Adventures with the Stewardship Rangers

by Ontario

Greetings from the OSR crew! We ended our summer last week (Aug. 22-25) with a bang!
On Monday, we headed out with Ralph Hill, a council member of Rainy River District Stewardship, to put up pine marten nesting boxes along Wasaw Road, north of La Vallee.
We spent the day placing our 10 nesting boxes in a variety of locations that were close to water and were within a mixed forest of deciduous and coniferous trees, which is perfect habitat for pine martens.
We placed our nesting boxes in forest stands that had mature trees with plenty of food resources nearby, but lacked mature trees with natural holes and crevices for the martens to nest in, therefore, enabling pine martens to live in areas that provide all the food resources they need but do not provide adequate shelter from predators. In the future, we will monitor the boxes for use, which will allow us to track the success of the nesting shelters and changes in the local marten populations.
On Tuesday, we drove out to Rice Bay to participate in a Mock Fire Drill with local Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services staff.
We learned how to start the water pump, lay out hosing and the techniques for spraying a fire.
We each took a turn controlling the nozzle and walking the border of our mock “fire.”
At the end, we help the Fire crew clean up the hoses and learned how to make “melons,” which is a style of tying up the hosing into little bundles for packing. Thanks again to the Fort Frances Fire Headquarters for giving us this opportunity! We had so much fun and learned a lot!
On Wednesday, we went to Seven Bends Honey Farm to learn about pollinators and edible plants with Rick Neilson, also a council member with Rainy River District Stewardship. We had a great time learning about mason bees, honey bees, and all the different wild plants we can eat.
In the afternoon, we went to the Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung Visitors Centre (locally known as the Manitou Mounds) in Stratton to meet up with the Kenora OSR crew for a tour.
We had a fantastic time talking about our different summer adventures and learning about the environmental projects taking place in Kenora. We enjoyed our walk along the hiking trail, where we learned about the traditional medicinal uses of different native plants along the rapids and the rich cultural history along the trail.
We have had a phenomenal summer and our eight weeks have flown by! We thank everyone for reading our articles over the past two months! It has been a pleasure to share our adventures with you.
We would also like to thank everyone at the Fort Frances Times for letting us share our stories!
We’d also like to thank the Ministry of Natural Resources staff, Rainy River District Stewardship and all our partners for such an amazing summer!
It’s been a pleasure working with each and every one of you! Until next summer, we wish you all the best this winter!
Please check out our website for more information on our projects and to see more photos on Rainy River District Stewardship’s website:

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