Notes from the Field – Winter 2022

In 4 - Winter, Community Science, People, Property Maintenance, Stewardship by couchiching

Doug Bedford at the Roehl Wetland Nature Reserve, overlooking Sparrow Lake. Photo: Ryan Lamoureux

Winter provides an opportunity to explore corners of protected land we don’t see very often.  When wetlands freeze over and dense bush disappears under deep snow, it’s time to slip on the snowshoes and go exploring.

Through an extended Canada Summer Jobs grant, we were able to keep Ryan Lamoureux working with us this winter.  He helped some of our Land Steward teams to navigate back boundaries, looking for signs of snowmobiles, tree removal, hunting & trapping, and unique wildlife sightings.  

Doug Bedford (Land Seward volunteer) and Ryan made a couple of trips to the Butler and Roehl Nature Reserves near Sparrow Lake over the winter.  They installed more property boundary signs to help the trapper in that area determine where crown land ends and the nature reserves begin.  

Volunteers remove seed heads from  invasive Phragmites plants at Sweetwater Nature Reserve. Photo: Brandon Guoth

Stickleback Stream flows north through the Sweetwater Farm Nature Reserve in Ramara, emptying into a wetland on the northern boundary of the property.  In winter, a snowmobile trail gives us access to this northern boundary, and a chance to remove the invasive Phragmites plant (also known as Common Reed).  

Ryan made an initial trip in with the Land Stewardship team of Shawn McClinchey and Brandon Guoth to make a start on the job.   On March 10th, Brandon headed back in with Melanie & Allan Tuck (water monitors for Sweetwater) and Glenn & Joanne Stronks.  

As you can see from the photos, it’s a big job, and they’ll return next winter with an even bigger group to try and get it all.  

L to R: Toby Rowland, shadows in the snow, and Ryan Lamoureux at Kris Starr Sanctuary and the Larsen Easement

Aiesha, Ryan, and Toby from the stewardship team braved the January freeze to get some work done at Kris Starr Sanctuary and the Larsen Easement.

They cleared some fallen trees on the Kris Starr trails (thanks to Ryan’s chainsaw and tree roping skills), and Aiesha collected some map layers for a new public trail map (stay tuned). 

They also did a boundary walk through forest & wetland, over rocky barrens, and across beaver dams to check for any incursions or boundary issues.

They were happy to find Ravens, Chickadees, Blue Jays, and the tracks of many animals including Fisher, Coyote, and White-tailed Deer.

This patch of connected conserved land allows wildlife to cross freely between Nature Reserve, Easement, and QEII Provincial Park.  A great example of the dream that is wildlife corridors.

2022_06_04_Chase Moser & Patrick Jackson Bird Blitz Cameron(RyanLamoureux)

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Read the Fall 2021 Notes from the Field here