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March 2021 Newsletter


IN THIS ISSUE:


2020 Annual General Meeting


NOTICE TO MEMBERS:
The 2020 Annual General Meeting of the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust
will be held via ZOOM
March 31, 2021  - 8 PM

Guest Speaker - 7 PM


Do you need to renew your membership before the AGM?  Renew Now

Special Guest Speaker Announced for AGM

Mike Daniels,  John Muir Trust

 

 Our guest speaker for the 2020 AGM is a little out of the ordinary for one of our AGM's.  Mike Daniels (pictured above),  is the head of Policy and Land Management at the John Muir Trust.  Mike  will speak to us from his home in Scotland, located not far from the small town of Perth, a few hours drive northwest of Edinburgh.  He has graciously agreed to stay up late (7 p.m. our time being midnight in Scotland) to talk to us about: John Muir’s legacy in the land of his birth - The John Muir Trust, wild land, communities and conservation in Scotland.
 
Mike will explore the conservation challenges posed in Scotland by concentrated private land ownership; the legacy of Victorian hunting estates; over-tourism and large scale windfarms in a wild landscape shaped by the continual influence of man. The opportunities posed by land reform and community ownership; natural carbon capture and increasing public concern about intensive hunting systems offer hope for the future.

Although Scotland is far from home, the conservation challenges faced by an organization with similar objectives to ours but in a very different landscape will, I’m sure, be of interest to all of us.  And the photos that Mike will present of their unique properties, many in the Highlands, will amaze us as well.


Attendance by registration only:  Members: Free   Non-Members: $10
Register Here or email us at: admin@mmlt.ca
 

BUSY AS A BEAVER

By: Howard Clifford

Loss of habitat is a primary cause for the depletion and loss of species. Although certainly true, it is superficial to think of habitat as a home place providing the necessities a species requires to survive and thrive. Habit is a living, dynamic domain interacting with and in fact being created by its constituent species. In many ways these species are both the architects and the inseparable part of the habitat architecture. Trees provide oxygen – Mycelium described by Paul Stamets are the neurological network of nature, the social biology of nature. Interacting relationships that we only dimly understand that constitute habitat.

In terms of mammals, Ben Goldfarb in his excellent book, “Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter (2018) concludes “if humans are the world’s most influential mammal, beavers have a fair claim at second place.” Some anthropological writers, critical of the concept of “pristine wilderness” have pointed to the evidence that indigenous people, through use of fire, had more impact on the environment than previously realized. However Goldfarb presents convincing evidence that beavers had even greater impact on the North American landscape - “nothing less than continent-scale forces of nature, in large part responsible for sculpting the land.” The renown David Thompson in 1784 stated “that in North America above the 40th parallel it may be said to have been in the possession of two distinct races of Beings, Man and the Beaver.” Ellen Wohl, geomorphologist, wrote “forget trees, if you want to fight climate change it’s entirely possible you’re better off planting beavers.”  Read More

Why Not Invite a Friend to Join MMLT?

By: Don Johnston

When the residents of Lanark County were surveyed about what they like most about living here, one of their top responses was having access to nature. While many named this as a big reason for living here, at the same time they said more should be done to protect our natural treasures.  Well, if people think that we need to do more to protect and preserve nature, there is something they can do about it and that is to become a member of MMLT.  After all, protecting wilderness is what we do! 

As you may be aware, the number of visitors to the High Lonesome Nature Reserve and Blueberry Mountain doubled in 2020. Many of those who came for the first time were unaware that they were visiting private property protected by the Land Trust. 

It’s a wonderful thing, welcoming people to experience the restorative power of nature. I’m very proud to be an MMLT member because it means that I’m helping to protect the forests and wetlands in our beautiful corner of Canada and to safeguard the animals and plants that depend on them to thrive.
 
New MMLT member, Sabine Kipling, put it this way, “My small membership fee goes into a BIG pot which helps the conservation process and that makes me feel good. Membership is a gift I give to myself that just keeps on giving!"

There are other reasons to join MMLT. For example our field workshops can fill up quickly and members get to sign up first and for a reduced fee. Not all properties are open to the public and once Covid is no longer a concern, there will be expert-led tours of some of those properties for members only.
                                                                                                           
But for me, the reason I joined is to be part of a like-minded group of people who care about protecting nature and are willing to do something about it, namely securing local wilderness one beautiful property at a time, for all time.  What could be more important?               

Consider sharing your reason for being a member with your friends and invite them to
become a member too.        
If you have friends who care about protecting nature, why not invite them to join MMLT?

MMLT Board Seeking a Treasurer


Being a Treasurer for a non-profit charity like MMLT is like being a goalie in hockey; absolutely essential for the team to succeed. MMLT has been very fortunate to have had Stephen Kotze ‘in nets’ for the past 5 years. It was his vision that led the Board to match its plans to its resources rather than making plans and then trying to find the money to pay for them. This former (and future?) Green Party candidate is a ‘fiscal conservative’. We have lived within our means and we have slowly built up reserve funds to prepare us for a future rainy day. His advice and counsel and his sure grasp of the complexities of his profession have been fundamental to our success in pursuing our mission.
 
Unfortunately, even Treasurers must obey the rules that require all board members to step down after 6 years of service. It’s not time to say goodbye to him just yet, but we know that day is coming and we must plan for it. By finding someone now who can take over this vital role a year from now, we would have the opportunity for a new treasurer to work with Stephen through the annual cycle and hopefully have a seamless transition.
 
If you know how to do this job and have the will to take it on, we’d love to hear from you.  Steve will work with in incoming candidate to familiarize them with the books before handing off the role.

Why not drop us a line at
admin@mmtl.ca to discuss how you might help?

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has informed MMLT that the Gypsy Moth outbreak in our region is at a peak and will be moderate to severe in 2021. Gypsy Moths are cyclical, with peaks every 7-10 years. Natural predators, especially birds, have adapted to feeding on this European pest. Also, a virus and a fungal disease keeps them in check. We know this because the crew doing the official MNRF Gypsy Moth survey used High Lonesome Nature Reserve as one of their research sites.
 
In June and the first part of July, expect to see a lot of broadleaf trees, like Oaks, Maples and Basswood with stripped leaves. You may even see the odd White Pine tree with severe damage. Predators will be having a field day, though. Last summer, when the number of caterpillars in our area was modest, birds like cuckoos were enjoying a feast. Look out for birds that feed on the hairy caterpillars and the pupae:
 
eastern wood pewee, hairy woodpecker, red-eyed vireo, and both black-billed and yellow-billed cuckoos. Fewer species eat the actual moths: they are less common species from a variety of habitats and include the ovenbird, indigo bunting, common yellowthroat, and eastern phoebe - all resident at High Lonesome. Chickadees and house sparrows are known to eat the egg masses. Black-capped chickadees were seen eating the egg masses in 2020 at High Lonesome. Rodents, other mammals, and predatory insects also consume the Gypsy Moth at various life cycle stages.
 
Nature will balance itself. Most trees will recover and will continue to thrive at High Lonesome and at all of our MMLT properties.
 
The
MNRF map shows that the infestation along Highway 15 and County Road 29 will be moderate to severe and includes most of the MMLT properties.

 Membership 

Members make us stronger and help fulfill our mission!  

Memberships renewed January 1, 2021

Family Membership $ 40
Single Membership  $ 25    

 Renew Your Membership Online
Download a Membership Renewal Form to pay by cheque.

Click to Donate and Help Conserve our Wild Places
Volunteer with MMLT. Find out how here.
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Our mailing address is:
Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust
10970 Hwy 7
Carleton Place, Ontario K7C 3P1
Canada

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