Friday, March 29, 2013

Woodcock to Woodlot (or lack thereof)

Finally it was warm and sunny today.  I did a lot of walking today in and around Rondeau.  A woodcock was on the trail first thing this morning.

The first Common Loon of the spring flew by south point trail and a Pileated Woodpecker made an appearance.  The Pileated's seem to disappear during winter!
A couple of Eastern Phoebe were out and about as well.  Several Field Sparrows were singing this morning.

I looked at lots of ducks on Rondeau Bay, but nothing unusual stood out.

Over at Ridgetown the same geese (9 Ross's, 6 Snow inc. 5 blues) were present, but more Tundra Swans were there.

On a sad note......
This winter and in the past year, there has been an insane number of woodlots and trees coming down in Chatham-Kent.  While most farmers and rural landowners have good environmental sense, there are a few around here that do not care and/or have no idea of the damage they are doing to wildlife and the natural environment.  C-K is fast becoming the laughing-stock of the province as it now has the lowest tree cover and nothing is being done to counter-act that fact.
Recently the Municipal Council has been working towards a by-law regarding woodlots and had even threatened a moratorium on tree-cutting until such a by-law could be worked out.  In essence, the situation created a frenzy of woodlot slaughtering by overzealous landowners.  It will be later next summer (hopefully) before any sort of a bylaw is implemented.  The moratorium was voted down this past Monday by a slim margin.  One wonders where the thoughts of some councillors, plus the mayor are.  Watching the proceedings, it is clear some have no idea about nature or the gravity of the situation.  But, the C-K council has made some questionable decisions in the past.
A Common Sight in Chatham-Kent

In this day and age it is not acceptable to raze entire woodlots.  Taking down a significant number of trees is frowned upon too.  However, the arrogance of some landowners has really come to the forefront recently.  It is clear some are living on 19th century values which does not cut it in this day and age.  C-K may have some of the best farmland available, but a monoculture of corn and beans is not a healthy situation for the natural environment.  Pretty soon, there are going to be more wind turbines (another controversial subject for some!) than trees in Chatham-Kent!
There are many negative aspects to lack of woodlots and trees , but some landowners only see the almighty dollar sign.


  1. The municipaly or province needs to provide tax breaks for those that keep woodlots as woodlots. Otherwise there is never an incentive to keep them as is. If you keep getting taxed for land that does not provide income, sooner or later the owner is going to do something about it (cut them down and plant more corn).

    Around Point Pelee I have noticed this week that several farmers are taking out their hedgerows between large fields. They have no clue how much wildlife exists there. They think that a few more rows of corn is the answer. I always laugh when anyone tells me that farmers are good stewards of the land!

  2. Alan, yes that is one of the things they have to include, obviously.

    Here there is also an insane number of drains/creeks being 'cleaned' out as well--another significant habitat loss for wildlife. No need for all this. (seems be a misconception that every stick of vegetation needs to be removed). The land will get drier and drier and the water table lower and lower!
    I get ticked off when people say farmers are good stewards of the land. What a joke!

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