- Native Plant Nursery
- Nature Guides
- About Us
A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
There are two schools of wildlife (and forest) management. The most common is to decide what species to manage for (usually consumptive uses, products we consume in some way) and ensure proper habitat is available. A good example would be waterfowl management areas, where the focus is on production of ducks and geese. Often when we manage for one narrow purpose, we can do great damage to the other `purposes’ in the ecosystem.
The other school of thought is allow more natural habitat development to ensure a stable, mixed population of all the plants and animals that have evolved to become part of that ecosystem. An example of this would be preserving dune systems and protecting the habitat for the animals that would normally live there. This method reflects the shift in the 1990’s from endangered `species’ to endangered `spaces’, since habitat loss is considered to be the greatest cause of species extinction. It is estimated that by the year 2000, habitat loss will result in the extinction of 50,000 species annually worldwide.
We need wood products from the forest, whether paper or building supplies or firewood. Yet we are only beginning to realize the value of other forest `products’ – clean water, storage of carbon, wildlife, food, aesthetics, erosion control, etc. This is not an issue of wildlife conservation versus industrial use – creation or restoration of healthy forests will supply us with far more benefits, including wood, than tree farms.
In an effort to improve the health of our forests and create a model for environmental stewardship, Macphail Woods launched the Restore an Acre initiative.
Healthy Acadian forests are profoundly diverse and unique ecosystems, with tree species that can live up to 450 years. They are rich in wildlife, from great horned owls to red-backed salamanders. These forests clean air and water, store carbon, provide excellent wildlife habitat and offer a myriad of recreational opportunities.
On December 13, 2005, Minister of Environment, Energy and Forestry Jamie Ballem announced that the Province has reached an agreement with the Environmental Coalition of Prince Edward Island to manage 800 hectares of public forest land (PFL) in southeastern PEI. Under the 10-year lease agreement, the Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project in Orwell will use the lands to demonstrate sustainable forest management and restoration of our native Acadian woodlands.
The Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project, with support from the PEI 2014 Fund, the Island Nature Trust, Upton Farm Trust Inc., City of Charlottetown and the Environment and Climate Change Canada EcoAction Community Fund, has created three new Acadian forests in each of the three provincial counties totalling more than 30 acres.
School yard plantings should be considered an extension of the classroom, becoming the focal spot for teaching a variety of subjects. They also provide a number of ecological and economic benefits such as reduced heating/cooling costs at your school, pollinator gardens and improved wildlife habitat.