The Editor,

I’ve been busy recently, so let’s get started. I went to a meeting in Avonmore a couple of weeks ago. There were woodlot owners, farmers and agriculture representatives. I learned that 40% of corn crops were grown for ethanol. The price of corn was averaging $750 per acre. Other topics were the value of buffers and hedgerows on water quality and quantity. In 2016, South Nation revealed an average of one million trees were lost every year. Between 2008 and 2014 20,000 acres were lost. It is predicted that double that amount will be lost before the next forestry survey on coverage, due to be published in 2020.

The one topic I’m consistently hearing about is the amount of pressure being placed on the small farms in Ontario. It seems our government doesn’t want to deal with the small farms. I am tired of our government sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong. In my opinion, small farms seem to be more in touch with the land, treating it with respect and gratitude for what the land brings to them. And if we lose the small farms we lose the very meaning of farming in Ontario.

It seems that some of the larger farms, not all, but a chosen few, have turned their profession into an obsession. Being generously financed by our government to get as big as they can, at all cost to the land, the air and the water. Oh, I almost forgot to add, pollution of our air and water has become the number one killer in our world.

I’ve met some farmers of large acreages who don’t want to take down every tree they see. They carry their wealth on their sleeve and truly appreciate all that they have. On the other hand, I’ve met some who will never be satisfied, who seem driven to always desire more and more at all cost. I truly hope that at some point, they take the time to do an inventory on this priceless creation, some call the earth, has given them over the decades. Maybe give her a chance at a better life.

The Alfred Bog

I went down County Road 10 towards Fournier, turned off Bradley road and drove for a few minutes and what I saw broke my heart. There before my eyes were hundreds of acres of solid clay; a ten or twelve foot depth of peat moss had been removed and draining ditches at least 6 or 8 feel deep were evident. It wasn’t bad enough about the loss of the peat moss, now they want to drain our Alfred Bog. The bog that helps our water table, that also has plant life only found in our bog and not anywhere else in the world. Is anyone in The Nation going to do anything? The mayor of The Nation is the chair for South Nation Conservation; I wonder if he even knows the meaning of the word “conservation”, seriously.

I know I’m hard on some farmers, and all mayors but I’m also starting to realize that the people of this area also have to get more involved because if we choose to say nothing to our politicians, nothing will be done. Call, text, email the mayors, MPs, MPPs – make yourself heard.

After the thousands of years that trees have been standing for us, don’t you think it’s about time we returned the favour and stood for them?

Thank you,

Andy Perreault,
Vankleek Hill