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Scanned copy, if there are errors, please e-mail me with corrections:
Page - 3 - Mississauga News, Sunday, Feb. 27/94

City stops cutting in Cawthra woods
in reply to lobby


The more trees the City cuts down in the Cawthra woods, the more the public wants to leave the beautiful stand of trees as it is.

So says Donald Barber, a member of a group called Friends of the Cawthra Bush. He told city council yesterday that Mississauga should spend the next year studying the issue before it decides whether to complete culling of 2,000 trees from the property at Cawthra Rd. and the Queen Elizabeth Way.

Barber complained that the decision to thin out the 30,000-tree woodlot to reinvigorate its growth was ill-advised and was not properly advertised to the public.

After the cutting started, his group was hastily formed and is now urging the municipality not to complete the work which is about half-done.

The City has stopped the cutting while discussions with the critics of its action continue. Barber said a group of professional experts, some of them involved in previous I reports prepared on the woodlot, have volunteered their expertise.

The woodlot on the former Cawthra-Elliott estate was listed in 1990 as one of the 11 top biological sites in Peel. Barber disputed the City's contention that the woodlot is deteriorating, saying it "is getting better and healthier as the years go on." The woodlot probably dates from the late 1920s or early 1930s when the property was clear-cut.

The tree habitat on the property is only one of several environments which need to be studied to determine the effects of the cutting, argued Barber. No more cutting should. take place until a systematic review occurs, he said.

Brian MacRae, the City's community services commissioner, said a great deal of study was done before any recommendation to cut was presented to council. The City is "bending over backwards" to provide information, MacRae said. Any valuable ideas received from the professionals at a meeting next Monday will be used to modify the cutting program.

MacRae urged council to complete the work this winter to minimize the damage to the undergrowth that cuts in two consecutive winters could cause.

The unanimous advice of City, Ministry of Natural Resources and conservation authority foresters was a big influence on council's decision to agree to open up the tree canopy, Mayor Hazel McCallion said. She refused to agree to a one-year delay to study the issue, but said council will consider any recommendations made by the expert committee at its next session.

Barber said after the meeting that if council was really concerned about the woods, it would hold another public meeting on the issue. One was held earlier, but attendance was limited because of poor weather.

It will make a difference!

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