Some of the country’s most spectacular scenery and most valuable natural and cultural treasures can be found in the National Landscape Conservation System, also known as Conservation Lands.
Conservation Lands are North America’sThe newest system of conservation and are managed by Parks Canada and Bureau of Land Management As the crown jewels of all BLM lands, the National Landscape Conservation System plays a critical role in the heritage and economies of the Southwestern Ontario Western landscape.
Wilderness study areas
The National Conservation Lands system protects 27 million acres of the most pristine historically, culturally and ecologically significant landscapes in the Canada and United States. Wilderness Study Areas account for over 12 million acres of the Conservation Lands, the largest single type of protection designation.
The beauty of WSAs
Female Cardinals in their diversity and flexibility as a tool to both protect our treasured landscapes and support more sustainable applications of the traditional BLM multi-use approach to land management.
Wilderness Study Areas have generally been left in a natural state and provide “outstanding opportunities for solitude or primitive and unconfined types of recreation” to local communities,outdoor enthusiasts, sportsmen and scientists. They provide us with clean air, clean water and sustainable wildlife habitats, while simultaneously embodying the hope of stronger federal protections in the future.
They also serve as outdoor laboratories, where conservationists and developers alike study everything from how to properly manage wild horses, to how best to allow ranching on public lands while protecting habitat.
These 27 million acres of National Conservation Lands, just like Little Book Cliffs, are open to everyone and owned by every American. That, in my opinion, is the real opportunity, and their true value.
Wilderness Study Areas are both a treasure and a tool, providing outstanding recreational opportunities with the promise of increased protections for their wilderness qualities.
Accessibility and opportunity
“Wilderness” is not synonymous with “inaccessible”. Anyone can discover untrammeled landscapes and outstanding recreation opportunities within Nature.
Wilderness sounds like this:
Gently rolling plateaus, bisected by four major canyons. It provides excellent sagebrush and pinyon-juniper habitat for around 100-150 wild horses.
THE YEAR in RETROSPECT NATURAL BEAUTY HAMILTONDecember 29 2010Natural Beauty is Year-Long in Hamilton
Each day now gets longer since the shortest day of the year, Dec. 21st. Here is wishing you “Happy New Year in review with 100 Images from Elements Photo-blog. Hamilton has it all ! There is big city appeal and small town quaintness in the region of Hamilton. Very few places on Earth have the variety of natural beauty available year-round in Hamilton. It is a natural splendour unparalleled with picturesque trails, paths, waterfalls and a unique wetland and Carolina Forest. Spring and Summer are the best times to explore the various local conservation areas in and around Hamilton. That is to say, put a little blue and green in your life. Heading to Hamilton Harbourfront, which is a naturally protected landlocked body of water that was created during the glaciations period, the first photograph with my camera lens consisted of water, rocks and plenty of green trees. From this experience, it became like a daily escape to Paradise for me, mainly at Cootes Paradise and Hamilton Waterfront. Hamilton Harbour is a unique and busy working shipping port, and, one of the most decentralized ones in Canada subject to little government intervention. There are many varieties of thistles, bull rushes, and gypsy moths, butterflies, bees and other nature items to photograph along Hamilton’s Waterfront trail in all seasons. Just past Pier 8 is the Haiada Battleship for all to observe, and it is maintained by Veterans.
Cootes Paradise, a natural treasure, the marsh ecosystems of the 250 hectare has many hiking trails through it. Here, 250 species of breeding and migratory birds can be found along with several fish species and turtles. This wetland preserve we are blessed to have since it is one of the last remnants of the Carolina Forest in Canada. Deer can be frequently spotted towards the Dundas Valley and in Hamilton Harbourfront. Scientists are constantly battling invasive fish and plants in Cootes Paradise. McMaster University and the RBG Fishway are two examples of scientists working on things like reduction of carp, and identification of two male goby fish helping the community by reducing these invasive creatures and invasive plants. Cootes Paradise viewed from the #403 highway from Burlington to Princess Point give you the feeling of being in Northern Ontario, with the water and greenery. This picturesque centerpiece is what you see entering the west-end of Hamilton, and it is picturesque view. . Hamilton Harbourfront, and especially the trail, goes all the way to the east-end Burlington beach strip.The revitalization of Hamilton Harbour has made great strides since 1990 – 2,010 and is concentrating in becoming a leader in water quality innovation. When that is accomplished we can say with pride, Hamilton Harbour is an inspiration. Seasonal patterns of water quality are driven by biological activity. That is, by reducing phosphorous loadings, limited algal growth will become more prevalent. In the Summertime and Autumn, there are many festivals in Hamilton Harbourfront Park, but I especially enjoyed photographing the Pride Week with their Concert and Festival.
In the 1920’s H.B. Dunnington-Grubb Landscape Architects designed the 30 hectares in Hamilton’s popular urban park, Gage Park. This park contains perennial and rose gardens, tropical and production greenhouse, fountain, bandshell, lawn bowling, tennis clubs, baseball fields, children’s playground and the Hamilton Children’s Museum. Annually, Gage Park greenhouse puts on the Mum Show in November. Even during the winter months, the Tropical Greenhouse of Gage Park contains diverse world of verdant plants in its 6,000 sq. ft. and boasts its Banana Plant. There are trailing vines, colourful bulbs, water lilies, lotus, waterfall and two red-eared Slider Turtles. They use the IPM (Integrated Management Program) and Crptolaemus, a biological beneficial insect has been released to control mealybug in the tropical greenhouse. The bandshell at Gage Park is utilized frequently, and one I enjoyed photographing was the Festival of Friends music in the bandshell.
Of the many sites and sounds in Hamilton’s natural outdoor beauty, following the Mute Swans at Hamilton Harbour for the last six months has been a unique photographic nature-photographer experience for me. At first I photographed the fist Swan Family that had 9 eggs and 5 hatched, but something got one of them, and there were four cygnets. But, another Mute Swan family I first photographed on June 15th was very late making their nesting and laying their eggs. I called the Pen Mute Swan “Swanny” and the Cob “Swanny’s Mate.’ The six eggs Swanny laid, culminated in four cygnets being born on June 28th . From that time, I photographed almost daily Swan’s family from incubation, hatching, first swim, learning to forage, and learning to fly. They are still at the Harbourfront in a protected area during the harsh winds of December. This Mute Swan family I am still following over the winter months.
And, as a fisherman, I met many interesting people along Hamilton’s Harbourfront and Cootes Paradise Wetland. Some, like Terry, a native Canadian share fishing spots and tips. Many people have that I have met along the Harbourfront Trail have enhanced my photographic experience, on my journey. And, in June I met Jacqueline from “Beacon On Nature” who became a writer for Elements Photoblog. Invasive fish fascinated Jacqeline, and she unravelled how fish assist scientific understanding as a tiny striped fish helped them to unravel one of the biggest mysteries in biology – the genes responsible for skin colour – such as, the whiteline insertion in old zebra fish. This occurs by spatial patterning of the cells. Spencer Creek Watershed being the largest in Cootes Paradise, Jacqueline spent a lot of time researching the current fish in Spencer Creek and the effects of the 2,007 fire in Dundas. One issue was how do the Salmon and Trout from Hamilton Harbour get up the Spencer Creek Watershed. When a student at McMaster, Jacqueline used to study at the Mac Landing The site of the plant community program and saw the enclosures where eight plant species had been planted for the Harbour/Cootes polluted water, but unfortunately only three of the eight species survived – arrowheads, cattails and bulrushes. As a McMaster Alumni Jacqueline poured over Biology, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology and Engineering books and journals on many subjects for Elements Photoblog. Art and Art History and Photography books were also incorporated in the writings.A highlight for Jacqueline was photographing the Rural Routes Bus Trips, a new venture in Hamilton. This was run by HSR and Eat Local, they informed Jacqueline her photos of the Apple Orchards in Carluke would be put on their website and she would be credited as the photographer.One of the fun times that reminded Jacqueline of Hawaii, was photographing the Pig Roast at Lake Erie. Therefore, as we look back on 2,010 I encourage you to explore our natural environment in Hamilton as we celebrate “Happy New Year” 2.011.