Letter From the Editor

Elk on winter range with Crowsnest Mountain in the background (Photo by NCC)

Elk on winter range with Crowsnest Mountain in the background (Photo by NCC)

By the time you read this issue of the Nature Conservancy of Canada Magazine, winter will likely have arrived in your corner of Canada. You may even have built a snowman, participated in a Christmas bird count, snowshoed, skied down (or along) winter trails or stopped in a woods on a snowy evening.

Once you stop, it takes no time at all to notice that winter landscapes are far from quiet. Take, for instance, the Happy Valley Forest in Ontario. The silence is occasionally broken by the piercing calls of pileated woodpeckers, as they fly to and from specially selected winter roost trees. You can also hear the calls of wintering birds such as black-capped chickadees and red- and white-breasted nuthatches as they forage for food.

At night, especially later in winter, barred, great horned and saw-whet owls make their presence known. And of course there is the crunch of boots and snowshoes and the swish of cross-country skis. These tracks mingle with those of scurrying small mammals and larger predators such as weasels, foxes and coyotes.

This winter wonderland might not be here at all, had it not been for the decades of conservation efforts by Dr. Henry Barnett, who (along with a world-class career in medicine) made it his personal mission to conserve the Happy Valley Forest for others to enjoy, far into the future.

This October, we were saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Barnett. We are ever grateful for his contributions to our mission, as well as those of the many Canadians across the country who have helped ensure that places like the Happy Valley Forest are here for us to enjoy throughout the year.

Wishing you a winter of wonder and discovery,

Christine Beevis Trickett, Managing Editor

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