Tuesday, 24 November 2009

We are all connected to the earth

We depend upon tourism, and these issues (the environment, environmental protection, invasive species, pollution, land, forest and water management) are crucial to our economy. That said, I was shocked to read in our paper that the Muskoka Landowners Association, originally in the news to protest a recent attempt at forestry and logging control by the District of Muskoka Lakes instituting new tree-cutting by-law, shut down snowmobile trails last winter. They have now promised to band together to protest wetland and environmental land management policies.
Two pieces in The Gravenhurst Banner, concerned me: the 1st is an article, the 2nd an editorial:

1. Petition threatens more trail closures
After successfully quashing Muskoka’s tree-cutting bylaw, the Muskoka Landowners Association (MLA) is now taking aim at other government policies. 

I wonder how they can presume to intervene, undermining all stakeholders in our region?  I realized they cannot. Thank goodness that our politicians remember that this is a lobby group: they do not represent the taxpayers, residents, and, most importantly, the flora and fauna of our region. There must be balance, and a plan for our grandchildren who will inherit this earth. Our politicians must ensure that policies and by-laws protect Muskoka and Muskokans in the long-term.

The Muskoka Landowners Association’s latest petition, which threatens to close snowmobile trails again this winter if specific policies are not removed from the District of Muskoka’s Official Plan, demonstrates yet again the ignorance of this organization when it comes to planning matters affecting the environment.

I fear for our land, and for the children who will inherit the earth. Small things warm my heart about My Muskoka: other issues scare me. I saw Fish Jumping - in September. They are still jumping. But nothing like this. The video below comes from another scary story -coming from Lake Michigan's lake stewards: Invasive Species experts. Asian Carp, Invasive Species, May Be In Lake Michigan‎ -
Federal officials are reporting that the Asian carp may have gotten past a electric barrier meant to prevent the invasive species from entering the Lake

These fish escaped in the late 90's from fish farms which overflowed in heavy rainy seasons. These fish are much like zebra mussles, who can take over a habitat and ecosystem, with few predators, and a voracious appetite. Ugly critters, see the photo on cbc.ca.

They have begun to invade the Chicago Sanitary and Shipping Canal, up through the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. Inasive species experts there have installed an electric barrier to keep the Silver and Big Head Carp out of Lake Michigan, and out of the Great Lakes.The electronic barrier is not working. Experts collect water samples, and knowing that 'fish pee in their pond', they analyse it for specific fish DNA. Indeed, the huge carp have dropped their cookies there. Now, pond carp, similar to a tropical goldfish, have been used in Ontario for years. They are cute, eat, phytoplankton, and clean up the small or large pond. But this critter is ferocious. It is the piranha of the carp world. They can grow to be 4' and 50- 110lbs., and eat 40% of their body weight in a day. Plans are underway to take further steps: dump Rotenone into the area to kill the fish. Now, Rotenone, a pesticide, kills brain cells in rats and triggers debilitating physical symptoms associated with Parkinson's disease. The fish in the area tend to be this Asian carp, goldfish (like mine, above), gizzard shad - non-sport fish. And, experts say, this chemical dissipates quickly on its own. But, to accelerate that process, a neutralizing agent known as potassium permanganate will be used following the application. What are they thinking? They find that the fish cannot be caught through sport fishing, won't take a lure, says one comment on cbc.ca.

Electrofishing for Silver Carp on the Mississippi River near Grafton, IL.

1 comment:

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Jenn: We should all be concerned about the environment. I loved your fish netting video.