Adventures with the OSR crew

From the Ontario Stewardship Rangers

A big hello from the OSR crew!
We began the week (Aug. 15) by heading out with conservation officer Mike Veniot to clean up boat launches, entry points, and campsites along the shores of Rainy Lake!
Not only did we get to learn more about what conservation officers do, but this was a great project for us because we helped clean up the environment, making the campsites cleaner and more enjoyable for future campers.
It’s amazing—and disappointing—what one can find strewn along the lake. We even found a freezer on a far shoreline that we carefully hauled out for proper disposal.
Then from Aug. 16-18, we travelled to Quetico Provincial Park, where we worked on brushing and clearing “The Pines” hiking trail.
We also took this opportunity to practise our canoeing techniques, which we learned in Ontario Recreational Canoeing and Kayaking Association (ORCKA) training the previous week.
On our way back home, we stopped off in Atikokan to learn about the Steep Rock mine site from Tom Nash, who was very knowledgeable about the site.
It was very interesting and informative. We learned a lot of facts about the condition of the Steep Rock site and its history, along with the history of other inactive mining sites across North America.
It’s estimated that in roughly 80 years, Steep Rock will start to overflow its basin.
Steep Rock is a priority for the MNR, which currently is working on a plan to prevent water contamination problems downstream, including the Rainy Lake basin, as a result of this overflow.
Then on Aug. 19, we were at the Emo fall fair to help set up the Rainy River District Stewardship Council booth in the Farm Progress Building.
We taught people about the activities of the local Stewardship Council, as well as raised peoples’ awareness on how to be “Bear Wise” to minimize bear-human conflicts.
We also educated people about the impacts of various invasive species and steps they can take to help prevent the spread of them.
What a phenomenal experience we’ve had so far working for the MNR–can’t believe there’s only one week left!
Thanks for reading—and don’t forget to check out our last column of the year next week!
If you would like to read our previous articles, look at more photos, and learn more about our projects, be sure to check out our website at http://www.ontariostewardship.org/councils/rainy-river/index.php/young_professionals

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