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Summer 2007

Summer 2007

Time to reconsider our baggage by Victoria Foote Tiny water flea takes over Muskoka lakes; species-friendly roadwork; logging with a conscience For three decades, aerial photographer Lou Wise has been snapping his unique photographs of southern Ontario’s waterways by Allan Britnell Ontario’s turtle crisis by Tim Tiner The eastern bluebird is well on the road […]

Escape clause

Escape clause

Why is an ecologically destructive industry like mining exempt from environmental assessments? by Jen Baker In 2009, if all goes according to plan, Ontario will have the dubious distinction of being an exporter of diamonds for the first time in the province’s history. The environmental impacts that will result from the approved DeBeers Canada Victor […]

Ontario Nature celebration

Ontario Nature celebration

Ontario Nature celebrated its 75th anniversary last November 14 at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). Participants were surrounded by displays from the museum’s archival collection of books, photographs and other memorabilia dating back to the early days of Ontario Nature when its members often met on the third floor of the ROM. More than 350 […]

Rural Nature: Fly away home

Rural Nature: Fly away home

Once in steep decline, Ontario’s eastern bluebird is well on the road to recovery thanks to the tireless efforts of dedicated volunteers, researchers and a lot of nest boxes by Moira Farr This will be a special year for Jim Sauer, treasurer of the Ottawa Duck Club and a man devoted to the conservation of […]

Field Trip: Turtles

Field Trip: Turtles

by Tim Tiner In the mid-1990s, Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) biologist Tim Haxton made a disturbing discovery while doing a survey of snapping turtles in the Haliburton area. Nearly one-third of the 279 turtle sightings he tallied were roadkills. He also encountered hostility toward the ponderous reptile. “It is a big issue up there. […]

Land before time

Canoeing shorelines wetlands at Lost Bay Nature Reserve, Frontenac Arch

One of only four UNESCO biosphere reserves in the province, Frontenac Arch is a geological wonder containing islands that were once mountaintops and more rare species than anywhere else in the country. Today, a steadfast coalition of conservation organizations, landowners and others, including Ontario Nature, are trying to save this unusual place by Alec Ross […]

Lessons of the Spanish

Lessons of the Spanish

The storied Spanish River, once a well-used trade route for First Nations peoples, reveals its natural splendours to a summertime paddler – and many other paddlers as well. Lacking sufficient protective measures, this mystical watercourse is in grave danger of being loved to death by C. Dorothy Beevis Half an hour out from our put-in […]

River stories

River stories

Hap Wilson and Kevin Callan recount their trips along six of Ontario’s best river runs for wildlife, unspoiled habitat and breathtaking vistas Ames Creek Ames Creek Valley is in the south-central section of Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Wilderness Park in Temagami. Among Temagami’s 1,300 ancient land and water trails, still referred to by the local Teme Augama […]

The view from up here

The view from up here

by Allan Britnell For three decades aerial photographer Lou Wise has been snapping his unique photographs of southern Ontario’s manipulated, overrun and sometimes buried waterways. Lou Wise first earned his pilot’s wings in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) during the Second World War, and since that time has logged some 3,000 hours of flying […]

Good woods

Good woods

by  Jen Baker and Wendy Francis Sustainable logging need not be an oxymoron. In a very progressive move, the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is requiring that all forestry operations carried out on public lands become certified as sustainable by the end of 2007.

Climate watch

Climate watch

by Douglas Hunter On March 13, 2007, a draft climate change bill was introduced in the British House of Commons that promised to make Britain the first country to set legally binding carbon reduction targets. The bill called for a 60 percent reduction by 2050, with specific targets to be determined every five years.

Land Trust grows bigger

Land Trust grows bigger

by  Jim MacInnis Through a generous donation and Ontario Nature’s initiative, the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust (ORMLT) has added another significant piece of land to its holdings. Senator Nancy Ruth, a dedicated environmentalist, donated some 25 hectares of forested land in north Pickering, which Ontario Nature brought to the land trust’s attention. The land […]

Reading feathers

Reading feathers

by Sharon Oosthoek As any female will tell you, it is important to know your potential mate’s strengths and weaknesses before committing to a relationship. Ornithologists have long thought female birds choose mates on the basis of their bright plumage – which, presumably, is a signal of a healthy male that could produce healthy offspring. […]

Act right

Act right

by Wendy Francis On March 20, Minister of Natural Resources David Ramsay introduced Bill 184, which contains a number of improvements to the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Ontario Nature, along with other members of the Save Ontario’s Species coalition, applauded the government for taking this step toward much needed protection for Ontario’s endangered plants and […]

Tiny invader, big trouble

Tiny invader, big trouble

by Andrea Smith Beneath the surface of many an Ontario lake lurks a tiny organism that is wreaking havoc on our aquatic ecosystems. The spiny water flea (Bythotrephes longimanus) is less than two centimetres long, with a barbed tail over half its length. Originally from Europe, the flea was introduced to the Great Lakes in […]

Finding the right bag

Finding the right bag

Edward Keenan’s commentary and concerns about excess plastic bag usage is right on the mark [“Excess baggage,” Spring 2007, page 46]! I totally agree and have, in my own small way, been an advocate of the “no bag” or “cloth bag” approach to shopping for many years. Like Keenan, I, too, get strange looks or […]

What you told us

What you told us

by Victoria Foote Boy, did we hear from you! ON Nature’s Last Word column in the Spring issue (“Excess baggage,” page 46) by Edward Keenan clearly struck a collective nerve, as you will notice in our In the Mail section. Quite a few readers voiced their enthusiastic support for Keenan’s suggestion that something – perhaps […]