Raisin River

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be eco­log­i­cally sus­tain­able. The rec­om­mended for­est cover is 30 per cent.

“There is no for­est in­te­rior present mean­ing the ex­ist­ing wood­lots are too small and/or nar­row to sup­port sen­si­tive species that need to live in large pro­tec­tive forests,” reads the re­port.

Yet, the con­ser­va­tion author­ity says “some en­cour­ag­ing re­sults” can be found in the re­port card.

“De­spite the steady losses in for­est and wet­land cover, the landowner restora­tion ac­tions that have been un­der­taken over the last two decades have seen an im­prove­ment in wa­ter qual­ity in our rivers and streams,” the RRCA says.

“It has been with the ex­per­tise and as­sis­tance of the Raisin Re­gion Con­ser­va­tion Author­ity, that we have been able to ef­fect some real im­prove­ments in my stretch of the Fil­ion Drain,” states Lawrence St. De­nis, a landowner within the Suther­land Creek wa­ter­shed. “As well as solv­ing my ero­sion is­sues, the en­hanced ri­par­ian zone is ben­e­fit­ing wa­ter qual­ity in the stream and fish and wildlife in the area.”

The agency adds: “Although many fea­tures are still im­paired and sig­nif­i­cantly so in a num­ber of wa­ter­sheds, it has been the past ac­tions of landown­ers in im­ple­ment­ing best man­age­ment prac­tices with their agri­cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties that are cur­rently re­flect­ing im­prove­ments in the wa­ter qual­ity of many of the trib­u­taries.”

The doc­u­ment also con­tains sug­ges­tions on how to counter the ef­fects of de­for­esta­tion.

Pro­tec­tion of all wood­lands and lo­cally sig­nif­i­cant wet­lands at the mu­nic­i­pal plan­ning level is a very im­por­tant and ef­fec­tive method di­ver­sity can be in­creased by plant­ing na­tive trees and shrubs around ex­ist­ing wet­lands or al­low­ing the edges to nat­u­ral­ize on their own. This will pro­vide es­sen­tial habi­tat for many wet­land species.

Con­nec­tions can be made be­tween wet­lands and other habi­tat types, such as forests, by plant­ing hedgerows or wind­breaks along fields, wa­ter­ways and roads to sup­port the move­ment of na­tive species.

Own­ers can fence out live­stock and to cre­ate or im­prove the size of in­di­vid­ual wet­lands, own­ers should con­tact the con­ser­va­tion author­ity for as­sis­tance in de­sign­ing a wet­land project.

Wet­lands are an im­por­tant source of habi­tat for fish and wildlife species. They serve as flood con­trol ar­eas by hold­ing wa­ter and re­duc­ing flow. Wet­lands act as hold­ing ar­eas for the lo­cal wa­ter table and play a very im­por­tant role in wa­ter qual­ity im­prove­ment.

Pol­lu­tion

The C rat­ing for wa­ter qual­ity is based on read­ings for pol­lu­tants, in­clud­ing phos­pho­rous and bac­te­ria, which pro­duced an av­er­age score of F for the Raisin Re­gion wa­ter­shed.

Phos­pho­rus is found in such prod­ucts as soaps, de­ter­gents, fer­til­iz­ers and pes­ti­cides and con­trib­utes to ex­ces­sive al­gae and low oxy­gen in streams and lakes.

E. Coli bac­te­ria is found in hu­man and an­i­mal waste and in­di­cates fe­cal con­tam­i­na­tion. The bac­te­ria is also a strong in­di­ca­tor for the po­ten­tial to have other dis­ease-caus­ing or­gan­isms in the wa­ter.

The RRCA rec­om­men­da­tions in­clude plant-

ing grass or tree buf­fers along creeks, rivers and open drains to fil­ter runoff and pro­vide shade. Other sug­ges­tions are: -- Im­ple­ment pro­tec­tion of iden­ti­fied ground­wa­ter in­fil­tra­tion zones and con­duct ground­wa­ter re­search and mon­i­tor­ing.

-- Tar­get soil ero­sion mea­sures to ar­eas of high erodi­bil­ity.

-- En­cour­age landown­ers to re­pair or re­place faulty sep­tic systems.

-- En­cour­age agri­cul­tural best man­age­ment prac­tices in the ar­eas of ma­nure stor­age and spread­ing, soil con­ser­va­tion prac­tices, fer­til­izer and pes­ti­cide ap­pli­ca­tion, milk­house wash wa­ter dis­posal and cat­tle ac­cess restric­tion.

-- Pro­mote the com­ple­tion of en­vi­ron­men­tal farm plans and nu­tri­ent man­age­ment plans.

About the river

The to­tal area of the Raisin River wa­ter­shed is 57,982 hectares and en­com­passes North and South Glen­garry, North and South Stor­mont and Corn­wall.

The ma­jor land use is agri­cul­ture.

The warm wa­ter fish­ery con­sists of 43 species. One cool wa­ter site has been iden­ti­fied with mot­tled sculpins as an ob­served species. River red­horse and bri­dle shiner are clas­si­fied as “spe­cial con­cern.”

Of the 1,577 stands, the largest is 1,441 hectares in size. The av­er­age size is 16.1 hectares.

Rare species

Fish -- river red­horse, cut­lips min­now, bri­dle shin­ers Birds -- yel­low palm war­bler Plants -- ram’s-head lady slip­per, prickly bog sedge, rhodora, bog fern

In­ver­te­brates -- bog elfin

Sig­nif­i­cant Nat­u­ral Sites

Provin­cially Sig­nif­i­cant Wet­lands -- Shuylers (Schulers) Swamp, Sum­mer­stown Swamp, Raisin River North Branch, New­ing­ton Bog, Char­lot­ten­burgh Marsh, Black River Swamp, Beaudette River Swamp

Lo­cally Sig­nif­i­cant Wet­lands — Archies Swamp, Bloom­ing­ton Swamp, Bunker Hill Swamp, Con­ces­sion 7 Swamp, Con­ces­sion 8E Swamp, Do­min­ionville Swamp, East Bonville Swamp, East and West Guin­don Swamp, East Werely Swamp, Four Cor­ners Swamp, Glen­brook Swamp, Gravel Hill Swamp, Lake View Marsh, Le­feb­vre Br. Swamp, Lunen­burg Swamp, Mon­k­land and W. Mon­k­land Swamp, Palen Creek Swamp, Post Road Swamp, Power Dam Swamp, Raisin River S. Branch, Stoney Creek, Strath­more Swamp

Ar­eas of Nat­u­ral and Sci­en­tific In­ter­est — New­ing­ton Bog.

The Raisin River wa­ter­shed has many “sig­nif­i­cantly im­paired fea­tures.”

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