Newsletter, Spring 2017
At long last, it appears as if Spring is on its way. Over the last weekend in April, the ice disappeared from Bridge Lake, as well as many of the smaller lakes. Many species of birds have returned: ducks are splashing around on the open water, and within hours of the appearance of open water, the loons were back with a chorus of calls from all sides of the lake in the evening. It has been a long and snowy winter and the sight of greenery, spring flowers and wildlife activity is very welcome.
We are busy planning our program of Summer Speakers talks with a variety of suggested topics to choose from which we hope will be of interest, including solar power, organic gardening, aquatic invasive species, traditions and culture of the Canim Lake band, recycling and more.
As usual, the talks will be on Wednesday evenings during July and August. A full program will be published as soon as dates have been confirmed.
It is also the time to renew your membership, which helps to defray costs for the talks: hall rental and speaker expenses. To renew, please go to the website and download the membership form. Thank you for your continued support.
At last, we are able to report some progress: the draft management plan is almost ready and should be published before the end of the month. Everything is on hold now because of the election, but after that, all those who attended the initial meeting should be notified when the plan is available, and a link will be on our website.
We are also trying to find out what progress has been made on incorporating “Heritage” Island into the Provincial Park, which would mean all the islands in the lake would then be within the park.
There has been increasing interest and concern of late about the amount of logging in this area. Two directors had meetings earlier in the year with representatives from two of the major logging companies: West Fraser and B.C. Timber Sales. We have also contacted Norbord and all three companies have agreed to notify us, as stakeholders, of their logging plans and provide maps of proposed sites. Public meetings are also planned in the near future to inform area residents of their Forest Stewardship Plans.
Some areas in particular seem to have been subject to concentrated logging activity, especially the Eagan Lake and Rayfield corridor. Local ranchers and tourism operators who use the area for grazing and trail rides are particularly concerned about the impact this has already had and will continue to have on their operations. A meeting is planned with Pat Byrne (District Manager for 100 Mile area, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations) with interested parties, including FoBL. We will keep you posted on further developments.
Although not in our immediate area, the Clearwater Valley and Wells Gray Provincial Park are frequently visited by local residents and are an additional attraction for visitors in the surrounding area. A proposal has been put forward by Canfor to log several blocks on the lower slopes of Trophy Mountain. This area is famous not only for the alpine flower meadows, but is also home of the Mountain Caribou, which is increasingly threatened by habitat loss. An action group, the Wells Gray Gateway Protection Society, has been formed to try to stop further logging and to protect the Mountain Caribou habitat. For more information on this important issue, go to www.protectwellsgray.ca and www.1000clearcuts.ca. A video link can be found on Facebook.
We are still in need of volunteers to cover some areas of the lake for the annual loon survey. Three observations are needed, in June, July and August, so it is not a very onerous commitment and provides very useful information about numbers and breeding success. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
Another newsletter will be sent out as soon as the Summer Speakers talks have been confirmed. Enjoy the spring weather, and hopefully we will get a better summer than last year!
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