Rangers help to restore natural spaces

From the Stewardship Youth Rangers

Hello again from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s Stewardship Youth Rangers in Fort Frances!

We had another productive and fun week undertaking unique projects that benefit the environment by supporting biodiversity, combating climate change, and conserving forests, wetlands, fish, wildlife as well as natural spaces.

We cleared brush and logs to help restore important natural areas used for ceremonial gatherings and recreational activities at the Assabaska Ojibway Heritage Park and Naicatchewenin (Northwest Bay) First Nation.

We also helped band members install “beaver bafflers”—a humane way to manage heightened water levels caused by beaver dams.

The bafflers allow water to flow through the dam and downstream rather than creating a pond upstream of it, keeping water levels stable and the beaver dam intact.

To accomplish this, we installed drain pipes through the dam, with one end in the deep part of the water body and the other downstream far away from the dam.

This way, the beavers are “baffled” in that they can’t hear the running water (as they would instinctively dam it up!)

We prepared for our working futures through a workshop provided by staff from two of our key partnership agencies, Shooniyaa Wa-Biitong Training and Employment Centre and the United Native Friendship Centre in Fort Frances.

We learned how to prepare for job interviews and create résumés so we can be ready for future job opportunities.

We also took part in a very enlightening workshop about diversity in the workplace.

Another project we completed this week was building pine marten nesting boxes with Rainy River District Trappers Council member Brian Love.

We installed several in the Mine Centre area to provide homes for pine martens and their young when they reproduce in February.

Another great activity was setting up an information booth at the Rainy River Valley Agricultural Fall Fair in Emo, providing information on invasive species and species-at-risk in our area.

We also had an opportunity to share our experiences this summer to promote the Stewardship Youth Ranger program with local youths and their families.

As we near the end of our eight-week employment program, we can’t believe how fast this summer has gone by!