Song of the Air

Clouds

The song of a bird is not a reminiscence,
… but an anticipation, and expresses happiness or joy.
The day being bright and mild, with great masses of white cloud in the sky.
Can you see the melting away of the cloud into the clean air at the fringe of its edges and here, and now,
Have you caught the tune of the warbler?
A singular medley of notes, hurried chirps,
trills, calls, warbles.
And there to seek with eyes that glisten for the bird in song;
No doubt at all about the superior quality of the song.
Stop, shhh, quiet, listen the song oft repeated and prolonged.
It is a ringing, animated strain, silvern and golden.
And the blackbird with its lilt and only a few bars of its song, Enough to satisfy of the surprising quality of the strain.
High up on the tall tree the red breasted thrush was pouring out his song, and filling the woods with melody.
The sun now high and warm, with hardly a cloud in the sky; and yonder a mist,
Such full-throated harmony and long-drawn cadences.
Melody, tenderness, and plaintiveness.
And in the rising veil of radiant cloud,as Keats once said;
“And with thee fade away into the forest dim.”

Saskatchewan Birding Atlas

What is the best way to protect the native songbirds of Saskatchewan, plant a native tree!  As main aim of Richard St. Barbe Baker is ‘ to develop a tree sense in every citizen, and to encourage all to plant, protect and love their native trees; for forestry is among the oldest and most honourable of the peaceful arts of men, and in its practice is unselfish and constructive service.’ ”

For more information:

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com

Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West Off Leash Recreation Area SW OLRA

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Twitter: St Barbe Baker

Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The MVA has begun a Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund. If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund (MVA RSBBAA trust fund)”.  Post to MVA 402 Third Avenue South Saskatoon, SK S7K 3G5  Please and thank you!

Membership in the Saskatoon Nature Society  “supports nature conservation projects and [the society] is an active advocate for the preservation of plant and animal habitats”.

Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition ~ an active group interested in forest management~ or make a donation to “Save our Saskatchewan” [SOS] Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

 

“The simple act of planting a tree, which is in itself a practical deed, is also the symbol of a far reaching ideal, which is creative in the realm of the Spirit, and in turn reacts upon society, encouraging all to work for the future well being of humanity rather than for immediate gain. ” Richard St. Barbe Baker

 

 

 

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Herptology; What is a herptologist?

What a question in the middle of winter, however as spring approaches ~ “Where are the frogs?” is a most excellent query!!!

“Stewards of Saskatchewan” is a voluntary program of the provincial group Nature Saskatchewan.  With this program, volunteer stewards collectively monitor population data on various at risk species.  One of these is the Northern Leopard Frog, (Lithobates pipiens or Rana pipiens) designated as Special Concern in Canada

Please report to the Stewards of Saskatchewan SOS survey, if you sight one of the species on their list.  Did you know that April is Frog month? Celebrate Frog Month with your family!  Find out how to become an amateur herpetologist this April!

Where might be one of the places in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area where  a Northern Leopard Frog could be sighted?

The Chappell Marsh, the permanent wetlands of the West Swale contain water all the time.  But where are the temporary wetlands located?  This is exactly where the frogs are singing their merry songs.  This area for the lands east of  Chappell Marsh in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is marked as a yellow oval on the attached map.  The Northern Leopard Frog, sings just to the west of the southwest off leash recreation area.

FrogMap
Northern Leopard Frog, Rana Pipiens Map

Just as farmers watch the weather; “In dry years, arable agriculture can fail over large parts of the province, whilst in wet years, flooding has caused widespread damage to rural and urban infrastructure.” “(Pomeroy, 2005)

So, too, do the frogs seem to watch the weather.  During dry years such as those experienced 2015, 2016, and 2017 there were no frogs heard at the Richard St. Barbe  Baker Afforestation Area.  However in 2013 and 2014 frogs were a delight to the years, especially as the Northern Leopard Frog is a species of Special Concern.  As the weather cycles in the province, it can be expected that another year of flooding may follow the very dry years experienced 2015, 2016, and 2017.  The newspapers report the flooding damaging crops, basements and highways however the glorious thing which is missed on the years of high water tables, is that the frogs come back!

There are definitely other areas, such as where the old grid road is being swallowed up by Chappell Marsh near the road turn off to Chappell Marsh Conservation Area.  The old grid road is partially submerged, making it the perfect habitat for frogs [and ducks] as well.

Now then, it would be a very intriguing for a herpetologist,  volunteer ‘Steward of Saskatchewan’ or conservation officer to engage in a project to walk with a GPS app which records altitude.  This project would scan the entirety of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and ‘George Genereux’ Urban Regional park for altitude levels similar to the altitude of the meadow west of the South West Off Leash Recreation Area.  Other areas which provide a rich habitat for the Northern Leopard Frog could be identified in this method for the areas west of Chappell Marsh and in ‘George Genereux’ Urban Regional park.  In this way during years of flooding the Northern Leopard Frog could be surveyed and counted in identified Frog zones.  And accordingly in the years of drought, the environment could remain undisturbed awaiting their safe return.  🙂

Perhaps, just perhaps, this would be a way to ensure the Northern Leopard Frog’s survival.  An altitude test may just help to find the temporary wetlands conducive to the frog’s habitat, and could then be protected from development.  Either that, or developers would need wait until years of high water tables before developing land to determine the habitat for frogs.

Saskatchewan cycles through years of drought and high water tables.  The years 2013, and 2014, saw very,  very high rain levels, spring run off and flooding.  Chappell Marsh itself washed out a grid road, and water pumps were allocated to try to divert the flooding away from Saskatchewan Highway 7 west of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and CN Chappell Yards.  The cycle of very wet conditions was also seen historically over the years 2005, and 2006. (Garnet, 2012)

July 13, 2014, Emily Chan reported “In Saskatchewan, it’s estimated that a total of up to 3 million acres, including some farmland, have already flooded.”   “Highways closed and communities declared states of emergency …, ” reports the Canadian Press on June 30, 2014 due to a deluge of rain.

“From too much rain to not enough — and everyone baking in the heat — communities smashed weather records in July across Saskatchewan.”(Climenhaga, 2017)  Whereas, in direct contrast to the years of 2013 and 2014, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada reported that 2016 was the hottest year on record, replacing the record set in 2015. In 2017, “Saskatchewan farmers say drought conditions in some parts of the province are the worst they have seen in decades “(Bridges, 2017)  “Record-breaking temperatures and extremely low rainfalls across Western Canada are causing chaos for farmers and firefighters this summer as they grapple with the worst drought in more than a decade.” {Sikierska, 2015)  Drought also ravaged Saskatchewan over the years 2001 to 2002. (Garnet, 2012)

“Nowhere else  in Canada does the lack or excess of water cause such widespread concern, nor are there many Canadian environments subject to greater seasonal change in precipitation and surface-water storage.”(Pomeroy, 2005)
Drought years have been recorded as 1961, 1967, 1979, 1980, 1985, 1988, 2003, 2009.  Whereas, the flood years are reported  as 1965, 1977, 1986, 1991, 1993, 1999, 2005, 2010.  (Garnet, 2012)
“The trees and vegetation which cover the land surface of the Earth and delight the eye, are therefore performing vital tasks incumbent upon the vegetable world in nature. The glorious rich, colourful, quilted covering of vegetation is not there merely to feed and please us. Its presence is essential to Earth as an organism. It is the first condition to Earth as an organism. It is the first condition of all life; it is the ‘skin of the Earth, for without it there can be no water and, therefore, no life. ” Richard St. Barbe Baker.

Bibliography

2016 Annual Report of Agroclimate Conditions Across Canada Government of Canada Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Bridges, Alicia. Sask. farmers say drought conditions worst in decades. Farmers, ranchers face tough season due to hot, dry weather.  CBC News.

Chan, Emily.  Prairie farmers frustrated as flooding drowns crops.  Ctv News.  July 13, 2014

Climenhaga, Christy.   Regina experiences driest July in 130 years. July topped the charts for hot and dry weather in southern Saskatchewan. CBC News.  Aug. 1, 2017

Cross, Brian. Rising waters wash away land, farmers’ futures . The Western Producer. May 7, 2015

Flooding, highway closures as heavy rain pounds Prairies Canadian Press.  June 30, 2014.

Garnett, Ray and Madhav Khandekar.  From Drought to Wet Cycles The Changing Climate of the Canadian Prairies.  May 3, 2012.

Pomeroy, John, Dirk de Boer and Lawrence Martz.  Hydrology and Water Resources of Saskatchewan.  Centre for Hydrology Report #1.  Department of Geography, University of Saskatchewan February 2005.

Reeve warns flood water could flow over Hwy 11 in Lumsden area CBC News.  May 5, 2013

Saskatchewan flooding: 37 communities declare state of emergency CBC News.  June 30 2014

Sask. Flooding >Flood-battered roads crumbling around eastern Sask. Culverts, bridges, train tracks washed out over a wide area CBC News. July 2, 2014

Siekierska, Alicja.  Hot, dry and disastrous. Western Canada’s drought is taking a toll. Edmonton Journal.  July 25, 2015

Top ten weather stories for 2010: Story three. From Dry to Drenched on the Prairies.  Government of Canada.  Environment and Climate Change Canada.

For more information:

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com

Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West Off Leash Recreation Area SW OLRA

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Twitter: St Barbe Baker

Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The MVA has begun a Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund. If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund (MVA RSBBAA trust fund)”.  Post to MVA 402 Third Avenue South Saskatoon, SK S7K 3G5  Please and thank you!

Membership in the Saskatoon Nature Society  “supports nature conservation projects and [the society] is an active advocate for the preservation of plant and animal habitats”.

Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition ~ an active group interested in forest management~ or make a donation to “Save our Saskatchewan” [SOS] Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

 “We forget that we owe our existence to  the presence of Trees.   As far as forest  cover goes, we have never been in such a  vulnerable position as we are today.  The  only answer is to plant more Trees – to  Plant Trees for Our Lives.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker

Gaia

“If a man loses one-third of his skin he dies; if a tree loses one-third of its bark, it too dies. If the Earth is a ‘sentient being’, would it not be reasonable to expect that if it loses one-third of its trees and vegetable covering, it will also die?”
Richard St. Barbe Baker

“To view nature as a vast ‘sentient being’ is to see it alive and imbued with a spirit or a soul just as did our ancestors for hundreds of thousands of years. Today we tend to dismiss this view as archaic, crude or rudimentary, but why as Theodore Rozsack wonders, “should it be thought crude or rudimentary to find divinity brightly present in the world where others find only dead matter or an inferior order of being?” writes Edward Goldsmith (8 November 1928 – 21 August 2009)

Edward Goldsmith, was an Anglo-French environmentalist, writer, philosopher.  As a deep ecologist and systems theorist, Goldsmith was an early proponent of the Gaia hypothesis which proposes that living organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a synergistic and self-regulating, complex system that helps to maintain and perpetuate the conditions for life on the planet.

“The new paradigm may be called a holistic worldview,” Fritjof Capra (born February 1, 1939), physicist and best selling author of The Tao of Physics and Turning Point.  Capra continues, “seeing the world as an integrated whole rather than a dissociated collection of parts. It may also be called an ecological view, if the term ‘ecological’ is used in a much broader and deeper sense than usual. Deep ecological awareness recognizes the fundamental interdependence of all phenomena and the fact that, as individuals and societies, we are all embedded in (and ultimately dependent on) the cyclical processes of nature.”

“It is with a spirit of reverence that I approach God’s Creation, this beautiful Earth. The ancients believe that the Earth was a sentient being and felt the behavior of mankind upon it. As we have no proof to the contrary, it might be as well for responsible people to accept this point of view and behave accordingly.” – Richard St. Barbe Baker

 

Do you agree, is the world a vast ‘sentient being’?

 

“I began to see that the survival of primitive people and of the environment were inseparable.  Primitive people were disappearing. So was wildlife. I realised that the root problem was economic development. So I decided to start a paper [Blueprint for Survival] to explore these issues.”  Edward Goldsmith

Further Reading
11 Billion people will share this planet by century’s end. This will change everything.  

Book Review. The Web Of Life by phyicist Fritjof Capra.  Scott London.

Capra, Fritjof. The Web Of Life (excerpt)  Thinking Allowed DVD with Jeffrey Mishlove. You Tube Video.

Cummin, Vivien.  How many people can our planet really support? BBC News. Earth. March 14, 2016

Gaia Hypothesis. Environment and Ecology.

Hanley, Paul. “Eleven” Live Presentation Paul Hanley begins at 4:14 Wilmette Institute You Tube video.

Horton, John and Glen Newey editors.  The Political Theory of John Gray.   Routledge ISBN 1134212631, 9781134212637

Lovelock, James.  Population Reduction “Max 1 billion”
Parkins, Keith. The Way: An Ecological World View – Edward Goldsmith (Themsis Books, 1996) February 2000

Rosling, Hans. Why the world population won’t exceed 11 billion. TGS. org.You Tube video

St. Barbe Baker, Richard. Why I am Vegetarian. 1957 The Happy Cow.

Vyawhare, Malavika. Can the Planet Support 11 Billion People? By the end of this century, that many people may be inhabiting this planet, according to the latest U.N. projections. E&E News.  August 12, 2015

“If in some small way I’ve helped to slow the runaway juggernaut that we’ve created, or make people aware of it, that has to be a good thing,” Edward Goldsmith

For more information:

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com

Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West Off Leash Recreation Area SW OLRA

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Twitter: St Barbe Baker

Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The MVA has begun a Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund. If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund (MVA RSBBAA trust fund)”.  Post to MVA 402 Third Avenue South Saskatoon, SK S7K 3G5  Please and thank you!

Membership in the Saskatoon Nature Society  “supports nature conservation projects and [the society] is an active advocate for the preservation of plant and animal habitats”.

Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition ~ an active group interested in forest management~ or make a donation to “Save our Saskatchewan” [SOS] Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

 

“This generation may either be the last to exist in any semblance of a civilised world or that it will be the first to have the vision, the bearing and the greatness to say, ‘I will have nothing to do with this destruction of life, I will play no part in this devastation of the land, I am determined to live and work for peaceful construction for I am morally responsible for the world of today and the generations of tomorrow.'”
Richard St. Barbe Baker

Trembling Aspen

Trembling Aspen grove Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CA
Trembling Aspen grove [in 2016] Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CA

It was the summer of 2017, did you see it?

The Populus tremuloides (Trembling Aspen or Quaking Aspen) groves were struggling, and suffering tremendously. The defoliation caused by the Tent Caterpillar Malacosoma disstria was so severe, that combined with the severe drought, the vigour and vitality of the Aspen Trees was greatly reduced.  2017 saw the fourth year of the Tent Caterpillar infestation in Saskatoon. When healthy trees that are completely stripped of their leaves are able to refoliate their leaves after the caterpillars have feasted, however the second growth is smaller and, indeed, may be inadequate to compensate for the damage caused. The attack of the caterpillars may even kill the top of the tree, side branches and even the whole tree may expire with multi-years of excessive defoliation.

 

James J. Worrall et al, explains that drought, tent caterpillars and other factors contribute to the decline of Trembling Aspens. Severe drought precipitates the most drastic decline, followed by foliage stripped by tent caterpillars  year after year. Aspen stands cannot recover from such shocks to the system on a multiyear basis, without relief.

 

“It’s almost as if nature has forgotten how to rain in parts of Saskatchewan,[9]” said David Phillips, senior Climatologist with Environment Canada, who goes on to explain that, “It really does show you the kind of climate you have: a desert — dry, semi-arid, almost like Pheonix, Ariz. — where the days can be very hot, and in this case bone dry and not a cloud in the sky. All that heat from the day radiates into space … It left the nights relatively cool.[2]” Saskatoon received only 243.6 millimetres [9.6 inches] of precipitation, bringing 2017 into the top five driest years for the city.

Not only was 2017 setting records for the driest years in history books, the problem for the Trembling Aspen was compounded as being the worst for the Tent Caterpillar plague. “We’re in a boom period for the tent caterpillar,” [10] ” said Tyler Wist, Field crop entomologist for Agriculture and AgriFood Canada. The tent caterpillar has a natural predator in birds, as well as the eggs of the sarcophagid fly.

 Effects on overall health of aspen.  Repeated defoliation by forest tent caterpillar may not allow trees to recover to a normal state of health, which can lead to decline.  ~ Natural Resources Canada

Trembling Aspen grove Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CA
Trembling Aspen grove [in 2016]  Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CA

Following two or more years of severe feeding there is a general decline in tree health, including twig and branch dieback. After three or four consecutive years of being stripped of their leaves trees can be weakened and may be more susceptible to insects, such as wood borers, and stem disease. Following forest tent caterpillar infestations the incidence of hypoxylon canker, a fungal stem disease, may increase and cause extensive damage in aspen forests.  “~ Forestry Branch

Late spring frosts kill buds leading to early, mass larval stravation. Alberta Government.

“When populations are low, the egg masses on small plants can be removed by hand and destroyed between July and the following spring. Hand picking can inflict significant larval mortality.
Destruction of occupied tents by hand or with a brush leads to colony collapse. Pruning to remove egg masses, tents, or groups of larvae must be done sparingly to avoid injuring the plant. Using fire to accomplish this is not recommended as it damages the plant more than the defoliation.”~Forest Health Protection
 The trembling aspen is known to grow as a clonal colony in which the stems [trunks] arise from one huge conjoined root system.  Whereas the tree stems of the Trembling Aspen may be determined by its tree rings, the roots may be much older than that of the tree trunks.  In the semi-arid regions of the west, Trembling Aspen are more likely to establish new trees via suckering from an established root system rather than from seed.  It is intriguing to learn that the Aspen Tree is really only a small fraction of a much larger organism.  Malcolm F. Squires reports that clones of Aspens may have sprouted following the Pleistocene era after the retreat of the great ice age, creating the oldest organisms in the world.  One can tell one Aspen clone growth from another, as leaves will emerge in the spring and turn to yellow in the fall in the same clone, and a neighbouring clone will exhibit a different time scale.
If a clone of Aspen trees from the same root is even aged, and has thrived in near to full sunlight, is severely attacked and stripped of its leaves by tent caterpillars causing some of the Aspen trees to die back.  The Aspen roots, in some cases, if the soil is healthy, be able to regenerate from suckers.  Young saplings will rise from the roots in the openings, or these young trees may take advantage of thin crowns.  The Aspen stand will show this uneven age structure, until the remaining tree trunks die off, and all the tree stems become even aged.
“Jack Schultz, a Pennsylvania State University entomologist… discovered that aspens react chemically to insect attack.  Soon after the caterpillar start chewing, the trees’ remaining leaves produce bitter-tasting phenol compounds to discourage further eating” [5]
 In 2017, it was seen that the Trembling Aspen stands lost their leaves, and a second smaller growth was seen coming late in the summer season.  Watch if and how the Aspen stand recovers in 2018.  It will be also interesting to note if 2018 again succumbs to a double whammy of drought and tent caterpillar.  Saskatchewan is a province of cyclical weather alternating between drought and years with a high water table [perhaps even flooding].   The tent caterpillars well, their cycle lasts between three to seven years, and they normally re-occur in 15-20 year intervals.
The round leaves turning golden in the autumn months, quivering, and catching the light as the breeze tosses the golden discs this way and that, give the Trembling Aspen the appearance of being a “Money Tree” as its branches dance in gold.
Silviculture is the practice of controlling the establishment, growth, composition, health, and quality of forests to meet diverse needs and values. The name comes from the Latin silvi- (forest) + culture (as in growing).  Richard St. Barbe Baker attended Cambridge University, graduating as a silviculturist.
Enroll your body, soul and spirit and engage your time to do what you know best. Dedicate yourself to the work at hand and you will be rewarded by the fruits you will bear!”― Israelmore Ayivor, The Great Hand Book of Quotes

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. Allen Bonnie.
‘The damage is done’: Home electricity boxes igniting in Sask. drought
Regina’s driest July in 130 years also threatening livestock, crops and farmers’ livelihoods”
CBC News Aug 04, 2017

2 Climenhaga, Christy. Regina experiences driest July in 130 years. July topped the charts for hot and dry weather in southern Saskatchewan CBC News Aug 01, 2017

3. Climenhaga, Christy. 2017 driest year on record for some Sask. communities
Driest year ever for Assiniboia, Moose Jaw; Regina saw 2nd-driest year, with only 40% of normal precipitation
CBC News. January 6, 2018.

4. Climenhaga, Christy. Regina and Swift Current could see their driest July on record
Southern Saskatchewan still waiting for rain after bone-dry July
CBC News July 27, 2017.

5. Fergus, Charles.  Trees of Pennsylvania and the Northeast. Edition illustrated Publisher Stackpole Books, 2002 ISBN 0811720926, 9780811720922

5. Giles, David. Forest tent caterpillars invade Saskatoon Global News. May 24, 2017

6. Graham, Jennifer. Dry weather withering crops, stressing farmers in southern Saskatchewan The Canadian Press August 6, 2017

7. Graham, Jennifer. This Saskatchewan farm’s ground is so dry a wrench ‘would disappear’ in its cracks Environment Canada figures show Regina had only 1.8 millimetres of rain last month — the driest July in 130 years. The Canadian Press. August 6, 2017

8. Its more than rare.” Environment Canada says southern Saskatchewan’s dry July will break records 620 CKRM Juy 27, 2017.

9. Knox, Shawn. Dundurn, Sask. woman tired of tent caterpillar infestation Global News. June 1, 2017.

10. Lizee, Tiffany. Southern Saskatchewan in drought for almost a year Global News. October 14, 2017

11. Martell, Creeden. ‘They just keep coming’: Tent caterpillar invasion coats Sask. home in insects — and feces  Saskatchewan in a boom period for tent caterpillars CBC News May 31, 2017

12. Petrow, Erin.  Caterpillars thrive for the fourth consecutive year Saskatoon Star Phoenix. May 24, 2017.

13. Prestwich, Emma Caterpillars Cover Saskatchewan Woman’s Property And It’s Super Disgusting Huffpost Canada.

14. Squires, Malcolm F.  Dynamic Forest: Man Versus Nature in the Boreal Forest
Volume 7 of Point of View Contributor John Kennedy Naysmith
Edition illustrated Publisher Dundurn, 2017 ISBN 1459739345, 9781459739345

15. Tent caterpillars: Tips to help control the outbreak Specialist says outbreaks happen every 10 to 15 years and last up to six years CBC News May 31, 2016

16. Tu, Chau Earth’s biggest living thing might be a tree with thousands of clones Science Friday.  May 5, 2015

17. Worrall, James J., Gerald E. Rehfeldt, Andreas Hamann, Edward H. Hogg, Suzanne B. Marchetti, Michael Michealian, and Laura K. Gray. Recent declines of Populus tremuloides in North America linked to climate Volume 299, Issue , July 2013, Pages 35-51

 

For more information:
Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city. 52° 06′ 106° 45′
Addresses:
Part SE 23-36-6 – Afforestation Area – 241 Township Road 362-A
Part SE 23-36-6 – SW Off-Leash Recreation Area (Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area ) – 355 Township Road 362-A
S ½ 22-36-6 Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area (West of SW OLRA) – 467 Township Road 362-A
NE 21-36-6 “George Genereux” Afforestation Area – 133 Range Road 3063
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com
Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map
Facebook: StBarbeBaker
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The MVA has begun a Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund. If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund (MVA RSBBAA trust fund)”. Please and thank you!
Twitter: StBarbeBaker
Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition or make a donation to SOS Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

Is there anything I can do?

 

“What you permit, you promote.
What you allow, you encourage.
What you condone, you own.”

~Michelle Malkin.

 

 

  WordPress has a daily prompt proferring words upon which a story or report may unfold. The Daily prompt for the day this story was written happened to be “permit” which is the segway into the afforestation area, and what is permitted.

Thank you kindly for your visit.  This post has been revised.  Recently a comment came forward “If there is anything I can do, please let me know.

What is it that others can do?  Take action in order that the afforestation areas a/ become a part of municipal reserve and b/ become a part of park space.

This  concept is the first step of progress for the afforestation areas.  The long range planners are formally cognizant of the larger picture, the view that not even any single stakeholder is aware of.  The long range planners can do wonders in their planning, if everything falls into place.  However a puzzle cannot be completed with puzzle pieces missing.

Is there anything I can do?
Is there anything I can do?

That which is missing is the wherewithal that the long range planners require in order to their job with knowledge and good judgement.  Wherewithal; means or supplies for the purpose or need, especially money.

How do the City of Saskatoon long range planners identify social, economic and environmental goals?
The City of Saskatoon sees a projected population of about 344,000 by 2035, and between 406,000 to 496,000 for the Saskatoon census management area. Of this identified growth, the demographics and population statistics are also factored in for the next 20 years. There is understanding about the population diversity youth, young adults, middle-aged, and elderly residents. Growing forward identifies the complexity of issues between diverse interests, and are excited to discuss community expectations, and priorities. {Source}

“Growing in a smart and sustainable way starts with putting people at the centre of planning,” says Randy Grauer, the City’s General Manager of Community Services. “Growth isn’t just about expanding our footprint, it’s about expanding economic, social, cultural and educational opportunities for everyone… when quality of life leads planning, cities become great places to live.”

Long range planners work directly with the community in conjunction with City of Saskatoon staff and City council. Planners are up to date on new developments in other cities, seek guidance from the City of Saskatoon Strategic Action Plan, and are conversant with the bylaws, environmental regulations, and zoning related ordinances. Community values guide the long range planners as they employ a diverse range of professional services hiring consultants where necessary, and seeking advice from City departments such as the urban forestry program, emergency services, finance, recreation and culture, community support, environmental health, public works, infrastructure and transportation for example. Alongside this, long range planners work in partnership with developers, government partners, political representatives, contractors, city council, legal counsel as well community partners for business and neighbourhood development.

How can long range planners negotiate all these various inputs, resolve conflicts, develop and lead successful collaborative processes and procedures? It is indeed complicated, but with knowledge, wisdom, and foresight, long range planners have served the city of Saskatoon well with analysis of inputs, and support in the preparation of studies, plans, and reports. Long range planners implement all these exciting, and emerging viewpoints in a broad framework encompassing the larger picture and bear in mind how the delivery of such a plan will be of a benefit to all as Saskatoon grows, evolves and changes. With teamwork, leadership, and great community stakeholder collaboration the long range planners improve the quality of life for Saskatoon residents.

It’s an amazing and complicated position which champions for the city of Saskatoon;
Continuous Improvement
Asset and Financial Sustainability
Quality of Life
Environmental Leadership
Sustainable Growth
Moving Around
Economic Diversity and Prosperity

Responding to the comment again; “If there is anything I can do, please let me know.”  What is it that others can do?

Assist in the process which enables the

  1. afforestation areas to  become a part of municipal reserve
  2. afforestation areas to become a part of city park space.

It is only with this visualization that the needs of a variety of stakeholders will be met, illegal trespass are mitigated and the long range planners can do their job, and create a city of Saskatoon which is truly amazing.  It is only when the afforestation areas become municipal reserve and a part of city park space that the long range planners have the wherewithal; means or supplies for the purpose or need, especially money to embrace the afforestation areas.

Contact the city of Saskatoon to promote this process;

municipal reserve and park space for the afforestation areas.

“When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it… Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.” Steve Jobs

For more information:

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com

Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West Off Leash Recreation Area SW OLRA

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Twitter: St Barbe Baker

Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The MVA has begun a Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund. If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund (MVA RSBBAA trust fund)”.  Post to MVA 402 Third Avenue South Saskatoon, SK S7K 3G5  Please and thank you!

Membership in the Saskatoon Nature Society  “supports nature conservation projects and [the society] is an active advocate for the preservation of plant and animal habitats”.

Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition ~ an active group interested in forest management~ or make a donation to “Save our Saskatchewan” [SOS] Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

 I believe with Ruskin, that I must be just to the Earth beneath my feet, to the neighbour by my side, and to the Light that comes from above and within that this wonderful world of ours may be a little more beautiful and happy from my having lived in it. Richard St. Barbe Baker

Where are the frogs?

What a question in the middle of winter ~ “Where are the frogs?” indeed.

“Stewards of Saskatchewan” is a voluntary program of the provincial group Nature Saskatchewan. With this program, volunteer stewards collectively monitor population data on various at risk species. One of these is the Northern Leopard Frog, (Lithobates pipiens or Rana pipiens) designated as Special Concern in Canada.

Please report to the Stewards of Saskatchewan SOS survey, if you sight one of the species on their list.

Where might be one of the places in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area where a Northern Leopard Frog could be sighted?

The Chappell Marsh, the permanent wetlands of the West Swale contain water all the time. But where are the temporary wetlands located? This is exactly where the frogs are singing their merry songs. This area for the lands east of Chappell Marsh in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is marked as a yellow oval on the attached map. The Northern Leopard Frog, sings just to the west of the southwest off leash recreation area.

FrogMap
Northern Leopard Frog, Rana Pipiens Map

Just as farmers watch the weather; “In dry years, arable agriculture can fail over large parts of the province, whilst in wet years, flooding has caused widespread damage to rural and urban infrastructure.” “(Pomeroy, 2005)

So, too, do the frogs seem to watch the weather. During dry years such as those experienced 2015, 2016, and 2017 there were no frogs heard at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area. However in 2013 and 2014 frogs were a delight to the years, especially as the Northern Leopard Frog is a species of Special Concern. As the weather cycles in the province, it can be expected that another year of flooding may follow the very dry years experienced 2015, 2016, and 2017. The newspapers report the flooding damaging crops, basements and highways however the glorious thing which is missed on the years of high water tables, is that the frogs come back!

 

There are definitely other areas, such as where the old grid road is being swallowed up by Chappell Marsh near the road turn off to Chappell Marsh Conservation Area. The old grid road is partially submerged, making it the perfect habitat for frogs [and ducks] as well.

Now then, it would be a very intriguing for a herpetologist, volunteer ‘Steward of Saskatchewan’ or conservation officer to engage in a project to walk with a GPS app which records altitude. This project would scan the entirety of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and ‘George Genereux’ Urban Regional park for altitude levels similar to the altitude of the meadow west of the South West Off Leash Recreation Area. Other areas which provide a rich habitat for the Northern Leopard Frog could be identified in this method for the areas west of Chappell Marsh and in ‘George Genereux’ Urban Regional park. In this way during years of flooding the Northern Leopard Frog could be surveyed and counted in identified Frog zones. And accordingly in the years of drought, the environment could remain undisturbed awaiting their safe return. 🙂

Perhaps, just perhaps, this would be a way to ensure the Northern Leopard Frog’s survival. An altitude test may just help to find the temporary wetlands conducive to the frog’s habitat, and could then be protected from development. Either that, or developers would need wait until years of high water tables before developing land to determine the habitat for frogs.

Saskatchewan cycles through years of drought and high water tables. The years 2013, and 2014, saw very, very high rain levels, spring run off and flooding. Chappell Marsh itself washed out a grid road, and water pumps were allocated to try to divert the flooding away from Saskatchewan Highway 7 west of the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and CN Chappell Yards. The cycle of very wet conditions was also seen historically over the years 2005, and 2006. (Garnet, 2012)

July 13, 2014, Emily Chan reported “In Saskatchewan, it’s estimated that a total of up to 3 million acres, including some farmland, have already flooded.” “Highways closed and communities declared states of emergency …, ” reports the Canadian Press on June 30, 2014 due to a deluge of rain.

“From too much rain to not enough — and everyone baking in the heat — communities smashed weather records in July across Saskatchewan.”(Climenhaga, 2017) Whereas, in direct contrast to the years of 2013 and 2014, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada reported that 2016 was the hottest year on record, replacing the record set in 2015. In 2017, “Saskatchewan farmers say drought conditions in some parts of the province are the worst they have seen in decades “(Bridges, 2017) “Record-breaking temperatures and extremely low rainfalls across Western Canada are causing chaos for farmers and firefighters this summer as they grapple with the worst drought in more than a decade.” {Sikierska, 2015) Drought also ravaged Saskatchewan over the years 2001 to 2002. (Garnet, 2012)

“Nowhere else in Canada does the lack or excess of water cause such widespread concern, nor are there many Canadian environments subject to greater seasonal change in precipitation and surface-water storage.”(Pomeroy, 2005)
Drought years have been recorded as 1961, 1967, 1979, 1980, 1985, 1988, 2003, 2009. Whereas, the flood years are reported as 1965, 1977, 1986, 1991, 1993, 1999, 2005, 2010. (Garnet, 2012)
Taiwan is privileged with the humid and rainy habitats favorable for frogs, and the profuse rain providing the frogs a long reproduction stage makes Taiwan one of the best places for frog-watching.”{Government of Taiwan}  And it follows, that in Saskatchewan, the frogs, also fare better during the years the province cycles into a year with a high water table, rain and humidity.  Just as the Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris) is native to marshes, fens, ditches and wet woodland in temperate regions, the marsh marigold does not raise its yellow head in the years of drought, nor do the Northern Leopard Frogs sing merrily in the wetlands.  In the case of frogs, and marsh marigolds, both flora and fauna await seasons of moisture, and hunker down when drought and desert-like conditions appear.
“The trees and vegetation which cover the land surface of the Earth and delight the eye, are therefore performing vital tasks incumbent upon the vegetable world in nature. The glorious rich, colourful, quilted covering of vegetation is not there merely to feed and please us. Its presence is essential to Earth as an organism. It is the first condition to Earth as an organism. It is the first condition of all life; it is the ‘skin of the Earth, for without it there can be no water and, therefore, no life. ” Richard St. Barbe Baker.

Bibliography

2016 Annual Report of Agroclimate Conditions Across Canada Government of Canada Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Bridges, Alicia. Sask. farmers say drought conditions worst in decades. Farmers, ranchers face tough season due to hot, dry weather. CBC News.

Chan, Emily. Prairie farmers frustrated as flooding drowns crops. Ctv News. July 13, 2014

Climenhaga, Christy. Regina experiences driest July in 130 years. July topped the charts for hot and dry weather in southern Saskatchewan. CBC News. Aug. 1, 2017

Cross, Brian. Rising waters wash away land, farmers’ futures . The Western Producer. May 7, 2015

Flooding, highway closures as heavy rain pounds Prairies Canadian Press. June 30, 2014.

Garnett, Ray and Madhav Khandekar. From Drought to Wet Cycles The Changing Climate of the Canadian Prairies. May 3, 2012.

Pomeroy, John, Dirk de Boer and Lawrence Martz. Hydrology and Water Resources of Saskatchewan. Centre for Hydrology Report #1. Department of Geography, University of Saskatchewan February 2005.

Reeve warns flood water could flow over Hwy 11 in Lumsden area CBC News. May 5, 2013

Saskatchewan flooding: 37 communities declare state of emergency CBC News. June 30 2014

Sask. Flooding >Flood-battered roads crumbling around eastern Sask. Culverts, bridges, train tracks washed out over a wide area CBC News. July 2, 2014

Siekierska, Alicja. Hot, dry and disastrous. Western Canada’s drought is taking a toll. Edmonton Journal. July 25, 2015

Top ten weather stories for 2010: Story three. From Dry to Drenched on the Prairies. Government of Canada. Environment and Climate Change Canada.

For more information:

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com

Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West Off Leash Recreation Area SW OLRA

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Twitter: St Barbe Baker

Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The MVA has begun a Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund. If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund (MVA RSBBAA trust fund)”. Post to MVA 402 Third Avenue South Saskatoon, SK S7K 3G5 Please and thank you!

Membership in the Saskatoon Nature Society “supports nature conservation projects and [the society] is an active advocate for the preservation of plant and animal habitats”.

Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition ~ an active group interested in forest management~ or make a donation to “Save our Saskatchewan” [SOS] Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area 😉

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

“We forget that we owe our existence to the presence of Trees. As far as forest cover goes, we have never been in such a vulnerable position as we are today. The only answer is to plant more Trees – to Plant Trees for Our Lives.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker

Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future

2018 Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future Urban wetlands: prized land not wasteland Retain and restore: practical ways cities can preserve and manage urban wetlands. Walking the talk: Urban wetlands making cities liveable
2018 Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future.  Urban Wetlands Making Cities Liveable. Urban wetlands: Prized land not wasteland. Retain and restore: practical ways cities can preserve and manage urban wetlands. Walking the talk: Urban wetlands making cities liveable.

World Wetlands Day occurs annually on February 2nd, marking the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on February 2, 1971.{source}

#KeepUrbanWetlands

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands.  The theme for 2018 is “Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future.”  {Source}

  • Urban wetlands: Prized land not wasteland.
  • Retain and restore: practical ways cities can preserve and manage urban wetlands..
  • Walking the talk: Urban wetlands making cities liveable.

The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and the afforestation area ‘George Genereux’ Urban Regional Park are located within the West Swale, and both afforestation areas are classified as wetlands.  The West Swale  is a low lying wetlands area which has its confluence at Yorath Island in the South Saskatchewan River;  Map

The results of the City of Saskatoon West/Southwest Sector Natural Area Screening Study on the wildlife habitat showed that the West Swale should remain with connectivity to preserve migrations, and ecological processes. Disrupting the West Swale increases the risk for local extinctions.  The recommendation was for  the establishment of a habitat corridor of the West Swale as it meanders to the river. The confluence area poses a potential flood hazard during high water table years and the expansion of a conservation area would inherently prove to be a safe and prudent course. The areas around the West Swale are protected under the Ministry of Environment (MOE) as the primary regulator agency, as well as the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority.{Source; Golder Associates. Southwest Sector Plan. (2013)}

A wetland is a land area that is saturated with water, either permanently or seasonally, such that it takes on the characteristics of a distinct ecosystem The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from other land forms or water bodies is the characteristic vegetation of aquatic plants, adapted to the unique hydric soil. Wetlands play a number of roles in the environment, principally water purification, flood control, carbon sink and shoreline stability. Wetlands are also considered the most biologically diverseof all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal.{Source}

World Wetlands Day was established to raise awareness about the value of wetlands for humanity and the planet, WWD was celebrated for the first time in 1997 and has grown remarkably since then. Each year, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and groups of citizens at all levels of the community, have taken advantage of the opportunity to undertake actions aimed at raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits. Some of these benefits include: biologically diverse ecosystems that provide habitat for many species, serve as buffers on the coast against storms and flooding, and naturally filter water by breaking down or transforming harmful pollutants.{source}

How will the City of Saskatoon and its residents celebrate, and honour this 2018 World Wetlands Day; “Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future?”

#KeepUrbanWetlands

For more information upon:

Urban wetlands: prized land not wasteland

Retain and restore: practical ways cities can preserve and manage urban wetlands.

Walking the talk: Urban wetlands making cities liveable

“Of the earth’s thirty billion acres, already nine billion acres are desert. And if a man loses a third of his skin, he dies; plastic surgeons say “He’s had it.” And if a tree loses one-third of its bark, it dies. And if the earth loses one-third of its green mantle of trees, it will die. The water table will sink beyond recall and life on this planet will become impossible. It’s being skinned alive today. . .” Richard St. Barbe Baker

For more information:

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com

Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West Off Leash Recreation Area SW OLRA

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Twitter: St Barbe Baker

Contact the Meewasin Valley Authority in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The MVA has begun a Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund. If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund (MVA RSBBAA trust fund)”.  Post to MVA 402 Third Avenue South Saskatoon, SK S7K 3G5  Please and thank you!

Membership in the Saskatoon Nature Society  “supports nature conservation projects and [the society] is an active advocate for the preservation of plant and animal habitats”.

Please contemplate joining the SOS Elms coalition ~ an active group interested in forest management~ or make a donation to “Save our Saskatchewan” [SOS] Elms ~ leave a message to support the afforestation area  😉

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something: ***

“The trees and vegetation which cover the land surface of the Earth and delight the eye, are therefore performing vital tasks incumbent upon the vegetable world in nature. The glorious rich, colourful, quilted covering of vegetation is not there merely to feed and please us. Its presence is essential to Earth as an organism. It is the first condition to Earth as an organism. It is the first condition of all life; it is the ‘skin of the Earth, for without it there can be no water and, therefore, no life. ” Richard St. Barbe Baker.