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Stewardship program promoted

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Everyone knows our planet is under extreme environment pressures from man.

David May, with the Ministry of Natural Resources, spoke to district municipal leaders at their recent annual meeting about things communities can do to help reduce the stress on Mother Nature.

May recently transferred to the area to head up a new program here called Rainy River District Stewardship.

“I do not believe in fear mongering to get things done,” stressed May.

Instead, through the MNR’s new program, he hopes to have communities at the grassroots identify projects they can do to “green” things up.

May said environmental stewardship has been ongoing in the district for years, but it has never had a government agency to head things up.

“We intend to bring together all stakeholders and look at innovative ways to look at environmental responsibility,” he explained.

“Why are we doing this?” asked May. “2010 was the hottest year on record to date.

“It is predicted by 2055 that average temps will rise by another 4-4.5 degrees Celsius.”

He also noted population predictions for the province are expected to grow by 37.9 percent.

He said that last year, “Aug. 21 was the day of the year where we used more resources than Earth can replenish.

“There is unprecedented pressure on the natural world.”

May said that people can—and need to—make changes.

“We can, as a group, identify projects we can do to improve the health of our community,” he remarked.

Some suggestions for projects May offered include enhanced trail networks, community tree planting, “green” expositions, or sponsoring an Ontario Stewardship Ranger.

He is hosting a day-long workshop in Emo on Saturday, March 5, which is open to anyone interested.

People wanting more information on stewardship, or to get involved, can e-mail May at david.may@ontario.ca or call him at 274-8637.

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