Kawartha Conservation
February 18, 2016
The Ontario Woodlot Association is here to help!
Do you own or manage a woodlot? Did you know that there is a local not-for-profit grassroots organization available to help you find resources, learn about forest management, and make forest management decisions? The Ontario Woodlot Association (OWA) is available to help. Its members own and manage woodlots throughout the province. Members include individuals and organizations who work collectively to provide support to landowners in protecting and maintaining sustainably managed forests for our future benefit.

The Kawartha Chapter was formed in 1993 and currently has a membership of about 125. The volunteer Board of Directors, along with other members dedicate time and effort to providing information services and hands-on learning events to their members and the rural community.

OWA- Kawartha Chapter members gather at a local woodlot to learn some hands-on woodlot management information.  Access to information sessions like these, is just one of the benefits to membership.

To learn more about the OWA chapter - how you can benefit from this resource, and support their cause, visit their website

You can also sign up for this year's annual Kawartha Woodlot Conference hosted by the chapter with support from Kawartha Conservation. This is a full day event which occurs this Saturday, February 20 at IE Weldon Secondary School in Lindsay. The event includes speakers, a trade show and lunch. Many of current local chapter members will be in attendance giving you an opportunity to ask questions face to face!

This year's conference theme is "The Land Between." There is still time to register. For information and registration visit our events page
Protecting the Land You Love from Invaders
Invasive plants and insects are a growing concern among rural landowners in the Kawartha watershed. Invasive species such as dog-strangling vine, garlic mustard, buckthorn and the emerald ash borer are unfortunately becoming common in our countryside. They are threatening the health of our woodlots, agricultural land, meadows and watercourses.
Learn how to Manage Invasive Species
We invite you to come learn from experts about some of the key invaders, and how you can help protect the land you love.  Join us and our partners at upcoming free invasive species workshops. 

In March, join experts and learn how landowners prepare for the potentially devastating impact of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). Discover how EAB will affect your forest and what you can do to minimize its impact. EAB workshops will be held in Lindsay (March 8th) and Clarington (March 9th)

In May, join us to learn how to identify our region's top invaders.  Learn management and control strategies for invasive plants from experts in the field.   You will get hands-on experience identifying and controlling invasive plants.  This free workshop will be held in Port Perry on May 28th. 

For more information about these and other Kawartha Conservation events, visit our
Early Detection, Rapid Response
Many landowners are being attentive by monitoring their property and watching for invasive species. Early action is the best way to prevent and manage the risks. Individual action is important, but this kind of problem also requires a collective effort.

Detecting and responding early to invasive species greatly improves control and potential eradication. Once established, invasives are difficult and expensive to control.  By reporting occurences of species that seem out of place you are playing an important role in stopping the spread of invading species. 

The Ontario Invading Species Awareness Centre has a new Invasive Species tracking system, and mobile App for Android and Apple devices.  This is a fast and easy way to map invasive species without any technical expertise. Users simply take a picture with their mobile device and report from where they are standing. 

Visit www.EDDMaps.org/Ontario to register and report your sighting.  Sightings may also still be reported to the: Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711 or by email info@invadingspecies.com.
Rural Landowners Taking Action
There are many landowners across the Kawartha Watershed who are doing their part to keep our rural landscape beautiful and functional. We'd like to recognize one of them! 

Adjacent to Fleetwood Creek Natural Area, Ralph McKim and Jean Garsonnin maintain a 260-acre property on the Oak Ridges Moraine. Shaped by glaciers, the land has many unique features including sand deposits, rolling hills, an esker, and a wetland which feeds into Fleetwood Creek, a tributary of Pigeon River.

Since 1986, Ralph and Jean have taken on many projects on their property to restore, to the best of their abilities, the ecological integrity of the land. They have implemented a forest management plan, planted over 12,000 native tree seedlings, established a tall grass prairie and harvested native seeds, protected their wetland, created wildlife habitat, and continue to manage invasive species. They have also guaranteed future protection of the property through a conservation agreement with Kawartha Land Trust. Ballyduff Trails are open to the public for nature walks, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. Please contact Ralph and Jean prior to your visit. For more information about trails and for contact information, click here.

Consider developing a stewardship plan for your property. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry have developed a comprehensive book to guide you through the steps of developing a plan. The guide is available online, you can also stop by our office to pick up a guide and talk to our knowledgeable stewardship staff.
Are you interested in taking action on your property?
Consider developing a stewardship plan for your property. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry have developed a comprehensive book to guide you through the steps of developing a plan. The guide is available online, you can also stop by our office to pick up a guide and talk to our knowledgeable stewardship staff.
Climate Change and Forests
It is globally recognized that changing climate is one of the most urgent challenges of our time. As a leader in watershed management, Kawartha Conservation collaborates with our member municipalities and partner agencies in developing and implementing a wide range of programs.

Rural lands are home to the largest proportion of our watershed's forested lands. By sequestering carbon as biomass in the soil, forests help fight climate change. As such, maintaining healthy forests is more important than ever before. Unfortunately in the face of climate change, landowners will be faced with new challenges. These challenges will be born from changes in temperature, rainfall and extreme weather.

The MNRF publication entitled Managing Your Woodlot in a Changing Climate suggests the 7 following actions that woodlot owners can take:

1. Keep the forest you have, and enhance it if possible
2. Practice sustainable forestry
3. Plant diverse tree species
4. Improve forest health
5. Consider new species
6. Manage pests and disease
7. Stay informed

Tree Planting Tools & Incentives
Increased natural cover is a key outcome that will help achieve our goal to conserve and restore a healthy, resilient environment. Kawartha Conservation collaborates with partner agencies to provide tools and incentives for landowners to plant trees on their private land.

In 2015, the owners of the farm property near Blackstock shown below had an interest in establishing tree cover. They felt that their property lacked trees that could provide aesthetics and function to their land. The family wished to have more trees for their children to watch grow and to create a natural legacy. They also recognized that tree cover would provide them with additional privacy and intersect wind energy. With these things in mind, they contacted our Stewardship staff who discussed the landowner's needs with them and helped them find funding for their desired project.

In this case the landowners were eligible to receive funding from Forests Ontario through the 50-million Tree Project, as well as funding from the Scugog WATER Fund which is supported by Durham Region and administered through Kawartha Conservation. With these two funding sources combined the landowner contribution was reduced from just under $6,500 dollars to about $1,000 for their total 4 acres. 3,200 seedlings were planted, which included professional site preparation and planting by a consultant.

If you have an interest in planting trees or taking on other stewardship project on your property, contact us. We want to help! 
The Benefits of Windbreaks
If you live in the open countryside, you may be all too familiar with the effects of the wind. You have likely felt the cold wind blow through your house, and seen soil and snow blown around as a result of wind energy.

Windbreaks are rows of trees or shrubs that reduce soil erosion, increase crop yields and protect livestock from heat and cold. Windbreaks can shield buildings and roads from drifting snow. They beautify the landscape and provide travel routes and habitat for wildlife. Windbreaks can also be sources of wood and food.

Windbreaks can reduce winter heating costs up to 25%, and can also reduce summer air conditioning costs. 

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has developed an informative four part video series about the advantages of windbreaks, and how to plan, plant and maintain them.

If you want to learn more and benefit yourself from having a healthy windbreak, visit their website to view the videos and to download other great resources.
Graphic taken from Establishing Tree Cover, OMAFRA
2016 Seedling Orders due in March
If you have land that you would like to enhance by planting trees, and you live in the Kawartha Watershed, you may want to make use of the Kawartha Conservation Seedling Distribution Program. Through this program landowners can purchase low cost seedlings in bulk.

New this year - We are happy to provide two pickup locations this year for your convenience: Lindsay or Port Perry.

For more information, and staff contacts for questions, visit the Tree Seedling Program page on our website.

Many thanks to our program partners: the Kawartha Chapter of the Ontario Woodlot Association, and Willowtree Farm.
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