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Hunting Concerns In Southwest Ontario

Hunting across the region could take a hit this fall if a major wind farm company gets its way.

Engie, which operates four wind farms in the Chatham-Kent-Essex region, has sent letters to property owners near their turbines to ban hunting due to vandalism and safety concerns.

MPP for Chatham-Kent-Essex Rick Nicholls says they don't know who is responsible for vandalizing the turbines.

"I'm all for community safety but these are responsible hunters," says Nicholls. "Vandals should be charged and they should be penalized , don't penalize the hunters and the fishermen."

Nicholls says banning hunting poses as a major economic concern.

"It's a huge revenue hit if in fact they're [Engie] allowed to do this," says Nicholls.

He adds, it's also concerning that this may have a ripple effect if other turbine companies decide to take the same approach.

Nicholls has made a plea to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry to stand up for hunters. He says if property owners don't want hunters on their land that's their right, but it should be their decision not Engie's.

A total ban could also have a direct impact on the number of coyotes in the area.

"All of a sudden if they're unable to hunt then of course the coyotes will be able to run at large and be able to multiply," says Nicholls. "That causes issues on farms and what not."

Nicholls has yet to hear back from the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Blackburn News has reached out to Engie for a response, but has not been able to get a hold of them at the time of this publication.

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