Placing blame in all the wrong places (April/May 2015)

Tom-Black

Tom Black

Wow! What a great spring for farmers! The corn is nearly all planted and the soybeans are well on the way. The cattle are out on reasonably good grass and the hay fields at least in eastern Ontario, look pretty good. That of course, brings us to dealing with the Species at Risk Act (SARA).

Most people know that I am no fan of the windmill companies who are putting up generators in the sky so that they can reach into taxpayers’ pockets for money to pay them to produce power that we don’t need and give away the surplus to other countries and provinces at a huge loss. That said, I was very disappointed to see some communities using the Species at Risk Act to block the wind generators because of the risk of disturbing those oh so precious blanding turtles. After all, the footprint of any given wind turbine is not that large and once construction is done, it seems to me this should then be a very safe place for turtles since from that time on, there will be no construction within 500 metres of these towers. I would guess then that they must be trying to protect them from the ‘flicker effect’, the ‘low frequency vibrations’ and the ‘heart palpitations’. The fact is however, by using this ‘SARA’ to stop the windmills, these folks have given buy-in and credibility to this piece of legislation that for all intents is illegal to enforce on private property. When we try to use an illegal act by the government to counter another illegal act by the same government, then we weaken everyone’s chance to abolish these ill-conceived laws.

In my fields, there are lots of meadow larks and bobolinks and the air is full of barn swallows. The provincial government has tried it’s best to wipe these birds out by putting targets on them and by bringing in wild turkeys that have devastated all the small ground birds in the meadows of Ontario. The mess that the Feds made of the ‘mad cow disaster’ in Canada, by shutting the border from sea to sea, pretty much eliminated the small beef farms in Ontario and so went the insects that the barn swallows thrived on, and the hay fields where the bobolinks nest are now covered in corn or soybeans. Now the small number of small mixed farms that are left take the brunt of all this Species at Risk legislation. Farmers soon will not be allowed to cut hay until late July, at which time it has the same food value as straw. The shrinking acres of hayfields are what is left for all the bobolinks and meadow larks and of course, for the turkeys as well, because they do not eat corn and soybeans through the summer – preferring insects – and oh yes, frogs, mice, bird’s eggs and also the ‘endangered’ baby birds.

Fifty years ago, every hayfield throughout the country had an abundance of bobolinks and meadowlarks. Traditional, small mixed farming created the habitat for these birds. No amount of government regulation is going to bring back those farms but the regulations will speed up the demise of those few that remain. If there is a real and honest will to really help the beautiful creatures that share the world with us, then the government agents in charge have got to stop spinning lies about who is killing these animals and instead of blaming farmers, simply ask for their help and input. Like the story they spin about the monarch butterfly not having any milkweed because we spray fields. Look along the sides of every road and fence row. There is more land there growing milkweed than ever grew before the first settlers cut down the trees because there were no fields. There is still a wealth of historical knowledge left in the rural people and someone should talk to these folks ‘to get the real story’ before they are all gone.

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Placing blame in all the wrong places (April/May 2015)

Tom-Black

Tom Black

Wow! What a great spring for farmers! The corn is nearly all planted and the soybeans are well on the way. The cattle are out on reasonably good grass and the hay fields at least in eastern Ontario, look pretty good. That of course, brings us to dealing with the Species at Risk Act (SARA).

Most people know that I am no fan of the windmill companies who are putting up generators in the sky so that they can reach into taxpayers’ pockets for money to pay them to produce power that we don’t need and give away the surplus to other countries and provinces at a huge loss. That said, I was very disappointed to see some communities using the Species at Risk Act to block the wind generators because of the risk of disturbing those oh so precious blanding turtles. After all, the footprint of any given wind turbine is not that large and once construction is done, it seems to me this should then be a very safe place for turtles since from that time on, there will be no construction within 500 metres of these towers. I would guess then that they must be trying to protect them from the ‘flicker effect’, the ‘low frequency vibrations’ and the ‘heart palpitations’. The fact is however, by using this ‘SARA’ to stop the windmills, these folks have given buy-in and credibility to this piece of legislation that for all intents is illegal to enforce on private property. When we try to use an illegal act by the government to counter another illegal act by the same government, then we weaken everyone’s chance to abolish these ill-conceived laws.

In my fields, there are lots of meadow larks and bobolinks and the air is full of barn swallows. The provincial government has tried it’s best to wipe these birds out by putting targets on them and by bringing in wild turkeys that have devastated all the small ground birds in the meadows of Ontario. The mess that the Feds made of the ‘mad cow disaster’ in Canada, by shutting the border from sea to sea, pretty much eliminated the small beef farms in Ontario and so went the insects that the barn swallows thrived on, and the hay fields where the bobolinks nest are now covered in corn or soybeans. Now the small number of small mixed farms that are left take the brunt of all this Species at Risk legislation. Farmers soon will not be allowed to cut hay until late July, at which time it has the same food value as straw. The shrinking acres of hayfields are what is left for all the bobolinks and meadow larks and of course, for the turkeys as well, because they do not eat corn and soybeans through the summer – preferring insects – and oh yes, frogs, mice, bird’s eggs and also the ‘endangered’ baby birds.

Fifty years ago, every hayfield throughout the country had an abundance of bobolinks and meadowlarks. Traditional, small mixed farming created the habitat for these birds. No amount of government regulation is going to bring back those farms but the regulations will speed up the demise of those few that remain. If there is a real and honest will to really help the beautiful creatures that share the world with us, then the government agents in charge have got to stop spinning lies about who is killing these animals and instead of blaming farmers, simply ask for their help and input. Like the story they spin about the monarch butterfly not having any milkweed because we spray fields. Look along the sides of every road and fence row. There is more land there growing milkweed than ever grew before the first settlers cut down the trees because there were no fields. There is still a wealth of historical knowledge left in the rural people and someone should talk to these folks ‘to get the real story’ before they are all gone.

whats-inside-april-may-2015

Landowner-Magazine-Digital-Banner-Interactive

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