A Call to save the Beaver Pond Forest

Chalk-fronted Corporal
Marathon Trail, June 2009

A few months ago I blogged about the need to support the preservation of the South March Highlands in Kanata. While Ottawa’s city council did in fact consider ways to save this beautiful old-growth forest from development, a new City Council has been elected since then, and it is up to them to continue working to preserve the Beaver Pond Forest section of the South March Highlands. The Council will be voting on this matter on Wednesday, December 15, 2010so time is of the essence.

If you, like me, hate to see the continual destruction of our beautiful forests and wetlands, please send an email to the Mayor, with a copy to your City Councillor (for those of you who live in Ottawa), urging him to make the preservation of the Beaver Pond Forest a priority. The mayor and new council are well aware of this issue, and don’t need a long letter explaining it….a short email will do. You can email Mayor Watson at Jim.Watson@ottawa.ca.

Here is the letter that I sent:

December 13, 2010

Dear Mayor Watson,

I live in Kanata South and, as a birder, nature photographer, and amateur naturalist and wildlife enthusiast, love Ottawa for its beautiful green space, its network of nature trails, and the biodiversity our conservation areas and green space supports. My nature outings take me to many places in the Ottawa area, and I have only started visiting the trails off Goulbourn Forced Road last year. During my visits I have seen or heard Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Black-and-White Warblers, Red-eyed Vireos, Ovenbirds, Eastern Wood-pewees, Great-crested Flycatchers, American Redstarts, a Hermit Thrush, a Black-throated Blue Warbler, House Wren, Alder Flycatcher, Sora, and Common Yellowthroats….and these are only the birds! Nature’s diversity continues to amaze me; it is awe-inspiring (and humbling) to come across creatures that I hadn’t even known existed.

The South March Highlands has been described as a mini-Costa Rica. Although it is only 3 km by 4 km, it is home to over 675 species, including 19 species-at-risk and another 18 that are on the priority list for the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. The area has been designated as a Provincially Significant Area of Natural and Scientific Interest by the Ministry of Natural Resources and it also contains the largest deer-yard in the city. We cannot hope to protect species at risk if we do not protect their environment, and without intervention, will see more and more of these species becoming endangered or extinct.

I am asking you, therefore, to make the preservation of the Beaver Pond Forest a priority. As you know, the outgoing Council was in favour of this being done. Now it is up to you and your new Council to continue working to save this precious habitat. I hope you feel, as I and many other city residents do, that our green space is an integral and valuable part of Ottawa, and part of what makes this city great.

Thank you for your attention to this important issue.

Yours very truly,

Gillian Mastromatteo

Once again, it is important that as many people as possible write to the Mayor and ask him to save this vital habitat from destruction. I hope you will join me in the fight to conserve Ottawa’s green space.

Wetland within the Marathon Trail System in the South March Highlands
May 23, 2009

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