Friends of the Cawthra Bush
Greater Mississauga Area
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November 8, 1997
Jenifer Vincent, Chairperson UFMAC
At the request of Mr. Donald Barber I was invited to inspect the Cawthra woodlot with respect to wetland features and amphibian habitat at the site and offer some recommendations that his organization and the City might consider regarding future management of the site.
Although no formal application has been circulated to me under the Planning Act and may not be required for any activities proposed, I am willing to offer advice both to concerned residents as well as the City. As I am not familiar with the detailed plans for the woodlot I cannot assume significant impacts will occur. To enhance a full understanding of this ecosystem, however, consideration should be given to an objective evaluation of the wetland communities using the Ontario Wetland Evaluation System, 3rd Edition, revised 1994.
During my site visit I did confirm the existence of some wetland communities, mostly dominated by jewelweed (Impatiens capensis). Trees to also consider as wetland indicator species would include silver maple, black ash and black willow, if present in the woodlot.
I also viewed several salamander larvae in the pond that I understand have been identified by the University of Guelph as Ambystoma jeffersonianum. using genetic analysis as required. This species is recognized as provincially significant and would contribute to a high wetland designation, possibly resulting in it as provincially significant and protected under the Wetlands Policy as related to the Planning Act. This species is not listed as vulnerable, threatened or endangered by OMNR and/or COSEWIC with respect to the Endangered Species Act. Protection under the the Game and Fish Act, however may be provided. It is strongly recommended that the Aurora District Office of the Ministry of Natural Resources be contacted regarding this record, their status and protection strategies.
Mr. Barber also provided me with a photograph of an "unusual" toad to identify. From the photograph I could not distinguish whether the species was a common American Toad or a Fowler's Toad, which is protected under the Endangered Species Act. This toad, however, has not been recorded along the north shore of Lake Ontario and prefers sandy areas around lakeshores and river valleys. Nevertheless I have forwarded the photograph to the MNR Natural Heritage Information Centre in Peterborough for further examination.
Cawthra Woodlot is an Environmentally Significant Area such that CVC would consider preventing or mitigating impacts to the area during any review of development applications. However, with respect to Cawthra woodlot there are no regulated areas or features under jurisdiction of the CVC, such that circulation of any plans for the area are not required by law. It is therefore the responsibility of the City to have regard for any wetland or ESA features that may be potentially impacted. If requested by the City I would be willing to offer an objective review of the management plan in an advisory capacity.
Thank you for considering my comments.
Sincerely, Robert Morris, Biologist
cc Mr. Donald Barber, Friends of the Cawthra Bush - Councillor Carmen Corbasson - Katherine Bladen, Region of Peel Planning
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