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On guard for the moraine

On guard for the moraine

By Caroline Schultz Formed 11, 000 years ago by retreating glaciers, and stretching 160 kilometres end to end, the Oak Ridges Moraine is one of southern Ontario’s most distinctive physical features. Before European settlement, the moraine’s rolling hills were blanketed by forests and punctuated by kettle lakes and streams. Expanses of tallgrass prairie and savannah […]

What good is nature?

What good is nature?

More than 100 children told us the answer in Ontario Nature’s first writing contest for kids ESSAY CONTEST INTRODUCTION By Caroline Schultz When I was a child, our summers on Ireland’s Atlantic coast were endless days of exploring and rock-pooling. We netted crabs, shrimps and fish and stored them in bucket-sized habitats of seaweed, stones […]

Winning the war on invasives

Winning the war on invasives

By Caroline Schultz With spring just around the corner, the gardeners among us are already browsing through seed and plant catalogues, daydreaming about our planting plans for when the ground thaws. There are always spaces to fill, things to move around and new ideas to try out. When it comes to plant choices, I, like […]

Why we must protect Malcolm Bluff Shores

Why we must protect Malcolm Bluff Shores

By Caroline Schultz Those of you who work so diligently to defend this province’s rich natural heritage will understand that the acquisition over the next two years of a 423-hectare swath of the Bruce Peninsula known as Malcolm Bluff Shores is a very big deal. How big? Consider this: For an average hiker, it would […]

How much for that ecosystem?

How much for that ecosystem?

By Caroline Schultz How much does a boreal forest cost? What about the entire boreal region? Naturalists tend to argue that we shouldn’t put a price tag on biodiversity, because the value of nature, broadly defined, cannot be reduced to dollars and cents. But decision makers are increasingly fixated on the financial impact of their […]

The diversity of life

The diversity of life

By Caroline Schultz Hurray for polar bears! Hurray for old-growth forests! Hurray for beaver ponds! And yes, hurray even for the elegant stinkhorn (a fungus) and the flooded jellyskin (a threatened lichen). This year is the United Nations (UN) International Year of Biodiversity. Eighteen years after 150 nations signed the International Convention on Biological Diversity […]

The big picture

The big picture

By Caroline Schultz This issue of ON Nature is focused on climate change against the backdrop of the December 2009 conference in Copenhagen on worldwide strategies to combat global warming. So it’s an opportune time to consider what Ontario Nature is doing to address this vast issue in our own backyard. Individuals and organizations have […]

Local matters

Local matters

Conservation efforts at home really do help save the world by Caroline Schultz With every passing year, the environmental maxim “Think globally, act locally” takes on added meaning. This phrase has empowered us to take action on many environmental issues, such as banning toxic chemicals like PCBs and DDT, knowing that community efforts can yield […]

New ideas on old growth

New ideas on old growth

by Caroline Schultz It has been more than a decade since old-growth forest conservation took centre stage as a critical conservation issue in Ontario. But it is essential that we look again at why old-growth conservation is an imperative. The challenges of protecting endangered species, such as threatened woodland caribou, and conserving biodiversity are as […]

Battling the bureaucracy

Battling the bureaucracy

by Caroline Schultz The lush Ogoki Forest encompasses 10,876 square kilometres of boreal forest in northwestern Ontario and provides superb habitat for woodland caribou, a species at risk that depends on this region for its survival. As Conor Mihell notes in his excellent article (“Why we can’t save this forest”) examining the opaque and, at […]

Teach our children well

Teach our children well

by Caroline Schultz Outdoor education is a particular area of concern to Ontario Nature. Severe cutbacks in the 1990s closed outdoor education centres and reduced outdoor education in Ontario schools to the point where today’s students have minimal hands-on outdoor learning opportunities.

Great beginnings

Great beginnings

by Caroline Schultz The business of conservation requires perseverance and endurance. Our goals are mostly long-term and can take years to achieve. Usually the conservation community needs to be satisfied with short-term gains that are baby steps toward what we hope will be a greener and more sustainable future. So Premier Dalton McGuinty’s July 14 […]

In House

In House

Nature’s economy by Caroline Schultz As a billion birds are winging their way northward, many of us are feeling the tug of migration hot spots such as Point Pelee, Long Point, the Leslie Street Spit, the tip of the Bruce Peninsula, Thunder Cape and Prince Edward Point, and of green stop-offs – local woodlands, wetlands […]

This issue

This issue

The decline of biodiversity by Caroline Schultz For wildlife, it is triage, pure and simple. When a scientific body declares that a species is “endangered,” the label alerts society and inspires reactive critical care. The practice is necessary if we are to save our most vulnerable species, but it is costly and would be less […]