Youth rangers helping environment

From the Stewardship Youth Rangers

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

So far we’ve been learning a great deal—and acquiring essential skills—that will benefit us in our future work and personal lives!

We learned how to identify invasive species that have impacted the local ecosystem and worked to remove purple loosestrife from Hughes Road in Devlin.

First introduced to the Atlantic coast of North America, the plant spread widely throughout the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River basin and to scattered locations in the north around cities and towns such as Timmins, Geraldton, Sioux Lookout, and Rainy River.

It forms dense stands with thick mats of roots that can spread over large areas, degrading habitat for many native birds, insects, and other species.

By crowding out native plants, it reduces biodiversity.

Once again, we cleared some popular recreation trails—this time in Quetico Park, including the French Falls Portage and the Teaching and Whiskey Jack Trails.

We also helped out at the annual Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship in late July by monitoring the dissolved oxygen levels and temperature in the fish-holding tanks to ensure the fish were safe.

We also weighed and measured fish.

Our overnight canoe trip in Quetico Park was a great success! We started by paddling across Nym Lake and then undertaking the 850-metre portage to Batchewuang Lake with all of our gear.

We also explored Pickerel Narrows into Pickerel Lake and Stanton Bay.

Each ranger gained valuable canoe-tripping skills while learning to be safe while working in the wilderness.

Loading our canoes appropriately, as well as setting up and cleaning up our campsites each day, were just a few of the experiences that will benefit us in the future.

We all worked hard together as a team—even with the extreme weather conditions and strenuous work.

Be sure to check back for another update on all of our new and exciting adventures this summer!