Invasive Species Management in Progress
Catfish Creek Conservation Authority (CCCA) is removing beech trees infected with beech bark disease along the trails of the Springwater Conservation Area / Forest. The main trails of Springwater Forest are now open to our visitors. We ask you to please take notice of signs for our secondary trails (Jaffa Loop, trails near the pond, etc.) as we are still completing trail maintenance.
This work is part of the plan to mitigate the spread of this disease to other healthy trees throughout the Springwater Forest that has devastated the beech trees throughout the property. Through this restoration work, CCCA is removing the hazardous dead trees to ensure the future and health of the forest while maintaining the safety of our visitors.
Future efforts will be made to help the forest recover from the beech bark disease. Ultimately it will help restore biodiversity and make the forest more resilient to the changing climate. A few things that everyone can do to help is:
- Stay on the trail – straying off the trail allows pollen, seeds, dirt, etc., that you may not be able to see, to stick to you and spread to new areas
- Keep your dog secured – similarly to humans straying off the trail, dogs may also collect particulates that can move around and spread the infection / disease to uninfected areas
- Buy local firewood – moving firewood can allow for disease and other invasive species, that may not be visible, to move to areas that are not infected and have no natural defences
- Keep your unaffected beech trees – this ensures genetic diversity for the population, preventative removal may prevent the species from recovering genetically
- Contact your local Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry – let them know that more should be done about the spread of invasive species and more education is needed
The removal is occurring during the winter because it is least disruptive time for nature (plants are dormant, reptiles are hibernating, and migratory birds have left). Some logs will be salvaged for firewood for the Annual Maple Syrup Festival, but the majority will be left to let nature take its course (return nutrients to the forest ecosystem, and provide food / habitat for wildlife).
The CCCA is committed to protecting, restoring, and enhancing nature. This invasive species management will protect the forest for the enjoyment now and into the future.
If you have any questions about this work, please contact:
Dusty Underhill OR Tony Difazio
[email protected] [email protected]
(519) 773-9037 (519) 773-9037