The Life and Times of Dillon Lorraine: Decades of Conservation Effort Pays Off in Southwest Nova

Blanding’s Turtle

Dillon Lorraine might never have hatched without the Friends of Keji, a volunteer association which supports Kejimkujik National Park in its day-to-day endeavours, most notably in the conservation of its resident wildlife.

Together these organizations coordinate their efforts on the endangered Blanding’s turtle, occurring within the park and a few neighbouring watersheds. Last I heard from biologist Jeffie McNeil of the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute (MTRI), this population of fleeting reptiles numbered between 400-500 in all, Dillon Lorraine among them, their decline the result of habitat loss, poaching, road collisions and predation over decades.

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Caribou of the Isle

Woodland Caribou

Knowing Prince Edward Island, one doesn’t expect a rich natural history. Surrounding provinces contain regions of surviving wilderness with larger examples of life, while visitors to the Gentle Isle might easily assume it was always an expanse of farmland and pasture with the occasional vacant lot. At least that was my impression, upon my first youthful visit over a decade back – a province of exceptional beauty, but with very few surprises.

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A Quiet Word on Forestry: The Loss of Lumber and its Enterprise

There are no names in this story.

If you’re familiar with the work of Earnest Hemingway you’ll find a piece of his from September 25, 1923 in the Toronto Daily Star beginning with exactly this line, ranking among my personal favourites. As the opener promises, he omits all names from the article, including his own, giving only the professions, genders and approximate ages of everyone he quotes, describing himself only as “the reporter.”

Sometimes us journalists have to write this way, because otherwise there’d be no story. In Hemingway’s case, his interviewees wouldn’t talk unless sheltered by anonymity and that’s the case here, at least in part…but while this literary icon was profiling survivors of a Japanese earthquake, I’m writing about forestry.

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The New Face of Island Forestry: PEI Woodlot Owners Encouraged and Equipped for Sustainable Harvests

PEI Crowland

Dan Dupont is a fourth generation forester from the Gaspesie region of east Quebec. An “Islander by choice” since 1997, he’s made it his business to re-imagine the woodlots of his adoptive home.

In many ways Island forestry was born from the second world war, he said, back when 70 per cent of PEI was dedicated to agriculture. This historic conflict called away Island farmers and in many cases, they never came home, leaving their properties without a permanent caretaker. Others still returned from the war entranced by the technological advancements of the age, forsaking rural living for urban opportunity.

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