Published Jan. 22 2019
To the Editor
Re: “Trees tell the story of the Haliburton Highlands” Haliburton Echo Jan. 15
We should heed Ernie Demuth’s advice about dealing with forest problems early on. And extrapolate to apply it to lakes and water wildlife and plants in our area.
We should see the encroaching phragmites as a ballooning problem that has reached Haliburton. This tall exotic grass is an invasive plant species whose rampant growth along lakes and roads will easily overwhelm the area if not dealt with now. Natural lakeside plant life will disappear as these hardy invaders spread. We should all be educated now so that as individuals we can recognize it and begin to eradicate it in our own areas. Continually cutting off seed heads is a start. Government money would be well-spent to educate us and eradicate this invader now before having to lose natural areas. Look for it. It is growing in patches already that will quickly spread along lakes and roadsides. It has taken over roadsides in Quebec and decimated the shores of Grenadier Pond in Toronto. It now has a foothold along Hwy 400 north of Toronto.
As for beech bark disease what about the wildlife that will be affected; bears and others depend on the beech nuts. What is being done now to to help with their future in our forests? Will their problems in coping be manifested in ways that will impact on people/bear relations now and down the road? Taking the pressure off bears in the spring when they emerge weak from hibernation could be a start: stopping the contentious spring bear hunt.