A Problem and Great Dilemna

There is a problem

“If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking.  Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.” — Raymond Inmon

A great and undeniable problem has arisen. The dilemna which calls calls from the heights of the untrodden immutable forest kingdom. Yet borne up within by courage unflinching, the morning’s faint light through the narrow embrasure, rugged, majestic, the trees, they tower far above.

The June Rose has bloomed as if on cue with calendraic reminder that May has past. Joining June Rose across the vast prairies is Canada Anemone, white and true, and waving as a spring bonnet in the breeze High Hush Cranberry flower doilies toss to and fro. Traveling yet the plains, what could possibly capture the heart more than the delicate bloom of the False Solomon’s Seal and Bunch Berry or, no, it just may be the blossom of the Red Osier Dogwood.

One may then cry out forests are perfect!  However, that leads one to the problem at hand.  In the course of this June study we shall have to touch on what is called the problem of perfection and grandeur. But in this primary matter of the ideal the difficulty is not the problem of magnificence, or perfection, but mayhaps the problem of abundance. Life, thus unfolds and is full of little problems, which arise suddenly and find one wholly unprepared with a solution.

What is that you say? Is it not a wonder to behold the sunset, A gold fringe on the purpling hem of woodlands or mayhaps the sunrise, the fresh-blown rose of dawn, is that not what one should call perfect and spectacular? The reflections of the sky captured in the waters below, amplifying the beauty times two – nay this is perfection! Did you forget perchance, amid the broken clouds the rainbow’s angel spanned? The double rainbow colours bright or light prism dancing amid the crystal dew, what could be more perfect than that? Did you not catch sight of the butterfly flittering past, the Swallowtail and Fritallaries and Mourning Cloaks? Did you stop to listen to listen to the warbling notes from her fair songsters’ feathered throats ~ are these tunes not Perfection at its finest?

You are left free to judge of these problems and dilemnas now with fresh minds to ponder and consider these issues…  And this brings the tale to another problem.  Which is more perfect, the wetlands fresh the new families of ducks, and goslings or the understorey bedecked in blooms, or the marsh spangled with the rays of the Aurora Borealis? How, then is one to choose?   On this particular June day, how will the problem resolve?   Or do your heart strings pull at the sight of a glorious winter’s hoar frost day, the majestic mountain, rippling waterfall, or span of ocean?

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” — John Muir

Be contented; enjoy your fine imagination; and do not throw your salad out of window, nor shove your cat off your knee, on hearing it said that Shakespeare has a finer, or that a minister is of opinion that you know more of music than of nature.

The exertion of intellectual power, of fancy and imagination affords us greatly more than their enjoyment. We are motes in the midst of generations: we have our sunbeams to circuit and climb. Look at the summits of the trees around us, how they move, and the loftiest the most: nothing is at rest within the compass of our view.

Do not imagine that the illusion is, or can be, or ought to be, complete. Imagination makes encroachments on the heart, and uses it as her own. Imagination could finish the story, this single June Day confronts the senses with the main outline of the whole problem.

“Yesterday was the happiest day of my life. Every new day that follows the previous day is happier and what better than this I can wish for my friend. “I wish you health and strength of an oak, the long life of a redwood.” 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

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Hiking Boots
Hiking Boots ready for the trail

DEDICATION.I need give my verse no hint as to whom it sings for. The rose, knowing her own right, makes servitors of the light-rays to carry her color. So every line here shall in some sense breathe of thee, and in its very face bear record of her whom, however unworthily, it seeks to serve and honor. ~George Parsons Lathrop

Snowshoes upon the snow
Snowshoes upon the snow ~ days gone by.
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How? Recreation in harmony with wildlife.

Is it possible and How?

“Every trail can’t be all things to all people but all trails can play beneficial roles. Trails play roles in the economy, play roles in the environment and perhaps most importantly, play roles in our health.*” Trails have the capacity to provide connectivity, economic benefits, education potential, environmental interpretation, health, heritage, and recreation. Trails can also focus on just interpretive trails. Trails may be made solely for recreation without awareness of the environment. Those people focusing on the lack of Vitamin “N” in the urban population, may construct trails for education and health, and not focus on a wide variety of recreation. Then there are those trails which with planning and foresight have the capacity to combine many features for an audience of skiiers, classrooms of snowshoers, groups of fat bicycle riders, and nature enthusiasts who come to the forest to band birds. Trails invite people and increase the human footprint. Is it at all possible for trails to provide health benefits of recreation and to conserve the footprint of birds and wildlife at the same time?

Trails can be constructed to encircle biospheres, and trails can loop around and create length for an exercise workout. Ecosystems in the afforestation area vary widely. Prairie gives way to permanent class IV wetlands, in turn cycles to Aspen Parkland bluffs, which at the next turn reveals implanted and afforested trees. Native grasslands mix with modified grasslands. Native trees combine with afforested mature tree plantings. Shallow temporary floodplains flow with intermittent streams between marsh areas.

Abandoned roadways in the afforestation area formerly allowed motorized vehicle travel east and west. Newly created trails create greenways through the forest biome itself.

“‘Planning Trails with Wildlife in Mind’ helps trail planners and builders balance the benefits of creating trails with being stewards of nature and wildlife habitat.” How does one make a bicycle path appropriate for a semi-wilderness wildlife habitat? What are some guidelines for being aware of wildlife, aquatic areas, and environmental impacts and consequences? Can trails be designed in the winter months without an awareness of the spring, summer and fall biosphere? How can trails enrich greenways, and the wildlife, while still providing a recreational experience? Are there impacts of trails on the nesting site of deer families, and fawns? What is the view from the bird’s nest with an increase of trail users in a forest?

Is it possible that a greenway concept or trail design, that the flora and fauna of wetlands and woodlands can thrive alongside people in nature? What types of design considerations and awareness of the biodiversity are required? Trail and corridor planning has the capacity to provide ecologically sustainable trails for a city urban footprint. Trails can protect environmental resources, if the natural eco-system is evaluated, and considered.

However, that being said, trails can focus only on recreational aspects, and those benefits. Trails can be indeed fantastic ways to enjoy winter recreation. Once built, the same trails over the spring, summer and fall months, have opened up the wildlife habitat to people. There is no doubt about it, the winter recreation trails don’t disappear along with the snow melt.

Do these trails bring people into the environment with minimal environmental impact? What happens on a winter trail in the summer?  Do the trails provide the tourist with the capacity for educational, scenic or interpretive opportunity year round? Can all vegetation be linked with a greenway corridor, or are there species which do not thrive around a trail? Similarly what species of animals will make homes, reproduce, and live in the same habitat as trails? Can this be accomplished, or does it become an either or? Is it a choice to choose between trails and a variety of fauna, or can they exist together? Do trails include the biosphere of flora and fauna species and therefore enhance the environment?

How do challenging bicycling and hiking trails compare to a shorter interpretive or nature trail? Is the area only large enough for recreational trails, and the park should only be open in the winter, and close up for the other seasons? Can recreational winter trails, afford environmentally friendly trails during other seasons?

Trails dig deep into a woodland, when a trail transects through a forest what are the impacts on the woodland animals, and birds? Do botanists work alongside trail planners to know which areas are sensitive and which would thrive with trails?

Trails are amazing things, a well-designed trail has minimal devastation to the vegetation, are easy to hike, bicycle, ski and snowshoe.  However it may possibly be that protecting the vegetation, is not the sole responsibility when trail planning when providing a minimum impact onto an eco-system. Again, trails are truly amazing things, providing people with an opportunity to bicycle in nature, hike, showshoe, ski, or band birds. Alongside the vegetation, good trail planning will consider the seasons and the urban footprint all year round. If a winter ski trail is created in one area of a biome, will this impact where a deer gives birth to a fawn in the spring? When a winter trail loops through a forest, will that have a ripple effect on species of birds nesting over the summer?

Eco-tourism is wonderful. A healthy and active outdoor lifestyle is absolutely marvelous. Having the capacity to celebrate a semi-wilderness habitat in the city is remarkable. What is the way to make these concepts mutally inclusive? How can winter trail networks live in harmony with semi-wilderness wildlife habitats? This question begs the need to know what wildlife habitats exist, which species live where. Where do the nature enthusiasts band their birds? Where do the deers nest their fawns? If these questions are answered, the biosphere, is truly enhanced with trails, and the next generation of skiiers, snowshoers, hikers, and bicyclers will also be handed a glimpse of a deer, and the grandchildren of the bird-banders, will also be able to band birds alongside the same trails.  Wouldn’t that be fantastic if many generations of recreational enthusiasts, could have a grand time celebrating winter, and that their great grandchildren may also see a deer in a city forest?  Is it possible and how can it be accomplished? The question now is how?

BIBLIOGRAPHY
* Benefits of Trails Hike Ontario.

Trails, Bike and Hike: Inpsiring a Healthy Environment Upper Thams River Conservation Authority. Parks Recreation and Natural Areas.

National Trails Training Partnership Wildlife and environment impacts and benefits of Trails and Greenways.

Benefits of Trails | Rails to Trails

Enhancing the Environment with Trails and Greenways. Rails to Trails Conservancy.

Trails in Saskatchewan Provincial Parks

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

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Tagged Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Twitter: St Barbe Baker

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Afforestation Workshop

“When the trees go, the rain goes, the climate deteriorates, the water table sinks, the land erodes and desert conditions soon appear” ~Richard St. Barbe Baker

Afforestation Workshop May 25, 2017 at 1:30
Afforestation Workshop May 25, 2017 at 1:30

“What do the forests bear? Soil, water and pure air–soil, water and pure air are the basis of life; this is the slogan of the Chipko (Hug to the Trees) women in India–those who work with Sunderlal Bahuguna to save the forests of the Himalayas. Sunderlal is my Guru”.~Richard St. Barbe Baker

The Wild About Saskatoon 2017 NatureCity Festival theme this year is ‘We are water: explore our prairie waterscape.’ The festival takes place with a wide assortment of events May 23-28, 2017. The Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area joins the festivities Thursday afternoon May 25, 2017 between 1:30 and 3:15.  Situated in a low lying area classified as a “wetlands”, the afforestation workshop  participants will be immersed in the forest and woodlands in the southwest sector of Saskatoon.  The workshop was compiled from the books and teachings of Dr. Richard St. Barbe Baker,  L.L.D., O.B.E., humanitarian, author, silviculturist and forester.  In this way we embrace the teachings of this Baba Wya Miti ~ loving Father of Trees.

Omitakoyasin. The Omitakoyasin are the spirits of all of humanity’s ancestors, since always and for always. “We are all related.” It is important to realize that every single person who enters into our lives, from the passing stranger to those nearest and dearest to us, is present because we dreamed them here. We made a mutual agreement with each of them to connect in this time and space for the purpose of enriching and empowering our individual and collective evolution.~Lynette Hopkin

Arrive at the parking lot of the South West off leash dog park for 1:30 p.m. on Thursday May 25, 2017 should you wish to partake in this workshop activities.  Directions and map are included below.  Though the meeting place will be the SW off leash recreation area parking lot, the Afforestation Workshop will take place in the forest east of the dog park, and not in the dog park itself.

“The trees and vegetation, which cover the land surface of the Earth and delight the eye, are performing vital tasks incumbent upon the vegetable world in nature. Its presence is essential 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

Note 

There will be no actual planting or “afforestation of trees” at the location of this workshop, this afforestation workshop is so named as it takes place within an “afforestation area” – the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.

For more information:

You Tube Video Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

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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Hibernal Labyrinth

As I wandered on as in a dream, all sense of time and space lost. ~ Richard St. Barbe Baker

Were you there?

The snowstorm provided atmosphere in a glance; a subtle nuance which the snow covers as if the forest possessed an iniquitous or gentle soul. Within the forest enraptured within the illusion of time, and the dance of snowflakes are never at rest; even within the narrow compass of the forest they develop a scene; growing in captivating, spell-binding wonder and beauty, the landscape continuously transformed; the trees and snow swirl together in “sync,” and ideality unites thus the blanketed forest vision with that of the humans.

For is it not on such a day that we do, indeed create our world? Wonderfully wrought, rich yet dim was the day, as if God himself had dipped his artistic brush in mist and not in reality. Time and space died that day. The mysticism of the day revealed itself in a spell-bound trance, all of nature was settled, serene, and the pattern wove a splendour of moods and tonalities.

The blizzard brought a new way of seeing, the rhythm of the wind as a cinematograph carrying the eye to a point of distraction. As the trees danced about in their newly donned snowy robes, we tread about the snow drifts as the wind blew on and on. Under the snow blanket hidden deep, the squirrels, and mice uttered not a peep. The pine boughs laden under the bevy of snow, held fast the chickadee and waxwing, for in the blizzard no song of bird across the woodlands was ever heard. So it is thus to tell the story when the pale glow of the northern Canadian sun faded behind the gathering snow.

Step by step walk now through the snow, enveloped in this seemingly endless wilderness. The day revealed snow stretching out before the travelers unbroken by track, or footprint of any living creature. The outset of the day ’twas quite impossible to look or see for a pace around, the snow fell thick and fast. The big snow caressed the earth, and upon the woodland trees fell whispering through the wind, catching on the top of the swaying spruce-tops. And such was the day, the day of the big snow that transfigured the spirit, and aligned a new rhythm within the landscape creating new perspectives.

Little snowflakes, insignificant at first, ranging themselves into complex and grand atmospheres which can transfix melodramatic eyes. The multiplicity of details now hidden create new notes of nature revealing breathtaking scenes of dramatic power, creating vivid visions of silent peace. The day has now passed, and with it, too, the sun has taken the vision.

The harmony and symphony of the blizzard, the sense of serenity has played out in the vanishing seconds down the corridor of time. And yet there is a delightful consolation captured ~ the alluring mystery hovering around the woodlands that day when the north wind danced with the woodlands Grace.

“According to ancient mythology, trees were the first living things on earth. This is borne out by scientific reasoning which shows that it is through them that the air we breathe can give life to humanity. Through countless ages trees have been drawing carbonic acid gas from the atmosphere, absorbing and incorporating the carbon, assimilating it; then when they die, bequeathing to soil their carboniferous remains. The consequence has been that eventually the atmospheric oxygen was left sufficiently pure for the requirements of birds and mammals which have replaced the flying reptiles and monstrous amphibians that were able to endure the heavy air of primeval swamps and jungles.”~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

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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“As I wandered on as in a dream, all sense of time and space lost.  As I continued this mysterious journey, looking up every now and then I could see shafts of light where the sunshine lit up the morning mists and made subtle shadows on the huge bracken fronds which provided a continuous canopy of bright green over me.  Their pungent scent was a delight to me.  Although I could see only a few yards ahead, I had no sense of being shut in.  The sensation was exhilarating.  I began to walk faster, buoyed up with an almost ethereal feeling of well-being, as if I had been detached from earth. I became intoxicated with the beauty around me, immersed in the joyousness and exultation of feeling part of it all.~Richard St. Barbe Baker.”

World Wildlife Day ~ Conservation

Wildlife Montage. Red Winged Blackbird, White Tailed Deer Fawn, Garter Snake, JackRabbit, Mallard Ducklings, Black Crowned Night Heron
Wildlife Montage. Red Winged Blackbird, White Tailed Deer Fawn, Garter Snake, JackRabbit, Mallard Ducklings, Black Crowned Night Heron

Gifford Pinchot centered on  conservation as follows; ” The principles which the word Conservation has come to embody are not many, and they are exceedingly simple. I have had occasion to say a good many times that no other great movement, has ever achieved such progress in so short a time, or made itself felt in so many directions with such vigor and effectiveness, as the movement for the conservation of natural resources.

Forestry made good its position in the United States before the conservation movement was born. As a forester I am glad to believe that conservation began with forestry, and that the principles which govern the Forest Service in particular and forestry in general are also the ideas that control conservation.”

Gifford Pinchot; BA degree from Phillips Exeter Academy and Yale University (1899), MA (1901) and LLD (1925) degrees from Yale, MA degree (1904) from Princeton University, ScD degree (1907) from Michigan Agricultural College, LLD degree (1909) from McGill University, LLD degree (1923) from Pennsylvania Military College, and LLD degree (1931) from Temple University. Pinchot was forester and chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry, founded the School of Forestry at Yale University, and also the Society of American Foresters and the National Conservation Association of which he became President. Author of A Primer of Forestry (1899), The Fight for Conservation (1909), The Training of a Forester (1914), and Breaking New Ground, an autobiography (1947).

Pinchot continues about conservation, “In addition to the principles of development and preservation of our resources there is a third principle. It is this: The natural resources must be developed and preserved for the benefit of the many, and not merely for the profit of a few.

The conservation idea covers a wider range than the field of natural resources alone. Conservation means the greatest good to the greatest number for the longest time. One of its great contributions is just this, that it has added to the worn and well-known phrase, “the greatest good to the greatest number,” the additional words “for the longest time,” thus recognizing that this nation of ours must be made to endure as the best possible home for all its people.

Conservation advocates the use of foresight, prudence, thrift, and intelligence in dealing with public matters, for the same reasons and in the same way that we each use foresight, prudence, thrift, and intelligence in dealing with our own private affairs. It proclaims the right and duty of the people to act for the benefit of the people. Conservation demands the application of common-sense to the common problems for the common good.

We are prosperous because our forefathers bequeathed to us a land of marvellous resources still unexhausted. Shall we conserve those resources, and in our turn transmit them, still unexhausted, to our descendants? Unless we do, those who come after us will have to pay the price of misery, degradation, and failure for the progress and prosperity of our day. When the natural resources of any nation become exhausted, disaster and decay in every department of national life follow as a matter of course. Therefore the conservation of natural resources is the basis, and the only permanent basis, of national success.

The conservation issue is a moral issue, and the heart of it is this: For whose benefit shall our natural resources be conserved—for the benefit of us all, or for the use and profit of the few? This truth is so obvious and the question itself so simple that the attitude toward conservation of any man in public or private life indicates his stand in the fight for public rights. ”

Saskatoon community volunteers all came together three times for major trash clean ups in the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area in the southwest sector of Saskatoon in 2015 and 2016 to better the environment and promote conservation practices.  On March 3 World Wildlife Day,  honour the afforestation areas, and continue to monitor, and conserve the semi-wilderness wildlife habitat at the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area.  Though the volunteers were elated to see 13,100 kilograms (28,875 pounds) 1 2 3 of trash removed from the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area and did, indeed come out more than once to clean up the environment, the woodlands and Chappell Marsh West Swale Wetlands.  It would surely be wonderful to engage in conservation practices and center community efforts to maintain the wetlands and associated riparian woodlands, and thus honour the semi-wilderness wildlife habitat corridor and not have a repeated need to engage in costly volunteer clean ups.

The vanishing wildlife, its extermination and preservation came to the forefront in the article World Wildlife Day March 3. How can conservation efforts continue past March 3, continue onward after World Wildlife Day to conserve the habitats, forests, wetlands and resources?  Find out what you can do.

For More Conservation Information

Compliance and Enforcement Environment. Government of Saskatchewan.

Conservation Provincial Parks System.

Conservation Learning Centre | School Program

Ecosystem services (ES) Toolkit and Assessment for Decision Making “nature’s benefits” For Decision making

Government of Canada Publications.

HABISask stands for Hunting, Angling and Biodiversity Information of Saskatchewan

Ludlow, Sarah. How we can save our songbirds. Nature Conservancy of Canada. February 22, 2017

K-9 unit plays important role for Sask. conservation team
Cpl. Jamie Chartrand and partner Jaks help track people, evidence for Ministry of Environment
Feb 11, 2017

Managing Saskatchewan’s Wetlands

Ministry of the Environment Government of Saskatchewan.

Nature Conservancy of Canada. Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre Citizen Scientist observations required; Report a Woodland Caribou Sighting. Giant Lacewing Observations. Red Lily Beetle Observations. Species list and Species Conservation Rankings

Saskatchewan Prairie Conservation Action Plan

Sask Tip Turn in Poachers and those who violate resource and environmental laws.

Serving People and Wildlife ~ Protecting Saskatchewan’s resources. Saskatchewan Association of Conservation Oficers

DeFranza David. How conservation helps people too. Tree Hugger April 4, 2011

What you can do to help Government of Canada. Climate Change.

Wildlife Conservation SACO| Wildlife Species at Risk. Government of Saskatchewan.

Take Action WWF-World Wide Fund For Nature (also known as World Wildlife Fund)

Take Action Government of Canada. Environment Canada. About Environment and Climate Change Canada Services The Biosphere BioKits Take Action

What can you do? Government of Canada. BiodivCanada. Education and AwarenessWhat Can You Do?

What you can do WWF-World Wide Fund For Nature (also known as World Wildlife Fund)

“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

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Pinchot, Gifford USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.

Seeking the Greatest Good. Pinchot Institute for Conservation. M“The mission of the Pinchot Institute is to strengthen forest conservation thought, policy, and action by developing innovative, practical, and broadly-supported solutions to conservation challenges and opportunities.”

Gifford Pinchot. National Parks.

Gifford Pinchot

I believe in oneness of mankind and of all living things and in the interdependence of each and all. I believe that unless we play fair to the Earth, we cannot exist physically on this planet. Unless we play fair to our neighbour, we cannot exist socially or internationally. Unless we play fair to better self, there is no individuality and no leadership. ~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 OLRA
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

Our task must be to free ourselves … by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.~Albert Einstein

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Who Speaks for the Heron?

A universal need. It embodies the spirit of service to mankind in attempting to provide a means of supplying forever a necessity of life .

Great Blue Heron Ardea Herodias

The Great Blue Heron Ardea Herodias, a wondrous marvel to behold, and yet did you know it is rated as “uncommon” albeit with a very large range.  In the West Swale wetlands and Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area in Saskatoon, quite a remarkable phenomenon has occurred.  Generally speaking one heron will not take habitat where there are other herons, and yet here there is the Great Blue Heron in the same West Swale wetlands as the Black Crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax ) ~ the Black-Crowned Night-Heron is introduced  in  The Outlook for Wildlife.

Never was there a greater difference in herons as you observe them in the West Swale wetlands.  the Great Blue Heron, tall and elegant has a height of 42 – 52 inches  (105-130 cm)  standing fully grown.  So here  is this heron on long legs with long long neck reaching 4 feet high.  The Black Crowned Night Heron,  is 23 – 28 inches (58-70)  cm with short yellow-green legs, and not only is he smaller, but this heron also sets down hunched or hunkered down, as if to shorten his 2 foot stature.

But could there be a better locale than the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area for these two disparate herons?  Both require woodlands, the trees for roosting in.  The Great Blue Heron nests within the branches of trees, and yet if one was to see a Great Blue Heron, it would likely be when they are standing still, patiently fishing concealing themselves within the rushes, sedges and cattails of the marsh shorelines.  This behavior is also seen in the Black-crowned Night-Heron who also nests and roosts in trees, and if one was to keep their eyes wide open at dusk, and set very quietly it may be possible to sight or perhaps even to hear a Black-crowned Night-heron flying out from the forest to forage at the water’s edge, as they feed nocturnally.

There is also known another species, the Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea), however the range of this smaller heron 24 inches (60 cm) does not extend as far as central Saskatchewan.

Seeing a large bird in flight, and wondering if it is a crane or a heron, it is good to note that the heron will fly with its head tucked back, extending the chest forward.  The cranes, such as the Sandhill Crane (Gus canadensis) with a similar size 40-48 inches (100-120 cm) will fly with its neck stretched out and elegant. The Whooping Crane (Grus americana) is also about the same size, 50 inches (125 cm) however there are not nearly as many of these amazing white birds to be seen, though they are bounding back from the brink of extinction.  Watch carefully flight of Sandhill Cranes overhead, as a solitary endangered Whooping Crane may flock with the Sandhills.  There are only around 200 Whooping Cranes left, however due to conservation efforts and public awareness of their plight, their numbers are slowly climbing.

The Sandhill Crane is also a long legged long necked grey bird, but differs from a Great Blue Heron as the Sandhill will have a bald red crown atop its head, and the Great Blue Heron will have a very dark to black coloured  plume of feathers extending out at the back of his head rather like a backwards baseball cap.  The Sandhill Cranes often frequent the fields and meadows in and around the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area seeking food in the autumn months during the migratory season.

What can you do for the “uncommon” Great Blue Heron and “endangered” Whooping Crane to protect and aid in conservation?  How can you reduce the decline, and eliminate some of the threats posed for the Great Blue Heron and the Whooping Crane

?  How can you celebrate the centennial of the migratory bird convention?

  1. First of all become a citizen scientist, and participate in a bird survey.  Expand your knowledge on conservation efforts.  Learn bird songs, and bird calls.  Discover how to identify birds.
  2. Secondly, protect the habitat, find out how you can volunteer, support conservation groups and become involved.
  3. It is important, thirdly, to reduce hazards, become actively engaged marking your own house and business windows, stop using pesticides which eradicate the forage of the birds, and reduce pollution in the environment by participating in clean ups and calling Saskatchewan environment TIPPS line to report environment violations and polluters.
  4. Let others know about what you have learned about birds and their habitats and how to protect them.  Share and expand the knowledge you have learned with others.  Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day (second Saturday in May), The United Nations General Assembly World Wildlife Day on March 3, National Tree Day September 21.
  5. Find local, provincial, federal and international agencies and associations who are native prairie stewards, those that conserve native prairie, those who may restore native prairie, green groups for wildlife and habitat management, environmental organisations who may seek to manage water, wetlands and riparian management.
  6. Make a personal commitment to maintain, conserve and restore a piece of native prairie.Determine what actions you can realistically make to achieve your goals, then monitor and evaluate your progress.  As you establish your values as a wildlife habitat and native prairie steward,  preserve and respect archeological and historical resources.

“Birds contribute to our pleasure and standard of living.  But they are also sensitive indicators of the environment, a sort of “ecological litmus test.”~Roger Tory Peterson. Peterson p.432

“This , then, is the task: nothing less than reclaiming water as a commons for the Earth, and all people that must be wisely and sustainably shared and managed if we are to survive.” ~Maude Barlow. Barlow. Page 175

“Canadians Love Our Water Heritage. This may be true in our imaginations and in our literature. But is seems not to be in reality, for if we loved our great water heritage, we would take better care of it.” Maude Barlow. Barlow. Page 181.

“Canada – and we as citizens – must act now if we are to carve out a coherent set of rules governing our water resources. Our country is in urgent need of a national water policy and strategy to protects its water, ecologically and jurisdictionally. To be effective, this policy must be developed among all of the different levels of government ~ federal, provincial, territorial, municipal and aboriginal.” Maude Barlow. Barlow. Page 206

“The rule of no realm is mine…But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, those are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail of my task,…if anything passes through this night that can still grow fair or bear fruit and flower again in the days to come. For I also am a steward. Did you now know? ~ J.R. R. Tolkein Barlow.Page x

“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 nation 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.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Barlow, Maud. Blue Covenant. The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water. Is Canada’s Water for Sale? McClelland and Steward Ltd. Toronto, ON. 2007.ISBN 978-0-7710-1072-9

Moen, Jim. Managing Your Native Prairie Parcels Your Guide to Caring for Native Prairie in Saskatchewan. 1998. Saskatchewan Wetland Conservation Corporation. Regina, Sk ISBN 1-896 793-19-3.

Peterson, Roger Tory. Western Birds. 1990. Houghton Mifflin Company Massachusetts. ISBN 0-395-51749-4 ISBN 0-395-51424-X pbk.

Sibley, David Allen. The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America. Chanticleer Press, Inc. New York. 2003. isbn 0-679-45121-8.