Tag Archives: community

Timber harvesting and the health of our lakes: The Calcium Story


Mentioned in a number of Muskoka Watershed Council lectures over the past few years, calcium decline in Muskoka Lakes and in particular, the consequences of timber harvesting on lake calcium levels have been hinted at as a potential direct cause of declining health of our lakes in Muskoka. Here’s a past primer news story from the Huntsville Forester (Cottage Country News).
This week, we have an opportunity to discover more.

Dr. Shaun Watmough, an Associate Professor in the Environmental Resource Science Program at Trent University in Peterborough will present.
Here is a synopsis of the lecture:
Decades of acid deposition have depleted soil calcium reserves and, when combined with timber harvesting, predicted losses of calcium from soil are considerable and may ultimately threaten long-term forest health and productivity and lead to negative impacts on lakes.
In this talk, Dr. Watmough will provide an overview of our current understanding of calcium biogeochemistry and describe the reasons for the widespread decline in calcium levels in lakes and the implications of calcium losses on soil fertility and forest health in addition to impacts on lake ecosystems.
With an emphasis on south central Ontario, Dr. Watmough will document a nutrient budget for a selection harvesting regime in central Ontario hardwood forests. This work is then extrapolated to regional harvesting activities and management issues are discussed.

The lecture is this Thursday, October 10, 2013 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm at Nipissing University – Muskoka Campus, 125 Wellington Street, Bracebridge, P1L 1E2. As always, admission is by donation

The link for this lecture and registration is here.

The Great Muskoka Paddling Experience

I’ve just finished post-processing and editing this video for the Great Muskoka Paddling Experience. This event, held annually on the Saturday of the Thanksgiving weekend is a great opportunity for anyone – even if you don’t have a canoe or kayak, you can rent one there – to get out on the water for perhaps the last time of the year. It was a fun video to shoot and create and I hope it captures just how much fun the event can be.

The Great Muskoka Paddling Event benefits the Muskoka Watershed Council and helps give them a bit more of a budget to do important work. It’s a really well organized event and fun for all ages, and all levels of paddling experience.

Why don’t you try it this year?


Muskoka Minutes

I just finished the final edit and posted a couple of videos to YouTube that I shot back in July: Muskoka Minutes Slog, Muskoka Minutes Zoe.

The idea behind Muskoka Minutes is to show work being done by scientists and others in the field here in Muskoka on the Muskoka Watershed Council’s YouTube Channel. More details are here on the day spent tracking Blanding’s turtles, a species at risk in Ontario. My thanks to Jeremy, Kelsey, Mike and also Glenda.

Blanding’s Turtle

They used to have a much larger range in Ontario and were much more common in Muskoka – see below. They have many predators and like other turtle species have had their habitats carved up by roads.

Historic and current range of Blanding’s Turtles.

Catharine Inniss Top 10% Royal LePage Shelter Foundation Donor

We were proud to receive a message from the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation which included in part:  “Thank you for your incredible commitment to helping “put abuse out of commission” in your community”

Then, it was truly a wonderful feeling when Catharine got a message that said: “CONGRATULATIONS on being recognized as a Top 10% Donor!”

“2010 was the Shelter Foundation’s most successful year ever, thanks to you and your colleagues across the country. Through your generosity, we raised $1.8 million, increased the number of commission donors, set new records for our fundraising events, like the National Garage Sale for Shelter, and helped more women and children than ever before!

We are extremely grateful that you are such an important part of the Shelter Foundation family. You have helped us restore hope and provide a safe haven for more than 30,000 women and children each year. In addition, Shelter Foundation supporters like you are working to ensure the next generation won’t experience the devastation of family violence.”