Biological Inventories at LPLT Properties

by Paulette Hebert
A full suite of biological studies is now underway at three Lone Pine Land Trust properties.
At the Kennedy Tract, Josh Feltham, a herpetology specialist from Sir Sanford Flemming College in Lindsay will work with his team of volunteers to complete a species inventory and abundance estimates of the amphibians and reptiles at the Kennedy Tract. He will sample the different habitats along transects at specific times of the day and year. He will also be using cover boards to detect salamanders and snakes. Coverboards are thick pieces of plywood laid out strategically to attract snakes and salamanders seeking cover or warmth. The use of transects and coverboards provides standardized data which will allow LPLT to track herpetiles at the Kennedy Tract over time.
David Geale of Mariposa Butterfly Tours will be studying butterflies at the Kennedy Tract from April to July. David has photographed butterflies from around the world and has extensive knowledge of butterflies and their habitats. He is looking forward to getting started on The Kennedy Tract butterfly inventory which will allow him to focus on more local Lepidoptera.
Shrew Solutions is a consulting company led by Doug McCrae, former Board member and president of LPLT. Doug is an expert in birds and wildlife and has dedicated his life to discovering and understanding the natural world. He has worked for many years on the James Bay Shorebird project, most recently as team leader. He has assembled a team of experts in vegetation (Bill Crins), birds (Ian Shanahan) and dragonflies (Andrea Kingsley) to complete a full suite of inventories at our three newest properties (Kennedy, McColl, and DeKleer Tracts). They will be conducting standardized Breeding Bird point counts, doing raptor nest searches, and using call recordings to detect bird species that are secretive and quiet. They will also be deploying trail cameras to keep eyes on the ground all summer and to help detect mammals and nocturnal species. This will be the first time a complete study has been done at Lone Pine Land Trust properties.
Wherever possible, our experts will be documenting their finds with photographs and we are looking forward to sharing their results with you.

Doe Fight at McColl Tract

The trail camera at McColl captured a magnificent “doe fight” this winter. The camera captured two does in a face off — standing on their hind legs and circling, until one backed down and moved off. An unexpected and wonderful capture!

animal mammal deer 2018

Introduction to McColl Tract Walk


It had seemed that winter had concluded but we received fresh snow and rain before the introduction walk at the McColl tract on April 21 making conditions challenging for a hike through our newest property.

At least 21 intrepid friends and members arrived in the morning and walked the perimeter of the property. We visited the various tree plantations on the property as well as the hilly hardwood forest. We even made it down to the north edge of Cold Creek and stood in the springtime sun.

Trails have not been fully established on the property which added to the footing challenges. Our property stewards are working to define a path which will enable us to monitor the property for invasive species.

Welcome New Stewards

James, Catherine, and Neil, new property stewards.

We have new stewards for two properties. James Munn is taking over duties at the Munn Tract, which is so fitting because it was James’ mother Cora who donated the land to us, and it was James who planted many of the trees in the former agricultural areas. Having returned to the area after a career in forestry, James will be invaluable in helping us prepare for the next scheduled thinning of the planted areas.
We are also delighted to welcome Catherine Hayday and Neil Gower as the first stewards of the newly acquired McColl Tract. Neil and Catherine joined Lone Pine shortly after moving to this area a few years ago, and they are very keen to learn this property. Their passion for conservation and good stewardship will be a tremendous asset. Catherine, Neil and James now join Paulette Hebert (Wilkinson Tract), Rob Kennedy (Kennedy Tract) and Sharon Moro and Tim Whitehouse (Lone Pine Marsh – Braham Tract) as our slate of land stewards. These are the people who visit our properties monthly, record observations, pick up garbage, check fences, and a hundred other things that keep the properties in good shape. Thank you all for your dedication and key role in the proper management of our properties.

Introducing McColl Property, a new woodlot

Through the generosity of Dr. William and Judith Mills, the land trust has acquired a new 68 acre woodlot along the Old Wooler Road near Codrington. It is part of Judith’s McColl family farm which was purchased by F. H. McColl in 1934.

Early attempts at agriculture by the McColls were not very successful due to the sandy, erosion prone soils. Therefore, in the 1950’s the McColls began a tree planting program using scots and red pine. Planting continued into the 1970s and also included sections of white spruce, Norway spruce and black walnut. The forest has been maintained as a registered managed forest since 1975.
Thinning of the planted stands was carried out in 2003 and again in 2011. As a result, the regeneration of hardwoods (most notably red oak) is progressing very well. It is the goal of the land trust to allow a natural regeneration of the reforested areas to mature mixed forest.

The rear of the property is transected by the main water course of Cold Creek and features an impressive stand of 40 year old white pine. The rear section also contains an eight acre swamp.
A series of forested ridges transect the middle of the property. Between two of these ridges is a very moisture rich cedar valley which contains many seeps and vernal ponds.
In early June we were saddened to hear of Judy’s passing. She had always wished that the property be conserved in its natural state. We are honored to become stewards of her cherished property.