Environmentalists say developing L’Anse-à-Lorme forest threatens plants and wildlife

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Pierrefonds fights development
WATCH ABOVE: A group of environmentalists are trying to stop a massive housing project in Pierrefonds. As Global's Tim Sargeant reports, university researchers have released a report indicating that the project puts a vast ecosystem with hundreds of species at risk – Feb 23, 2016

PIERREFONDS-ROXBORO – University researchers said they fear 270 wildlife and plant species are threatened by the City of Montreal’s plan to develop 185 hectares of the L’Anse-à-Lorme forest in Pierrefonds-West.

A new study by the David Suzuki Foundation in Montreal finds that some of the species at risk will have little room to migrate and escape if the development proceeds.

“Their population is already at risk and will continue to decrease,” Marie-Eve Roy, a researcher with the Université du Québec en Outaouais told Global News.

The city and the borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro are supporting a plan to allow almost 6,500 homes to be built on 185 hectares of land – the equivalent of 345 football fields, or larger than the green spaces of Angell Woods and Meadowbrook combined.

“I think it’s misguided. I think there is no vision being shown here,” David Fletcher, the Green Coalition spokesperson told Global News.

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Many residents in the area fear a massive housing project will forever change what they love about the forest.

“Having a space like that means everything to me. It’s how I manage stress, it’s how I get through my week, it’s how I become more human,” Sue Stacho told Global News.

Stacho, who has resided in Pierrefonds for 24 years, submitted a petition with close to 10,000 signatures denouncing the project.

Borough mayor Jim Beis refused a Global News request for an interview, but wrote in a text message that opponents and supporters of the housing project will have a chance to make their case during public consultation hearings.

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