[Ontbirds]Landowner relations on the Carden alvar

Couchiching Conservancy nature at couchconservancy.ca
Mon May 1 11:46:09 EDT 2006

Norm Murr's account of an unfriendly landowner at Prospect Marsh is an unfortunate symptom of recent concerns among some Carden landowners that ecological values may restrict their "development rights" in future.  This has resulted in considerable resistance to any form of protection for alvars and bird habitats in the proposed City of Kawartha Lakes Official Plan, and fear about the consequences of anyone finding a Loggerhead Shrike on private lands.

Through the Carden Plain Important Bird Area committee, we are working to find solutions that most landowners can live with, including offering them friendlier versions of signs.  While you certainly have every right to travel on local roads and to observe birds on adjacent lands, we would suggest the following guidelines:

1) DO NOT TRESPASS on private lands - it only creates hard feelings and mistrust of birders.

2) Be aware of nearby houses and homesteads, and don't scope towards them; respect the privacy of people who live here.

3) Make sure your vehicles are not blocking traffic.

4) If you are confronted by an unfriendly landowner, respond in a polite and neutral manner, or simply move on.

5) If you are buying food or gas in the area (and we encourage you to leave some money behind), try to make sure the business knows you have come here to bird, to reinforce the connection with local economic development.

Remember that the Windmill Ranch along the west side of Wylie Road (from about 1 km north of MacNamee Road to well past Sedge Wren Marsh) is now conservation property.  And most Carden landowners, even some with concerns about their landowner rights, still welcome birders to the area.


Ron Reid
Executive Director, The Couchiching Conservancy
Box 704, Orillia, Ontario, L3V 6K7

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