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We wish to raise concerns regarding two situations that have recently come to our attention:
1. Clearcutting of provincial woodlands in Dromore, supposedly done to enhance wildlife. Some consultation with naturalists could have prevented this mistake. It is difficult to justify cutting trees to enhance forest edge species while removing habitat for nesting forest species, and all the other wildlife that needs forest habitat. Given the need to protect and enhance the natural forest carbon sinks, as a critical part of the solutions to our global and local climate crisis emergency, our government must use other ways to enhance wildlife. Instead of cutting healthy forests, we must protect trees and plant many more of them, as promoted in the P.E.I. government’s Climate Change (CC) policy Carbon Capture Tree Planting Program (CCTPP). A recent article in Science magazine outlines how “The restoration of trees remains among the most effective strategies for climate change mitigation.”(https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6448/76).
The CCTP Program should be expanded immediately to P.E.I. municipalities where appropriate tree planting can also, through evapotranspiration and blocking sunlight, drastically reduce air conditioning load and the heat island effect. (see https://www.popsci. com/shade-city-streets-treescooling/)
2. The P.E.I. government is planning to continue wasting CC action funds by continuing the counterproductive allocation of $3.5 million to rebate fees for driver’s licences, as stated in the proposed provincial budget. Instead of encouraging people to drive cars, that money should be allocated to improving public transportation. We hope our new Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Change will quickly correct these mistakes.
Tony Reddin and Marion Copleston,