September 25, 2023

La Ronge Northerner

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Boise Du Tremblay |  A non-unanimous ice warehouse

Boise Du Tremblay | A non-unanimous ice warehouse

Located next to the Du Tremblay forest in Longueuil, the ice storage is only used in winter, but its environmental effects are felt all year round. Citizens and pressure groups are urging the city to find solutions to protect waterways and wildlife that live in woodlands, especially the chorus frog. On the part of the city, we promise that developments will come in the coming months.

“I consider it absurd that a city like Longueuil wants to build a wildlife refuge in the Du Tremblay forest, while at the same time a mountain of poison flows next to it. »

Wildlife photographer Patrick Bourgeois is a regular at the Forest du Tremblay, the largest natural park in Languedoc at 267 hectares. He has photographed the tree frog there many times and cannot imagine such damage to such a fragile ecosystem.

All the amphibians left the forest. Really sad.

Patrick Bourgeois, wildlife photographer

However, the city of Longueuil confirms that the chorus frog is still present in the Du Tremblay Forest and continues to be heard, although the number of individuals has decreased.

Ciel et Terre’s director of security, Tommy Montpetit, has long made the same observation. As the ice melts, wastewater discharge pollutes the mass stream and threatens the disappearance of many species’ habitats. Very few animals are found in the wild today.

” [Les milieux humides] The dump cannot withstand the force of the current when it melts,” explains Tommy Montpetit, who believes that moving the dump will only move the problem. “We see holes forming [la dalle de béton] It has dirty snow. This is absolutely ridiculous! The water flows directly into the mass stream. Therefore, the litter should be kept where it belongs, but by blocking the holes. »

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“The forest has been polluted since 2008,” says the expert. Can we clean it up? Life does [animale] Will it continue again? These are important questions that need answers. »

Alain Branchaud is the Director General of the Canadian Parks and Wildlife Association, Quebec Section. In addition to the chorus frog, his organization maintains that fish are also threatened by runoff in the Du Tremblay Forest. He condemns the poor management of this aspect in Longueuil town.

“It’s a file where routine inspections should be,” he said. He wants the environment ministry to issue permits to the city and monitor the quality of the water, which is home to various endangered species, such as horned mullet or mud ash.

Immediate developments

The city of Longueuil knows the proximity between the ice depot and the wooded area is problematic. Louis-Pascal Cyr, director of strategic consulting and spokesman for the city of Longueuil, explains that the city’s aim is to make the site as clean as possible, first by limiting the amount of salt added during the winter. However, there is a more important step to be taken.

“Initially, the goal is to enlarge the settling basin, which will increase sediment capture,” says Mr. Sire. Ultimately, we want to ensure that water is diverted towards the sewer network. »

The expansion of the basin should be completed by the winter of 2024, when irrigation is at its peak. Langueil is already in discussions with the Quebec Ministry of the Environment for field work to begin in the summer and fall of 2024.

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“We asked our committees to review the entire project while respecting wildlife,” said Boise-Du Tremblay Municipal Councilor Lysa Bélaïcha. It respects necessary criteria, including a reduction in the width of Béliveau Boulevard and a ban on real estate development in the Du Tremblay Forest. » He says he wants to monitor the impacts and environmental effects of snowfall over the long term.

Lysa Bélaïcha adds that the city of Longueuil has promoted the conservation of the chorus frog habitat by adding ponds to the Du Tremblay Forest, and that runoff from snow deposits will not affect these ponds. According to Tommy Montpetit, if the city is serious about its desire to protect this ecosystem, it must protect this species’ habitat at all costs during fieldwork. “Our guidelines for protecting natural environments in the territory are clear,” the municipal councilor assures.

“What was a simple problem, basically, it’s now become a big problem,” Mr. Montpetit concludes.