16THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE

The surveyors also noticed large sections of swamp. Mahlon Burwell, a surveyor, had this to say in his diary:

"I found the swamp got so bad I could proceed no further, so thought most practicable to return. From what I saw of the swamp, I knew it must extend the greater part of the way across the Township (Ekfrid) and so deep and miry that the Packers could not get through"

This old picture shows how most of the landscape looked 100 years ago.
This old picture shows how most of the landscape looked 100 years ago.
At one time, forest covered 70% of the land and swamps covered 30%. In 1859 the Municipal Institutions Act was passed to allow municipalities to drain land. The result of this act is that wetlands now cover less than 1% of the land, and most of the watershed is used for agriculture.

Changes in agricultural technology and prices of crops also affected the land. In 1962, most of the land was used for hay production or pasture. This type of farming is very easy on the land, since it prevents erosion. That limits the amount of debris flowing into the river, and protects the plants and animals that rely on clean water.

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