The Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry has charged South Bruce Peninsula for allegedly damaging piping plover habitat last April and issued a stop order against any further town-sanctioned beach maintenance this spring.

Mayor Janice Jackson said the municipality has now called off its plan to cultivate the beach “until further notice” and will fight the charge in court.

“We essentially can’t do anything more than pick up garbage on the beach for an indefinite period of time,” she said Wednesday.

“This could take two to three years to resolve in court. So that stop work order, unless we can get some immediate relief, we will not be maintaining that beach for several years, which will cause insurmountable damage.”

The ministry’s actions are “incredibly frustrating,” she said, because the town has tried for years to hammer out a plan with the MNRF, that is satisfactory to both sides, for maintaining the sandy shoreline. But she said the ministry has refused to come to the table.

 

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By Denis Langlois, Sun Times, Owen Sound