Parks Canada to Use Fire to Protect Thousand Islands Trees

The Canadian Press, July 21, 2014 | Go to article overview

Parks Canada to Use Fire to Protect Thousand Islands Trees


Parks Canada to use fire to restore landscape

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MALLORYTOWN, Ont. - A small area on the Thousand Islands National Park will be set ablaze this week to help protect rare fire-dependent species, Parks Canada said Monday.

A 16-member team will descend Tuesday afternoon on Camelot Island to set fire to an area of just over one hectare that is home to about 50 pitch pine trees.

"They (the trees) need fires from time to time, so that they can persist," said Parks Supt. Jeff Leggo.

Fires will help them regenerate, clear away the organic layer and open the canopy giving more light for seedlings to grow, he said.

"They are not as susceptible to burning themselves as some of the competing trees are. We do expect there will be some mortality. The crews are doing some action to try to make them less susceptible," Leggo said.

Parks Canada said fire-dependent forest communities were historically managed naturally through lightning strikes and traditionally by First Nations people.

"Years of fire suppression has upset the balance of natural and essential processes needed to support healthy mixed forests in the Thousand Islands," it said.

Straddling the Canadian-U.S. border, the Thousand Islands archipelago is located 320 kilometres east of Toronto. …

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