Eastern Ontario Model Forest E-News

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Eastern Ontario Model Forest E-News

Welcome to the December issue of the EOMF E-News!  This e-letter will help us keep our members, partners and communities current on all the latest news and events on a regular basis.

December 9, 2020
2020 EOMF/CIF DECEMBER FOREST SEMINAR: A year end celebration of our forests (Webinar)

From the EOMF… Join us for our annual end of year celebration of our forests on December 9th at 10:00 am!  This year's theme will address two key environmental challenges that need immediate attention: climate change and biodiversity loss.  According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), there is alarming evidence that important tipping points, leading to irreversible changes in major ecosystems and the planetary climate system, may have already been reached or passed.  And, according to the United Nations Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever.   Join us for a discussion (webinar - virtual meeting) on how these major challenges are being addressed with some progressive initiatives in our local region.
Feature presentations include:
Sustainable Forest Management Impact on Climate Change and Biodiversity Conservation - Malcolm Cockwell, Managing Director, Haliburton Forest
How Forest-farms can Help in Conserving Biodiversity - Bob Dobson, Dobson Farm, Cobden
A Quick Overview of Climate Change and Related CFS Tools for Forest Adaptation - Dan McKenney, Research Scientist and John Pedlar, Biologist, Canadian Forest Service  
The event is free!  Registration for the webinar in advance will be required by December 8, 2020. The event is free to attend, however, it is encouraged to consider joining or renewing your membership or to make a donation to the EOMF (tax receipts provided for donations $25 or more).
Into the woods: The benefits of diversity
Ethan Tapper, Saint Albans Messenger… “I often talk about encouraging “diversity” in our forests. The reaction of most people is that they want their forest to be diverse, but they might not know what that actually means or why it’s important.  In an ecological context, diversity means several different things. The term is usually used to describe species diversity, the number of different species of trees in a forest. In this sense, a forest with a lot of different species of trees is “very diverse.”  A lesser-known type of diversity is structural diversity, which I think of as the way that the forest is growing.”  More details
Pressure grows to remove Schedule 6 from Bill 229

From Rideau Valley Conservation Authority… “Municipalities have joined the call to remove proposed changes to conservation authorities from the provincial budget bill.  More than just a budget, Bill 229 proposes legislative changes that will weaken conservation authorities’ ability to protect people, property and the environment.   Such changes do not belong in a budget bill, which is exempt from consultation on the Environmental Registry of Ontario. That’s why many municipalities are calling for Schedule 6 to be withdrawn from the budget bill and for the province to engage in meaningful consultation on the proposed changes.”  More details
Climate change drives invasive species
Brian Kelly,… “More invasive species will come to Canada, putting additional risk of native species extinction, warns Algoma University’s Canada Research Chair in Invasive Species.  “They are a consequence of an increasingly connected world and the rising human population,” associate professor Pedro Antunes told Algoma’s board of governors during a meeting last Thursday.  Invasive species can also affect species behaviour and ecosystem function.  Research done by Algoma’s soil ecology lab includes working with more than 200 Sault Ste. Marie residents to identify 142 plant species in urban forests in the city. Thirty-six species, or 25 per cent, were non-native to the area.  “We can predict a little better how do these plants get there,” said Antunes. “We hope to use this kind of approach not only across Canada, but all over the world. We think this is a great way to monitor invasive species.”  More details
The Ontario government isn’t built to meet its own environmental goals

John Michael McGrath,… If the Tories at Queen’s Park thought, early last year, that dismantling the office of the environmental commissioner and handing its responsibilities over to the auditor general would lead to a gentler, more accommodating level of oversight of the government’s environmental policies, we can now say they got that badly wrong.  The environmental commissioner — Jerry DeMarco, formally a subordinate of Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk — released four reports on Wednesday that cover multiple broad topics, including the province’s regulation of greenhouse-gas emissions in buildings, the management of parks and nature reserves, and the operation of the Environmental Bill of Rights (the landmark piece of legislation that’s supposed to keep the government from riding roughshod over environmental concerns). And the results aren’t good for the Tories.”  More details
The Power of Forests (Video Series)
CNBC International TV… Sustainable Energy looks at the role forests play when it comes to protecting our planet.  Here is a  three part series Part 1  Part 1;  Part 2; and Part 3 of the CNBC series.
Fire logs that smell like KFC available in Canada for first time
Valerie Leung, Richmond News… “The smell of chestnuts won't be the only scent being roasted over an open fire this year as Kentucky Fried Chicken has brought its fried-chicken scented fire logs to Canada.  The fast-food chain is selling its limited-time 11 herbs and spices fire log at all Canadian Tire stores across Canada.  “It’s the comfort of a warm fire and the delicious aroma of our world-famous fried chicken that makes the KFC 11 herbs and spices fire log a truly heart-warming and hunger-inducing experience for all,” said Samantha Redman, chief marketing officer at KFC Canada.”  More details
Auditor general issues scathing rebuke of Ford government’s environmental policies
By Emma McIntosh,… “The Ford government is failing to obey environmental laws, often doing so while skirting transparency rules, Ontario’s auditor general found in a scathing series of reports Wednesday.  The province is not collecting enough data to know whether it’s actually conserving protected lands and endangered species, the reports say.  Meanwhile, the Environment Ministry often does not comply with key environmental protection and public disclosure requirements, and Ontario Parks lacks the staff it needs to do its work properly, the reports found.”   More details
Province Tying Conservation Authorities Up in Red Tape
From Conservation Ontario… “Conservation Ontario (CO) recommends the Province repeal (remove) Schedule 6 which amends the Conservation Authorities Act and the Planning Act because the changes being proposed will create more red tape and higher costs for Ontario taxpayers as well as threaten the independent watershed-based approach used by conservation authorities (CAs) in land use planning.  There are a number of proposed changes contained in  Bill 229: Protect, Support and Recover from COVID 19 Act (Budget Measures Act) which Conservation Ontario believes will have the potential to add significant delays and costs in conservation authority enforcement, planning and permitting processes as well as ultimately have the potential for significant impacts on Ontario's ability to provide cost-effective flooding and natural hazards management/protection and drinking water protection to Ontarians.”  More details
Conservation changes 'detrimental to Ontarians,' says official
Jennifer Golletz,… “Officials from the local conservation authorities are calling the proposed changes to the Conservation Authority Act irresponsible, dangerous and without proper consultation.  “I believe that these changes will be to the detriment of all Ontarians,” said Tim Lanthier, CAO of the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority. “Based on my initial review, I am quite concerned that these changes will dramatically impact conservation authorities and the communities that we serve.”  Through the 2020 budget document, the province of Ontario announced changes to the Conservation Authorities Act (CAA) through Bill 229.”  More details
Changes to the Crown Forest Sustainability Act through the proposed Bill 229
From the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry… “Proposed legislative changes to the CFSA have been introduced as part of the government’s proposed Bill 229, Protect, Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures), 2020.  Given the existing provisions in place for species at risk through the CFSA’s forest policy framework the proposed legislative changes would amend the CFSA.  Find out more about the proposed legislative changes at as well as how to participate in the legislative process at”
Doug Ford moving to permanently exempt logging industry from endangered species law
Emma McIntosh,… “The Ontario government is attempting to make logging companies permanently exempt from endangered species law, a move environmental advocates say would hasten the decline of creatures like the woodland caribou.  The change was introduced as part of Bill 229, a piece of legislation introduced Nov. 5 to enact measures the Progressive Conservative government outlined in its 2020 budget.”   More details
The environmental policy the oil patch wants from Ottawa ASAP
Kyle Bakx, CBC News…  “Shell Canada will plant more than 800,000 trees in the interior of British Columbia next year, a project that the company hopes will create valuable carbon offsets in the future. 
Shell is one of the companies pushing the federal government to create a national greenhouse gas offset program, which Ottawa announced last year with no specific timeline for when it might start.  Carbon offsets allow companies and individuals to invest in environmental projects in order to balance out their own greenhouse gas emissions.  More details
How Unnatural Light and Noise Affect Birds
Mary Jo DiLonardo,… “We know light pollution and noise pollution can threaten the health and well-being of humans, animals, and the environment. Researchers have long studied the impact on birds and how an overabundance of brightness and sound can impact their breeding, feeding, and migration behaviors.  A new study, published in Nature, takes a comprehensive look at how noise and light pollution affects birds throughout North America. It found that these factors can affect how birds succeed and often are intertwined with the impacts of climate change.”  More details
Do you want to help grow the forest sector?  Apply to be a Green Mentor!
From The Working Forest… “Project Learning Tree Canada’s Green Mentor program is looking for more forestry professionals to sign up to mentor youth interested in the sector.  The six-month program runs from January to June 2021 and only requires 2-3 hours a month of a mentor’s time (virtually or in person).   As one third of the forest sector’s workforce is set to retire in the next decade, mentorship is an important way to inspire and help recruit the next generation of forest leaders. PLT Canada’s Green Mentor program plays a key role in supporting young professionals and guiding them forward along their career path in the forest sector.”  More details
Large Trees Dominate Carbon Storage in Forests: 3% of Trees Account for 42% of Carbon Storage
By Frontiers… “Older, large-diameter trees have been shown to store disproportionally massive amounts of carbon compared to smaller trees, highlighting their importance in mitigating climate change, according to a new study in Frontiers in Forests and Global Change.  Researchers examined the aboveground carbon storage of large-diameter trees (>21 inches or >53.3 cm) on National Forest lands within Oregon and Washington.  They found that despite only accounting for 3% of the total number of trees on the studied plots, large trees stored 42% of the total above-ground carbon within these forest ecosystems.  This study is among the first of its kind to report how a proposed policy could affect carbon storage in forest ecosystems, potentially weakening protections for large-diameter trees and contributing to huge releases of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere in the face of a changing climate.”  More details
Reducing light pollution has numerous benefits for the environment
From CBC News… “Typically, when people think about pollution, it's a question of air quality. But there's another kind that poses a threat to humans and animals: light pollution.  Multiple studies have shown that the abundant nighttime light found on streets and in buildings can adversely affect animals — altering migration patterns — as well as insects. There's also been increasing evidence that it can disrupt the circadian rhythm of humans, an important biological process that regulates our sleep cycle.  For these reasons, many people have advocated finding ways to reduce light pollution. But it's not always clear which sources are creating the most light.”  More details
No budget yet for Liberals’ promise to plant two billion trees by 2030
The Canadian Press… “Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s massive tree-planting promise from the 2019 election has yet to be allocated a single dime.  Trudeau pledged a year ago that the government would plant two billion more trees by 2030, or about 200 million extra trees per year. It was to be part of a $3-billion, decade-long effort to manage, conserve and restore forests, grasslands and wetlands, starting with $300 million in 2020-21.  It was clear last month that no trees had been planted this year, a failure Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan’s staff chalked up to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now it has become clear the program was never given any money.”  More details
Letter to the Editor re: No budget yet for Liberals’ promise to plant two billion trees by 2030
Rob Keen, Forests Ontario… “I read with interest No budget yet for Liberals’ promise to plant two billion trees by 2030 in the Toronto Star's November 2nd issue. Your readers might like to know that, in 2020, Forests Ontario planted nearly 2 million trees with funding from the Government of Canada, despite COVID-19.”   More details
Underground Fungal Colonies Act as Aid Networks for Some Older Trees, Scientists Find
David Nield, Science Alert… Scientists have examined the relationship between forest fungi and mature trees in greater detail than ever before.  Turns out the more fungal colonies they're connected to, the better the trees grow – an important discovery for forest management and climate change response. 
Previous research has shown how fungal organisms can support trees at the seedling stage by passing over nutrients and water, and how older trees can support seedlings in the same way via this fungal network. Here, the team wanted to look specifically at the link between fungi and older trees.”  More details
Ontario government selling former Frost Centre in Haliburton County for $1.1 million
Bruce Head,… “The Ontario government has put the former Leslie M. Frost Natural Resources Centre in Haliburton County on the market, more than 16 years after it was closed.  The asking price for the 41-acre property on the shores of St. Nora Lake south of Dorset in the township of Algonquin Highlands is $1.1 million.”  More details
Fences Can Cause 'Ecological Meltdown,' Study Finds
Mary Jo DiLonardo,… “Fences don’t always make great neighbors. The combined length of fences on our planet may be greater than the global distance of roads, according to researchers who have released a report on these popular barriers. They say that fences are difficult to study but their impact can be harmful on ecosystems.  In their report in BioScience, scientists reviewed existing fence research and offered suggestions for future studies. The team reviewed 446 studies published from 1948 to 2018 and found that fences have measurable effects at every ecological scale, with both winners and losers. In fact, the same fence can be both beneficial and detrimental.”  More details
The information and opinions expressed in the articles posted in the e-letter are those of the authors, they do not necessarily reflect the policy of the EOMF.

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