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Scanned copy, if there are errors, please e-mail me with corrections:
Page - - Mississauga News, Dec. 17/97

Residents tell City

Please don't disturb the Cawthra Woods


Leave the Cawthra Woods alone.
That was the overwhelming opinion of the people who spoke at a public meeting last Wednesday night at the Mississauga Seniors Centre.

The City of Mississauga was unveiling its long-awaited Implementation Plan for the Cawthra Woods, a 53-acre area located at Cawthra Rd. and the South Service Rd. that contains an estimated 62 bird species, 292 plant species and 75 different kinds of animals - including the rare and threatened Jefferson Salamander.

This Implementation Plan is the result of three years of collaboration between City staff and the volunteer Urban Forest Management Advisory Committee (UFMAC), a group composed of several local professionals in biology, forestry and related fields.

If approved by city council in the New Year, this plan will be used as a template for managing other wood-lot areas around Mississauga.

Many speakers criticized City plans to monitor the forest's surface and ground water, vegetation, soil conditions, the effects of a 1994 tree cutting program and for considering to put in more public trails.

"I feel some grave mistakes are being made here, that we will have to live with," said Mineola Gardens resident Clint Field.

A veteran environmental scientist, Field thinks the city should let Cawthra Woods be left to the laws of nature. "The forest will take care of itself," he said.

Resident Bill Clarke notes that some of the dead trees the City is thinning out are "loaded with insects. "I teach my grandson about nature by walking through the Woods," he said. "Leave it alone, and don't manage it to death."

UFMAC chair Jennifer Vincent feels the City has come up with an appropriately holistic plan for caring for the Cawthra Woods.

The committee's foremost concerns include water quality in this wetlands forest, the health of the trees including some diseased beech trees, and the rapid spread of non-native plants that potentially choke off other types of vegetation.

"One of the big ways we're proposing to implement this plan is through community partnership," said Vincent, a biologist with the Toronto Conservation Authority.

"We could have local nature groups and local schools help to clean-up garbage and to remove the invasive species."

However, that failed to satisfy the Friends of Cawthra Woods action group, who called on city council to:

* rezone the Cawthra Bush from a residential zone to a major open space;

* to undertake a complete ecosystem study of every aspect of the Cawthra Woods.

They also circulated a petition to help save the salamanders.

It will make a difference!

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[COMMENTS BY DON B. - The most important of all articles, residents rejected City management plans for the Cawthra Bush. If anything the rejection by those present was under reported. The City said we could not reject City plans and would not hold a vote, I held a straw vote and the clear majority when given the chance to say yes or no, said no.

Again it was a dark and stormy winter night but still concerned residents came out to defend their beloved forest. But were the two Councillors that sit on UFMAC and one of whom is the Ward 1 Councillor? Yes where were Carmen Corbasson and David Culham? Maybe they didn't want to be present when residents rejected City plans and only cared for having City staff to falsely report residents accepting City plans. Which they did. City staff also tried that in the Jan. 94 public meeting too and I countered it by getting the members of the public present to write letters saying they didn't support City plans. This news article was not presented to UFMAC, as has often be the case in the past (don't want to hear bad news?). The FCB presented it to UFMAC.

"three years of collaboration" between the City and its hand picked members of UFMAC, no where does it say they worked with the FCB which represented residents concerns.

The City talks about invasive species. The City went through a public process for this in 1996 for the Norway Maple but took no action to remove them. Why? ]

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