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

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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

MVA Leadership Role

National Non-Profit Day
August 17, 2017

What becomes possible because of the work of the non-profit organisation ~ the Meewasin Valley Authority (MVA)?

West Swale and Richard St. Barbe Baker AFforestation Area wildlife Urban Forest Semi-Wilderness Area. Mountain Bluebird, White Tailed Deer Fawn. Barred Tiger Salamander or western tiger salamander. American Pelican, Mallard Duckling
West Swale and Richard St. Barbe Baker AFforestation Area wildlife Urban Forest Semi-Wilderness Area. Mountain Bluebird, White Tailed Deer Fawn. Barred Tiger Salamander or western tiger salamander. American Pelican, Mallard Duckling

Are you aware of the impact that the MVA has on Saskatoon, in Saskatchewan, and worldwide?

We have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize. Thich Nhat Hanh

On Thursday August 17, 2017, pause and take some time to learn more about the MVA. The MVA provides stewardship along the South Saskatchewan River.

“When you open your mind, you open new doors to new possibilities for yourself and new opportunities to help others.” ― Roy T. Bennett

Richard Moriyama, architect and planner, of the 100 Year Conceptual Master Plan of the South Saskatchewan River Environment in the Rural Municipality of Corman Park and the City of Saskatoon, stated that the “first elements of that concept are a unique land and a unique people. The objective is balance. The umbrella idea, the broad concept, is health…the continuing health of the river and all its connected parts  creek, coulee, ravine, slough, aquifer, land and air.”

“We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat. They do not exist.” Queen Victoria

“Meewasin is recognized world-wide for its leadership in conserving the natural resources of the 6,700 hectares of the Meewasin Valley.”source

If you go out and partake of activities at the Beaver Creek Conservation Area, the South Saskatchewan River Meewasin Trail, the Meewasin Northeast Swale, the Saskatoon Natural Grasslands, Cranberry Flats Conservation Area, Wanuskewin Heritage Park, Cameco Meewasin Skating Rink, the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and the associated afforestation areas in the West Swale, you are appreciating the efforts of the Meewasin Valley Authority.

“It’s not only moving that creates new starting points. Sometimes all it takes is a subtle shift in perspective, an opening of the mind, an intentional pause and reset, or a new route to start to see new options and new possibilities.” Kristin Armstrong

Though times have been hard, and the budget restraints imposed upon the MVA have seen a cutting of programs, it is only the interpretive centre which closed. The MVA staff and directors are still hard at work conserving sensitive environmental sites, preserving water quality in the South Saskatchewan River, linking and balancing human activity, recreation and enjoyment with a healthy eco-system.

“Take your mind off the problems for a moment, and focus on the positive possibilities. Consider how very much you are able to do.” Ralph Marston

If you like what you see, and have enjoyed the breathtaking aesthetics inherent in the river valley, consider making a donation to the Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Trust Fund (MVA RSBBAA Trust Fund). Your donations will help to protect and monitor the West Swale wetlands affording a safe environment for the endangered Northern Leopard Frog. The West Swale is a unique wetlands system, following the pleistocene Yorath Island Spillway from the North Saskatchewan River valley to the South Saskatchewan River valley confluence. iThe afforestation area provides the growing city of Saskatoon the opportunity to walk in a mixed woodlands featuring deciduous and evergreen trees. Mixed forests are generally found at higher elevations, and in a parkland ecoregion, the afforestation area provides a unique setting. The afforestation area encompasses native prairie wild life, native flowers and a plethora of waterfowl and amphibians. The Saskatoon Nature Society has been actively engaged in ringing and  studying birds in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area, and has included the site in their new book Nature Viewing Sites in and around Saskatoon“. The West Swale and the associated afforestation areas embrace both multifacted nature viewing opportunities, as well as an amazing geological adventure into time.

“Who you are tomorrow begins with what you do today.”― Tim Fargo

Find out more about the Meewasin Valley Authority. Take some time and explore the “George Genereux” afforestation area, Richard St. Barbe Baker afforestation area, the southwest off leash recreation area, and the woodlands east of the off leash dog park this summer, then you will realize how your donation to the Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area Trust Fund (MVA RSBBAA Trust Fund) can truly make a difference!

“I believed that God has lent us the Earth. It belongs as much to those who come after us as to us, and it ill behooves us by anything we do or neglect, to deprive them of benefits which are in our power to bequeath.” Richard St. Barbe Baker

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′
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

Images of St. Barbe, credit
University of Saskatchewan,
University Archives & Special Collections,
Richard St. Barbe Baker fonds, MG 71

“The science of forestry arose from the recognition of a universal need. It embodies the spirit of service to mankind in attempting to provide a means of supplying forever a necessity of life and, in addition, ministering to man’s aesthetic tastes and recreational interests. Besides, the spiritual side of human nature needs the refreshing inspiration which comes from trees and woodlands. If a nations saves its trees, the trees will save the nation. And nations as well as tribes may be brought together in this great movement, based on the ideal of beautifying the world by the cultivation of one of God’s loveliest creatures – the tree.” ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker.

Discover the Loggerhead Shrike price tag

‘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

What is the price tag which the Saskatchewan Party places on the last

Monarch Butterfly or Baird’s Sparrow?

“We believe in the innate intelligence of… the country men and the workers, that they should be allowed to manage their own affairs. We believe they will put into their work not merely their hands and their feet, but their brains and their hearts. Each can experience the transcendental joy of creation, and can earn immortality and bestow immortality.~Richard St. Barbe Baker”

At a time when there are mandates to protect threatened species, it is definitely a time that our ecosystems and habitats deserve more funding and not less funding.

In the March 30, 2017 edition of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix newspaper, Phil Tank, writes that, “The Saskatchewan Party government introduced changes to the legislation this week that eliminate the requirement for set annual funding for the MVA [Meewasin Valley Authority] from the provincial government and the University of Saskatchewan.” Faced with less funding in 2016, MVA had no choice but to close its Interpretive Centre on July 1, 2016. This year, the provincial budget revealed that the MVA funding would sit at 500,000 or about half the annual amount. This $409,000 funding cut is an irony as among the land which are expected to be preserved, conserved, and maintained by the MVA are Crown lands. The question arises will the Saskatchewan Provincial parks ministry then step in to maintain their own lands within the MVA conservation zone? The Provincial Parks ministry owns about 2,610 acres of the 6,400 acres which MVA manages.

More funds, NOT LESS should be dedicated to saving the COSEWIC species of special concern: Monarch Butterfly, Common Nighthawk, Loggerhead Shrike, Barn Swallow, Mountain Bluebird, Horned Grebe, Northern Leopard Frog, Short-eared Owl, Baird’s Sparrow, Yellow Rail, Olive-sided Flycatcher, and Rusty Blackbird are all species within the MVA conservation zone along the South Saskatchewan River. These are just a very few of the protected species in danger of elimination in the South Saskatchewan River valley as determined by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada .

Our parks, South Saskatchewan rivershores, trails, historic sites all provide a critical and much needed wildlife habitat, ensure clean drinking water for residents of Saskatoon and all communities down stream, and offer countless and innumerable recreational activities. Visitors to Saskatoon have enjoyed visiting this river city with opportunities to hike, bicycle, or just take in the awe-inspiring beauty of numerous landmarks and breathtaking landscapes enhanced by the MVA conservation efforts since 1978. Reducing funding as the MVA comes up on their 40th anniversary would have a profound and tragic impact on the health and well-being of wildlife, landscapes and people. Any perceived short term savings would ultimately end up as gigantic economic costs in the long run. Without funding, the amazing riverbank scenes, and the wildlife habitat corridor would disintegrate.  Without funding  endangered species are pushed towards extinction.  Without funding there would be detrimental effects on the river, waterways, drinking water, and population health.  Without funding there would be a devastating effect on the civic economy.  Multi-use pathways would disappear. Without adequate funding, marshlands dry up, the world’s most endangered eco-system the temperate grasslands would vanish, and rivers, streams, and swales would get destroyed.

It may be thought of as an easy win for the Saskatchewan Party to implement cuts in conservation, however, such cuts could result in profound and maybe even irreversible consequences for Saskatchewan’s wildlife, landscapes and population. Do not let our future generations mitigate nature deficit disorder and be reduced to exploring and searching out nature in parking lots and fracking wells. Wouldn’t it be much better for our grandchildren, and great grandchildren to get a healthy dose of Vitamin N from our river valleys, swales, forests and native grasslands?

Our healthy river valley and parks create many millions in tourist and economic revenue every year, and support a vibrant river city economy of thousands of jobs.

To maintain wildlife populations, recover endangered species, and restore damaged eco-systems all require financial resources. With climate change, these needs and costs are rising exponentially.

As Saskatoon’s projected growth is set to hit 250,000 by 2025 and 380,000 by 2035, the provincial important wildlife habitat will rest within the MVA conservation zone as urban sprawl takes up valuable land which sensitive species rely upon. The plight of wildlife depends on funding for wildlife conservation and natural resource protection.

It is fantastic that ranchers and industry are monitored under The Wildlife Habitat Protection Act (WHPA) and that conservation practices are being adopted in rural areas, however the MVA educates the public on conservation practices in urban areas.

Please write a letter to your elected officials urging them to provide the resources and funding needed for engagement and education services, footpaths, biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. What is the cost to balance a $1.2 billion deficit? Actions have consequences, will it be the last of the Monarch Butterfly, or the extinction of the Horned Grebe? Let us hope not for goodness sakes, the Monarch Butterfly and Horned Grebe are invaluable, and should not be set at any price! In this modern technological era of progress and advancement don’t abandon the earth around us. Get out from behind your computer, set down your phone, go outside and pay attention to nature. If you wouldn’t mind, to everyone interested in paying attention to nature, write a letter to these following elected officials, speak out for the water, the land, the forests, and the myriad of creatures you see before its too late, please, and thank you. Also, please do check out the Meewasin Green Circle.

The elected and appointed officials are:

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau,, P.C., M.P., Prime Minister of Canada, Ottawa

The Honourable Catherine McKenna Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Her Honour the Honourable Vaughn Solomon Schofield, S.O.M., S.V.M., Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan

Honorable Sheri Benson, Member of Parliament Constituency:Saskatoon West Email:Sheri.Benson@parl.gc.ca

The Honourable Brad Wall, Premier of Saskatchewan. Email premier@gov.sk.ca

Cabinet Minister
The Honourable Scott Moe, Minister of the Environment

Ms. Jennifer Campeau. Saskatchewan Party Saskatoon Fairview ~ representing the regions for the West Swale and Afforestation areas. Members of the Legislative Assembly. casaskatoonfairview@shaw.ca

His Worship Mayor Charlie Clark

Saskatoon City Councillors. Ward 2 – Councillor Hilary Gough and Ward 3 – Councillor Ann Iwanchuk

Shaping Saskatoon Email communications Division

“Man has lost his way in the jungle of chemistry and engineering and will have to retrace his steps, however painful this may be. In doing so, perhaps he may be able to recapture the rhythm of life and the love of the simple things of life, which will be an ever-unfolding joy to him.” ~Richard St. Barbe Baker

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Adopt a rancher. Saskatchewan Prairie Conservation Action Plan

‘Beginning to hit a wall:’ MVA concerned over provincial funding cuts Meewasin Valley News CKOM

Crown Land Ecological Assessment Tool CLEAT is a computer program which puts a price tag on nature which weighs the cost of the Northern Leopard Frog against potential oil and gas development, and agricultural capability, and economic growth. What is the price tag which the Saskatchewan Party places on the last Monarch Butterfly or Baird’s Sparrow? That is what I would like to know. Has the Saskatchewan Party hereby in essence revoked the Monarch Butterfly’s passport entitling them to travel under government protection to and from foreign countries during their migration time?

“Almost everywhere in the world man has been disregarding the Divine Law and the Laws of Nature, to his own undoing. In his pride, he has rampaged over the stage of the earth, forgetting that he is only one of the players put there to play his part in harmony and oneness with all living things.~Richard St. Barbe Baker”

Meewasin Green Circle

Meewasin Valley Authority concerned after premier’s comments about cuts Feb 7, 2017.

New funding to help Saskatchewan ranchers protect species at risk. Environment and Climate Change Canada has given $2.58 million to the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association to lead a conservation project designed to help species at risk. Canadian Geographic.

Pasture land consultation. Have your say. Participate in the Process. Government of Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan Ranchers Recognized for their Conservation Commitment. Sept 9 2016

Shield, David.Meewasin Valley Authority losing nearly half its provincial funding “very challenging,” says Saskatoon Mayor. Authority and city had feared bigger cuts or end of provincial funding. CBC News. Mar 22, 2017

Southern Conservation Land Management Strategy Government of Saskatchewan.

“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

Is this the fate of the Saskatchewan River Valley, the marshlands, the temperate grasslands, the river bank? Without the MVA and their annual spring clean up, what will the water supply look like if this tragedy is allowed to take place? Is this what a river city should become?  Please help prevent this devastation.

If you wouldn’t mind, please do check out the Meewasin Green Circle.

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

If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque please to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund” (MVA RSBBAA trust fund) and mail it to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area c/o Meewasin Valley Authority, 402 Third Ave S, Saskatoon SK S7K 3G5. Thank you kindly!
Twitter: St Barbe Baker

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