The rare alvars of Manitoulin are worthy of conservation

To the Expositor:

In response to a letter to the editor arguing against setting aside land to be conserved, many people seem unaware of how unusual the alvar habitat on Manitoulin Island really is. Misery Bay Provincial Nature Reserve and Park west of Evansville is the only provincial park on Manitoulin Island, 7.6 square kilometres, a tiny part of the entire alvar along the 100 kilometres of south shore. It’s a delightful attraction with a beautiful beach and many trails and I hope people will go to experience it for themselves.

The complaint is that municipal tax dollars are lost because development means increased tax bases. This is an example of a bad tax system that is skewed to foster development at the expense of the environment. Instead of fighting against conservation efforts, Manitouliners should be uniting to work with the province and federal government to try to ensure that municipalities receive financial assistance for preserving our environment, for the sake of the tourism industry, for species at risk who need unspoiled habitat to survive, and for future generations. I wish we had more unspoiled places like our one little provincial park. The famous Algonquin Park is 1000 times its size.

Jan McQuay
Mindemoya