Appleton Wetlands ground view showing dying and dead trees
Appleton Wetlands ground view showing dying and dead trees

August 29, 2014

To the Council of the Town of Mississippi Mills

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I was amazed to see the letter from the previous Minister of Natural Resources, David Orazietti, published in the Carleton Place Almonte Canadian Gazette yesterday. Apparently, it was provided to the Gazette by Councillor Denzil Ferguson, to clarify the water level question.

It certainly DOES clarify it to me, and so I am very grateful to the councillor.

You see, I had been quite puzzled as to how the MNR had concluded that the change in the weir height had not caused a wetland to begin to die. Apparently, they concluded it by saying that the weir height had not been changed:

“The Ministry of Natural Resources has also located photographic evidence from 2001 that shows flashboards in essentially the same configuration/height as the present day.

The information gathered to date does not support that conclusion that there has been a significant change in the use of flashboards and, therefore, high water did not cause the dieback.”

This exactly corroborates my information from Brian Gallagher, who informed me (and will tell anyone who will only ask him) that the weir boards were increased when Mike Dupuis upgraded his generating capabilities to today’s levels. That was between 1997 and 2000. It took a few years for the field naturalists to notice the die-off. Wetlands can survive a couple of years of high waters before they begin to suffer. By the time the field naturalists were raising the alarm, the Mississippi River Water Management Plan was virtually complete – and the water levels that Mr. Dupuis wanted were reflected in the plan!

Seriously folks, a mistake has been made, and we really do need to rectify it!


Maureen Dagg

Here is the link to the article in the Gazette: