micro-organisms.
“No till” doesn’t mean “No work.” Regular top dressing of an established bed with mulch and compost in layers will enrich the soil matrix and build in resilience without the need of additional fertilizers. Compost and mulch become the gardener’s new allies.
The many advantages of the “no-till” method include saving water, reducing and possibly eliminating the need to weed, retaining carbon in the soil, reducing soil erosion and building up the earthworm population in your garden. All are great reasons to Cherish your Dirt!
February 28: Conserving Land: How To Protect the Land You Love, Forever
Want to know more about how to preserve our precious natural spaces?
Tuesday, February 28 at 7 pm: Join us for an illuminating webinar with our nature conservancies.
Conserving Land: How to protect the land you love, forever
Hosted by Friends of Salmon River together with Friends of Napanee River as part of our Winter Speaker Series.
Please register at https://queensu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ksrsc-AORvWQM9cr64qYYQ and you will receive the Zoom link. There will be phone access, and also the webinar will be recorded.
Habitat protection is essential in Canada’s efforts to put the brakes on biodiversity loss and respond to the climate crisis. Land trusts such as the national Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and the regional Land Conservancy for Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (LC-KFLA) work with private landowners and other conservation-minded partners to protect habitats for the benefit of all species and future generations. This joint presentation will outline the diverse ways that willing landowners can make sure their land remains a place for nature, forever. Mark Stabb (NCC) and Vicki Schmolka (LC-KFLA) will discuss the options for land conservation, tax benefits, Ecological Gifts, and how their organizations can help you permanently protect the land that you love!
Bill 23 Presentation to Stone Mills Council
The repercussions of Bill 23 will be monstrous and destructive to our environment.
On January 16, 2023, Friends of Salmon River and Friends of Napanee River made presentations at the Stone Mills Council meeting to show the impacts of the coming changes and to seek collaboration with our council to find a way forward that will provide some protection for our waterways.
Here is a screen recording of that meeting. The FNR presentation runs from minute 4:10 to 17:00, the FSR presentation runs from minute 17:00 to 27:60, and the discussion on the topic runs from minute 27:60 to 57:12.
(Stone Mills Township is here.)
The outcome of the meeting was very positive. Stone Mills Council agreed unanimously to request that staff report on a model for an Environmental Advisory Committee, hopefully composed of community groups, individuals (with relevant experience), councillors, etc. This will allow collaboration on environmental protection.
FSR plans to give similar presentations to our other municipalities.
Bill 23 will effectively remove the power of Conservation Authorities (CAs) to regulate development that negatively impacts wetlands and waterways. It will prohibit CAs from working with municipalities to provide expert review of planning applications, and limit the CAs’ right to appeal land use planning decisions.
Wetlands: our Provincially Significant Wetlands have had strong provincial protection until now. But with Bill 23 – most existing Provincially Significant Wetlands will be at risk of losing that designation, leaving them potentially open to destruction. (99 PSWs stand to be ‘lost’ in the Quinte Region alone.)
Canadian Environmental Law Foundation (CELA) on Bill 23
Bill 23 has passed,
“Ontarians will remember this day as one when critical environmental protections were undercut. We will live with, and pay for, the predictable consequences of harming our natural heritage, wetlands and farmland under the pretense of affordable housing. Adding insult to injury, input from the public and conservation authorities into land use planning and decisions that affect their communities has been silenced.”– Caroline Schultz, Executive Director of Ontario Nature
Bill 23 Could Reverse Decades of Environmental Protection in Ontario
Friends of the Salmon River is astounded and inflamed over the impacts of Bill 23: the Government of Ontario is proposing sweeping changes to the province’s natural heritage and land use planning legislation. If this bill goes through, we have a great deal to lose. The public will lose their right to be notified of upcoming developments and lose their right to appeal decisions about developments.
Bill 23 will effectively remove the power of Conservation Authorities (CAs) to regulate development that negatively impacts wetlands and waterways. It will prohibit CAs from working with municipalities to provide expert review of planning applications, and limit the CAs’ right to appeal land use planning decisions. Without Conservation Authorities, who will protect people and property from natural hazards? This leaves a huge unguarded gap, especially now, in a time of climate crisis.
The Ontario Wetland Evaluation System will be dismantled. Provincially Significant Wetlands now receive a high level of protection, but under Bill 23, they will be at risk of losing that designation, leaving them open to development and destruction. Similarly, our Wetland Complexes may lose their designation.
The potential development of Wetland Complexes leaves the headwaters of the Salmon River – the Kennebec Wetland Complex, the lifeblood of the Salmon watershed – open to disturbances from which it might never recover. Wetlands reduce flooding, provide filtering (i.e., cleaning) and regulate the flow of rivers. Wetlands are an essential part of our landscape, and their losses could do great harm to our water quality, quantity, and many of the precious species that live here.
To help save our precious land and waterways, make your voices heard.
From Ontario Nature: Send a (pre-written) letter to your MPP.
Shoreline Planting Program Available!
Quinte Conservation is offering a shoreline planting program on an ongoing basis for landowners in the Quinte region, i.e. – the Salmon, Napanee, and Moira river watersheds.
The program includes a free (confidential) site visit, the creation of a customized shoreline-planting plan, and Ontario native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers. The cost will vary with individual needs, such as site size and number of plants.
The program is subsidized and there is funding help available. Friends of Salmon River can contribute some money for landowners in our watershed who would like assistance with the cost of the program. We are eager to see more restored shorelines to help preserve habitat and prevent erosion (and all the essential services that well vegetated shorelines provide). As well as the creatures living in rivers and lakes, there are so many species that feed and breed/raise young in the shoreline zone.
If you are interested, the first step is to apply directly to Quinte using the link above. But if you know of someone interested who is not online, please have them contact: Maya Navrot, Outreach and Stewardship Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
Friends – Please take good care of your shoreline, it is vital to the health of the Salmon watershed.
Learn more with our
Interactive Watershed Map
- Invasive Species Action in the Salmon River Watershed
- Get into a FLAP and help the birds !
- 50 Million Tree Program
- A Bit of Paddling News
- Letters of Support from FSR Members
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