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Friends of the UNB Woodlot - Presentation to the Public Safety & Environment Committee, City of Fredericton (Sept. 06, 2011)
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Friends of the UNB Woodlot - Presentation to the Public Safety & Environment Committee, City of Fredericton (Sept. 06, 2011)

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Friends of the UNB Woodlot made a presentation to the Public Safety and Environment Committee earlier this week (see link below to the Daily Gleaner article). …

Friends of the UNB Woodlot made a presentation to the Public Safety and Environment Committee earlier this week (see link below to the Daily Gleaner article).

Mayor Brad Woodside had requested a presentation from the Provincial Environment Department but they failed to appear. The Committee claimed that they did not have sufficient information to pass on any resolution to City Council. Also, the Committee did not pass any resolution on how to move forward with this issue.


http://dailygleaner.canadaeast.com/cityregion/article/1438279
CITY SEEKS INFORMATION ABOUt HYDROFRACTURING
The Daily Gleaner
Thursday September 8th, 2011
A4
By HEATHER MCLAUGHLIN


The UNB Woodlot represents a microcosm of several key environmental issues facing our city and also has been a real litmus test of the environmental protection policies in our province.


Our group's concern with shale gas development highlights the need for more protection of forested wetlands and groundwater sources like the UNB Woodlot:


(1) aquifer mapping and our understanding of groundwater flow systems in New Brunswick is very limited;

(2) weak wetland protection policies throughout the province of New Brunswick;

(3) no province-wide, watershed-based source protection of our drinking water;



(4) fracking will require the removal of 100s millions of gallons of fresh water from our natural water cycle;



(5) fracking will widen natural fractures and create new fractures in, and between, shallow and deep aquifers; and


(6) release of radioactive fracking sand and toxic fracking water into deep underground drilling wells.


Note: The shale gas exploration license covers a 10-kilometre radius around Fredericton, and includes the UNB Woodlot and most other areas of the City of Fredericton and surrounding communities. This license allows for fracking and production well testing.



MAP - Oil and Natural Gas Licenses/Leases, New Brunswick

N.B. Department of Natural Resources

http://www.gnb.ca/0078/Promo/NaturalGas/ObtainingOilGasRights-e.asp

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  • 1. Ban Shale Gas Development in the UNB Woodlot and all of Fredericton September 06, 2011 Friends of the UNB Woodlot Presentation to Public Safety & Environment Committee, City of Fredericton
  • 2. My  name  is  Mark  D’Arcy  and  I  am  with  the  group  Friends  of  the  UNB  Woodlot.    We  appreciate  this  opportunity  to  make  a  presentation  to  the  Public  Safety  and  Environment  Committee.    We  have  been  active  on  the  University  of  New  Brunswick  Woodlot  issue  since  2007.    The  UNB  Woodlot  represents  a  microcosm  of  several  key  environmental  issues  facing  our  city  and  also  has  been  a  real  litmus  test  of  the  environmental  protection  policies  in  our  province.      
  • 3. Presentation Outline1. Our commitment to preserve sensitiveenvironments2. Our drinking water is unprotected from shale gasdevelopment3. Obligations to the public4. Watershed-based source water protection5. Recommendations
  • 4. 1. Commitment to Preserve:Green Matters and City Munipical Plan
  • 5. Fredericton strives to be a Green city...City Hall has challenged Frederictonians to educatethemselves & to be proactive: “Do your research, educate yourself on the issues surroundingclimate change, global warming, pollution, and sustainability” (Green Matters website)
  • 6. The  language  in  Fredericton’s  Municipal  Plan  clearly  states  that  environmentally  signiKicant  areas  are  to  be  protected  and  that  land  uses  have  minimal  impacts  on  them.    Fredericton  City  “Council  shall  endeavour  to  protect  land  within  environmentally  signi7icant  areas  through  appropriate  zoning  mechanisms.”And  the  language  in  the  section  of  the  Municipal  Plan  speciKic  to  the  UNB  Woodlot  gives  the  following  direction:  to  preserve  these  sensitive  ecological  areas;  to  select  “land  uses  that  support  local  and  regional  needs”;  to  “enhance  community  vitality  and  well-­being”;  and  to  “increase  UNB’s  pro7ile  as  an  environmental  steward  and  community  leader”.    
  • 7. City of Fredericton Municipal Plan Technical Background Report (December 1989)  the  that  “should  be  protected  And  certainly  any  action  we  take  to  protect  our  drinking  water  will  also  have “Parks and woodland areas such as: Odell Park;UNB Woodlot; and Killarney Lake region. All of theseenvironmentally sensitive areas, whether they are officiallydesignated or not, should be protected and enhanced. Thismeans that they should be recognized on the future land useplan and those that are not already zoned in an appropriatecategory which would offer protection should be zoned toensure their protection.”Flanagan, Frank (1989). Environment, Report No. 11. City of Fredericton Capital City Municipal Plan Technical Background Report. Prepared by Fiander- Good Associates Ltd. for the City of Fredericton Planning & Development Department. December 1989, page xii)
  • 8. City of Fredericton Municipal PlanEnvironmentally Significant Areas4) Council shall endeavor to protect and limit development in all environmentally(significant areas, including: (a) River and stream banks; (b) Areas with flooding risk; (c) Areas with significant development constraints; (d) Significant natural habitat; (e) Other areas of open space value; (f) Wetlands.(5) Council shall endeavor to ensure that land uses within and abutting designatedopen spaces and other environmentally significant areas are compatible with andhave minimal impacts on the natural environment.(6) Council shall endeavor to protect land within environmentally significant areas: (a) Through appropriate zoning mechanisms; (b) As a condition of approval for development agreements; http://www.fredericton.ca/en/citygovernment/resources/Section2.11Environment.pdf
  • 9. City of Fredericton Municipal Plan3.9 THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW BRUNSWICK WOODLOT Guiding Principles It shall be the policy of Council to adopt guiding principles generally summarized as follows: (1) The UNB Woodlot contains sensitive ecological areas that should be preserved in perpetuity. (2) Areas identified for potential development should be used for sustainable development that includes: (a) Careful identification of appropriate mixed land uses; (b) Best practices for waste management; (c) Best practices for storm water management; (d) Land uses that support local and regional needs; (e) Transit-supportive land use; (f) Emphasis on building design and site planning. (3) Uses of the UNB Woodlot should serve to: (a) Enhance community vitality and well-being; (b) Generate long term revenues in support of the University’s mission; (c) Leverage additional forest land holdings for research, education and endowment purposes; (d) Increase UNB’s profile as an environmental steward and community leader; (e) Demonstrate UNB’s commitment to excellence in development and management.
  • 10. Here  is  a  map  of  the  UNB  Woodlot  in  relation  to  the  southside  of  Fredericton.  The  UNB  Woodlot  is  a  concentration  of  forested  wetlands  at  the  top  of  the  hill  behind  the  Hugh  John  Fleming  Forestry  Complex.    At  3800  acres,  it  is  equal  in  size  to  southside  Fredericton  and  Lincoln  in  the  valley  below.  The  reason  that  these  wet  forests  are  here  is  that  the  UNB  Woodlot  area  represents  very  high  groundwater  levels,  often  just  below  the  surface.      This  groundwater  contributes  to  the  recharge  of  both  the  Fredericton  and  New  Maryland  aquifers.  
  • 11. And  the  Department  of  Natural  Resources  map  showing  shale  gas  test  drilling  licenses  speaks  for  itself.    These  licenses  cover  a  10-­kilometre  radius  around  Fredericton,  and  includes  the  UNB  Woodlot  and  most  other  areas  of  the  City  of  Fredericton  and  surrounding  communities.  
  • 12. UNBWoodlot http://www.gnb.ca/0078/Promo/NaturalGas/ObtainingOilGasRights-e.asp
  • 13. Just  think  about  what  this  map  represents:      ➡  “Exploration”  licenses  cover  seismic  testing,  hydraulic  fracturing  (“fracking”),  and  production  well  testing;    ➡  Well  pads  can  be  requested  inside  the  city  limits;➡  Well  pads  can  be  located  outside  the  city  limits,  and  then  drill  horizontally  up  to  1  kilometre  or  more  inside  our  municipal  boundaries;  and➡  Even  with  drilling  outside  the  city  limits,  industry  &  government  studies  show  that  hydraulic  fracturing  create  fractures  that  can  spread  up  to  2,500  feet  underground,  and  can  open  up  natural,  pre-­‐existing  fractures  in  the  bedrock.      
  • 14. 2. Drinking Water is Unprotected from Shale Gas Dev’p: Risks, Environmental Protection Policies, and Aquifer Mapping
  • 15. The  public  in  Fredericton  and  New  Brunswick  is  becoming  very  well-­‐informed  on  the  dangers  of  shale  gas  development.    And  we  know  that  the  geology  in  New  Brunswick  is  such  that  shale  gas  is  found  in  very  hard  bedrock.    This  is  similar  to  the  situation  found  in  Pennsylvannia,  where  hydraulic  fracturing  of  the  bedrock  requires  millions  of  gallons  of  water  and  toxic  chemicals  to  be  pumped  into  each  well  at  pressures  reaching  15,  000  psi  –  this  is  the  equivalent  of  large  bombs  going  off  in  our  bedrock.    
  • 16. The public is well-informed about the environmental and economic costs of shale gas dev’p - whistleblower employees for US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - New York Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) - New York Riverkeepers - Council of Canadians - Dr. Anthony Ingraffea (Cornell University) - a "father of hydraulic fracturing" - Propublica - Pembina Institute and The David Suzuki Foundation - Dr. Jannette Barth (former Chief Economist, New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority)
  • 17. And  do  we  want  to  risk  the  migration  of  natural  gas  and  fracking  =luids  into  aquifers  by  the  fracking  of  our  bedrock?  Industry  and  government  studies  show  that  hydraulic  fracturing  create  fractures  that  can  spread  up  to  2,500  feet  underground,  and  that  hydraulic  fracturing  can  also  open  up  natural,  pre-­‐existing  fractures  in  the  bedrock.  
  • 18. #1 Widen NaturalFractures #2 Create NewFractures Option G@Treehugger.com
  • 19. Early  evaluation  of  the  chemicals  in  fracking  Kluids  is  cause  for  great  concern.    More  than  a  third  of  the  chemicals  are  associated  with  cancer,  endocrine  disruption,    reproductive  disorders,  and  genetic  disruptions.    And  more  than  half  of  the  chemicals  are  associated  with  immune  suppression.    THIS  REPRESENTS  EFFECTS  ON  EVERY  ORGAN  SYSTEM  IN  THE  HUMAN  BODY.    And  this  is  only  the  small  percentage  of  the  chemicals  that  have  been  identiKied.    
  • 20. 54 chemicals in fracking fluids:- 33% are associated with cancer- 41% with endocrine disruption- 34% with reproductive disorders- 58% with immune suppression- 43% have been associated with genetic disruptionsAnd this is only the small percentage of the chemicalsthat have been identified. (Dec. 2009, Department of Environmental Protection for New York City ) http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/press_releases/09-15pr.shtml
  • 21. The  before  and  after  wetlands  prediction  map  used  by  the  Department  of  Environment  is  also  very  troubling.    Since  March  16th  of  this  year,  more  than  half  of  our  wetlands  in  New  Brunswick  are  now  completely  unprotected  from  shale  gas  development.    Wetland  alteration  permits  and  environmental  impact  assessments  (EIAs)  are  no  longer  required  for  wetlands  that  do  not  appear  on  this  present  map.      
  • 22. Systematic Dismantling of our Environmental Protection Policies in N.B. March  16,  2011  -­‐    “New”  wetlands  map  and  policy   was  introduced,  effectively  practicing  that  more   than  60%  of  the  wetlands  in  this  Province  do  not   exist,  breaking  the  provinces  own  regulations  on   wetlands  protection.  All  wetlands  not  shown  on  the   map  can  now  be  destroyed  without  a  Watercourse   and  Wetland  Alteration  (WAWA)  permit. before March 16, 2011after March 16, 2011
  • 23. Systematic Dismantling of our Environmental Protection Policies in N.B. March  16,  2011  -­‐    “New”  wetlands  map  and  policy   was  introduced,  effectively  practicing  that  more   than  60%  of  the  wetlands  in  this  Province  do  not   exist,  breaking  the  provinces  own  regulations  on   wetlands  protection.  All  wetlands  not  shown  on  the   map  can  now  be  destroyed  without  a  Watercourse   and  Wetland  Alteration  (WAWA)  permit. before March 16, 2011 March  16,  2011  -­‐  Environmental  Impact   Assessments  (EIAs)  not  triggered  for  development   projects  that  involve  wetlands  (larger  than  two   hectares  in  size)  that  no  longer  exist  on  the  wetland   map;after March 16, 2011
  • 24. And  we  have  just  learned  that  as  of  July  13th  of  this  year,  the  water  classi=ication  program  has  been  shelved  after  a  decade  of  work  by  19  watershed  groups  around  the  province.    This  would  have  provided  the  regulatory  framework  for  watershed  protection  here  in  New  Brunswick.    
  • 25. Systematic Dismantling of our Environmental Protection Policies in N.B. March  16,  2011  -­‐    “New”  wetlands  map  and  policy   was  introduced,  effectively  practicing  that  more   than  60%  of  the  wetlands  in  this  Province  do  not   exist,  breaking  the  provinces  own  regulations  on   wetlands  protection.  All  wetlands  not  shown  on  the   map  can  now  be  destroyed  without  a  Watercourse   and  Wetland  Alteration  (WAWA)  permit. before March 16, 2011 March  16,  2011  -­‐  Environmental  Impact   Assessments  (EIAs)  not  triggered  for  development   projects  that  involve  wetlands  (larger  than  two   hectares  in  size)  that  no  longer  exist  on  the  wetland   map; July  13,  2011  -­‐  19  watershed  groups  notiKied  that   their  ongoing  project  work  to  develop  a  Water   Classi=ication  Program  was  dropped  because  the   regulations  would  be  too  difKicult  to  enforce.  This   would  have  provided  the  framework  for  a   watershed  protection  regulatory  framework  here  in  after March 16, 2011 New  Brunswick.
  • 26. Current environmental policies and aquifer mappingcan’t protect our drinking water from shale gas dev’p: - removal of 100s millions of gallons of fresh water from our natural water cycle - fracking will widen natural fractures and create new fractures in, and between, shallow and deep aquifers - release of radioactive fracking sand and toxic fracking water into deep underground drilling wells - weak wetland protection policies throughout the province of New Brunswick - no province-wide, watershed-based source protection of our drinking water.
  • 27. 3. Obligations to the Public: Public health and safety
  • 28. Fundamental obligations to protect public health and safety- duty to protect citizens from unnecessary &easily avoidable health risks- duty to protect waterways, groundwater fromcontamination- duty to preserve & restore forested wetlands toprotect our properties from climate change
  • 29. And  on  the  last  point,  I  want  to  stress  the  fact  that  the  value  of  sensitive  ecological  areas  like  the  UNB  Woodlot  can  not  be  replaced.          
  • 30. Forested Wetlands:Insurance in the face of climate change....
  • 31. Urban forested wetlands are well worth preserving: - They act as giant sponges. 1 acre of wetland can hold 1.0-1.5 million gallons of floodwater = tremendous rainfall capture and storage capacity. - At present, 20% of our municipal taxes go to stormwater and sewer infrastructure here in the City of Fredericton. - The 21st-century Best Management Practices (BMPs) for stormwater and urban drainage is to keep the rainwater where it falls and allow it to drain away slowly. - Our governments have an obligation not to pay for inferior solutions when nature provides a priceless solution for free.  
  • 32. Local  climate  models  by  Environment  Canada  highlight  the  future  climate  change  that  is  now  coming  upon  us  here  in  New  Brunswick.    It  is  important  to  understand    that  storms  like  Hurricane  Irene,  and  the  December  2010  rains  that  caused  the  catastrophic  Klooding  in  Charlotte  County,  are  not  caused  by  climate  change  but  are  made  more  intense  by  climate  change.    This  is  due  to  the  warmer  ocean  temperatures,  and  the  4-­‐5%  more  water  vapour  we  now  have  in  our  atmosphere.    
  • 33. Climate Models for Fredericton & New Brunswick: - predict major changes this century: +++severe rain events with climate change - a 30% increase in winter precipitation - more winter runoff (2X) - significant increase in freeze-thaw cycles (in winter) - lower summer/fall runoff (1/2) - 3.1 to 5.9 *C increase in mean winter temperature - 2.4 to 5.1 *C increase in mean spring temperature From: Environment Canada Rain-saturated soil provided the perfect conditions for the great spring flood of 1973 in New Brunswick.
  • 34. And  this  is  the  reality  of  a  huge  rain  event.    It  is  unimaginable  how  much  rain  can  fall  in  these  severe  storms.    Where  will  this  rain  water  go  without  these  intact  natural  forests  and  wetlands?      
  • 35. A Severe Rain Event of 8 inches: Amount to fall just on the UNB Woodlot (3800 acres) = ca. 860,000,000 gallons = fills 1,562 Olympic swimming pools or = enough water to cover 1 square mile to a height of 1.3 metres (ca. 50 inches) or= 13 inches of new snow melts down to 1 inch of water. So the equivalent of 8 inches of rain is a snowstorm of 2.64 metres (8.67 feet)
  • 36. Why  should  taxpayers  be  forced  to  pay  much  more  for  pipes  and  retention  ponds  that  will  fail  anyway  in  severe  rain  events?  In  order  to  make  our  cities  more  resilient,  we  must  protect  forested  wetlands  and  large  buffer  zones  around  our  watercourses.      These  key  catchment  areas  for  rainwater  take  on  a  very  signiKicant  role  in  buffering  the  volume  and  speed  of  stormwater  runoff  over  our  cities.    
  • 37. 4. Watershed-based source water protection:The protection of our drinking water based onwatershed boundaries, not municipal boundaries.
  • 38. A watershed is a geographic area where surfacewater from rain and snowmelt, streams, and riversflow into a common body of water. A portion of thissurface water seeps into the ground and enters thegroundwater system.Larch Swale is an example of one of the headwatersof a watershed in the UNB Woodlot.
  • 39. Ducks Unlimited Larch Swale in UNB Woodlot, Fredericton
  • 40. The 3800 acres of forested wetlands in the UNBWoodlot comprise 4 major catchment areas forrainwater (Corbett Brook, Phyllis Creek, GardenCreek, and Baker Brook watersheds), and is equal tothe size of the south side of Fredericton and Lincolnin the valley below.We  can’t  afford  to  alter  more  of  our  watersheds.  Because  several  streams  have  been  piped  underground  on  the  southside  Fredericton  hill,  rain  water  rushing  down  Smythe  Street  is  now  a  de  facto  part  of  our  stormwater  infrastructure.    
  • 41. Garden CreekBaker Brook Phyllis Creek Corbett Brook From: James Bornemann & FAWA
  • 42. Source  water  protection  should  be  trying  to  understand  the  groundwater  Klow  system.    This  would  require  3  major  monitoring  programs:(1)    De=ine  the  aquifers,  including  both  shallow  and  deep  aquifers.    Right  now  our  mapping  is  incomplete.    Any  systematic  program  would  need  to  ACCESS,  MAP,  and  MONITOR  these  aquifers.(2)  Characterize  the  interaction  between  groundwater  and  surface  water.    We  need  active,  monitored  stream  gauges  that  show  what  happen  at  the  surface.    This  is  because  the  water  Klowing  over  the  surface  has  a  direct  effect  on  how  near-­‐surface  and  deeper  aquifers  recharge  over  time.  (3)  and  model  long-­term  effects.  Unfortunately  in  New  Brunswick  we  do  not  have  aquifer  mapping  that  shows  the  extent  of  our  aquifers.    In  a  municipality  like  Fredericton,  we  know  the  smaller  25-­‐year  recharge  area  that  is  deKined  as  the  WellKield  Protection  Area.    For  most  aquifers  in  this  province,  there  is  no  mapping  data.    
  • 43. What is watershed-based source water protection? Watershed-based source water protection includes the protection of lakes, streams, rivers, and groundwater. This holistic approach also involves the protection of sensitive lands such as wetlands, flood plains, and valley lands. The goal is to achieve a multi-barrier approach to the protection of drinking water, so source water protection is combined with the protection of water distribution systems, and water/wastewater treatment plants. This was implemented in the Province of Ontario after the Walkerton tragedy. There are 36 conservation authorities in the Province of Ontario that are organized according to watershed boundaries, not municipal boundaries. All other parties work with the conservation authority to produce locally developed watershed-based source protection plans. The Province of Ontario recommended that a high priority be placed on the participation of First Nations in source protection planning. When the local plans are developed and approved by the community, they must be respected by the Province.
  • 44. Watershed-­based  source  water  protection  was  put  in  place  in  Ontario  in  response  to  the  Walkerton  tragedy.      While  not  perfect,  Ontario  has  certainly  increased  their  mapping  and  monitoring  of  drinking  water  sources.    
  • 45. Water Guardians Network, August 2009
  • 46. How  can  you  safely  allow  exploration  testing  and  drilling  to  take  place  if  you  don’t  have  accurate  aquifer/ground  water  mapping?      The  Province  of  New  Brunswick  is  a  long  way  off  from  having  baseline  data  on  our  drinking  water  sources.      Until  we  have  a  fundamental  working  knowledge  of  the  extent  of  our  aquifers,  and  our  groundwater  Klow  system,  we  should  have  a  ban  on  shale  gas  development.    It  would  be  negligent  to  allow  huge  withdrawals  of  water,  together  with  hydraulic  fracturing  of  our  underground  geology,  without  this  information.
  • 47. 5. Recommendations:Shale Gas Dev’p Ban in the UNB Woodlot and City; Resolution to UMNB and Province; Source Water Protection.
  • 48. City councillors have a golden opportunity to: - uphold the environmental protection goals in the Municipal Plan - underline the critical importance of the Green Matters campaign - protect citizens from unnecessary & easily avoidable risk
  • 49. Recommendations:To move this forward and allow our group to makea presentation and ask City Council:(1) to ban high-impact industrial land use, including shalegas development, from the Fredericton city limits;
  • 50. Cities in New Brunswick have the power to regulate theirown zoning by-law. Each city have their own unique landuse controls, which makes sense when you consider thatcities actually look different from one another. TheProvince of New Brunswick does not take a cookie-cutterapproach to controlling land use. My own house is in aresidential block zoned TP-3A, a zone unique toFredericton and not found elsewhere in New Brunswick.Fredericton updated its own Municipal Plan in 2007 andthis plan was approved by the Province. Under theCommunity Planning Act, our city has the autonomy tomake their plan work using various land use instruments.In addition to the Zoning By-law, Fredericton has controlover its subdivision by-law, building by-law, deferredwidening by-law, & controlled access street by-law.
  • 51. Recommendations:To move this forward and allow our group to makea presentation and ask City Council:(1) to ban high-impact industrial land use, including shalegas development, from the Fredericton city limits;(2) to adopt resolution asking the Union of theMunicipalities of New Brunswick (UMNB), and theProvincial Government, to ban shale gas developmentfrom the province; and
  • 52. Recommendations:To move this forward and allow our group to makea presentation and ask City Council:(1) to ban high-impact industrial land use, including shalegas development, from the Fredericton city limits;(2) to adopt resolution asking the Union of theMunicipalities of New Brunswick (UMNB), and theProvincial Government, to ban shale gas developmentfrom the province; and(3) to adopt resolution asking the Provincial Governmentto implement watershed-based source protection for ourdrinking water throughout the province.
  • 53. And  certainly  any  action  we  take  to  protect  our  drinking  water  will  also  have  the  added  advantage  of  making  our  cities  more  resilient  against  climate  change.I  would  ask  that  our  group  be  allowed  to  make  a  presentation  to  City  Council  at  their  next  meeting.    This  is  an  important  issue  that  needs  to  be  brought  forward  for  their  consideration.
  • 54. Magaguadavic Lake, NB - 6+ inches of rain (December 2010)Vermont - 7 inches of rain (IRENE, August 2011) North Carolina - 15 inches of rain
  • 55. Friends of the UNB Woodlot unbwoodlot.org Brochures & Form Letters: http://www.slideshare.net/friendsoftheunbwoodlot (or simply Google ‘slideshare’ ‘unb woodlot’) Contact Information:E-mail:  friendsoftheUNBwoodlot@gmail.comFacebook: "I dont want the UNB woodlot turned into Big-Box Strip Malls" YouTube:  search for "UNB Woodlot"Website:  www.smartgrowthUNB.caWebsite maintained by Fredericton Chapter of Conservation Council:  www.unbwoodlot.org

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