Hi, my name is Amanda. Please travel with me to Nova Scotia to study mammals and climate change!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day to You

I celebrated the Earth today by cutting down some trees! I prefer to say, though, that I spent today creating more grassland habitat. It is really important to remember that different animals may have very different kinds of habitat. If there was only forest at Cook's Lake, there would be many fewer species able to live there. Chris and Christina are trying to keep the 350 acres of land they manage as diverse as possible, providing homes for species that are losing habitat everywhere else. Forests are wonderful too, and planting trees in other places might be the right thing to do. People can take forest for granted here since there seems to be so much of it, but it turns out that not all forest is the same. Certain trees are suited to certain conditions. Tamarack is a native tree here and likes boggy wet land, and Red Oak grows in dry soil, so unless you knew the land pretty well you could plant a tree where it wouldn't survive. Even though it is true that much of Nova Scotia is forest, not as much of it is healthy and strong. If we take from the land, we have to be thoughtful about the ways that we try to give back. That means really observing the environment that you are in; the weather, the animals and the people that use it, and what it looked like in the past. What may be best in the long term may not be the easiest solution at the moment, like cutting a few pine trees down.

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