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PCAF Project Leader Honoured with Trail Dedication Ceremony

PCAF Project Leader Honoured with Trail Dedication Ceremony
On May 8 th , Prince George officials and community members gathered together with family & friends of the late Bob Graham to celebrate the naming of a new trail in his honour. The Bob Graham Trail is situated within Prince George’s Forests of the World park. The trail provides access to the fishing dock on Shane Lake, installed in 2012 as part of a PCAF project led by Mr. Graham and the Polar Coachman Fly Fishers Club . Bob envisioned a “city fishing place” where local residents could experience and enjoy angling as much as he did. In addition to receiving a grant from HCTF, Bob also secured funding from the City of Prince George, Polar Coachmen Flyfishers, Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, Integris, Canfor, and Sinclar Group, and helped coordinate the many volunteer hours that made the dock a reality. HCTF Board members Dr. Winifred Kessler and Don Wilkins attended the dedication ceremony, and shared the following photos: If you’re interested in trying out fishing at the Shane Lake Dock, it’s circled on the map below ( map courtesy of the City of Prince George: click on image to enlarge ). The dock is about a 15 minute...
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Wood Lake Kokanee Show Signs of Recovery

Wood Lake Kokanee Show Signs of Recovery
Wood Lake kokanee may not be large fish, but in terms of economic and social impact, the fishery is huge: worth an estimated $1 million a year—all put at peril when the kokanee population crashed in the fall of 2011. Dubbed “one of the last remaining high-effort kokanee fisheries in Canada,” it’s a highly-accessible fishery that yields a large annual harvest and provides year-round angling opportunities for people of all skill levels, notes Hillary Ward, Fisheries Stock Assessment Specialist for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. She says conservatively it supports more than 15,000 angler days a year and more than $1 million in direct expenditures related to angling. Because it’s vitally important to restore the kokanee numbers in this small Central Okanagan Lake, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, a BC environmental granting organization, is funding a plan to figure out what caused the problems and how to resolve them. Since 2012, HCTF has put nearly a quarter million dollars into the problem, and that expenditure has nearly doubled with contributions from other sources, in a project that is a collaboration of the Ministry, the Oceola Fish and Game Club, the Okanagan Nation Alliance and the District...
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Precious Waste: Using Woody Debris to Create Connectivity Across Clearcuts

Precious Waste: Using Woody Debris to Create Connectivity Across Clearcuts
Clearcutting continues to be the dominant harvesting system across much of North America. Its environmental impacts have long been the subject of debate, but there’s a general consensus that this forestry practice results in a shift in the species inhabiting an area. In the years following a clearcut, grasses and shrubs thrive, providing browse for moose and deer. However, this short-term boon comes at the expense of some of the site’s previous residents. Furbearers such as weasels and marten depend on mature forest, both for concealment from predators and for den and rest sites in the form of coarse woody debris. On most clearcut sites, this debris is burned after harvest. But what if there was a way to prevent the displacement of some forest-dependent species by building habitat out of waste wood instead of burning it? We spoke with Dr. Thomas Sullivan of the Applied Mammal Research Institute about his HCTF-funded project examining whether windrows constructed out of waste wood could reduce some of the negative impacts of clearcutting on small mammals. HCTF: I understand that many furbearers are reliant on mature forest habitat, and will inevitably be impacted by clearcutting. Would you say your project is about making...
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Declining Den Sites: Finding Cavities Fit for a Fisher

Declining Den Sites: Finding Cavities Fit for a Fisher
What’s furry, fierce and likes to dine on porcupine? It’s the fisher, Pekania pennanti , a member of the weasel family that is seldom seen in the wild, but is an important part of British Columbia’s carnivore community. Despite its name, fishers do not fish and are dependent on forests for all their life history needs. The fisher is blue-listed (threatened) in BC, largely due to habitat loss. Female fishers require large diameter trees with cavities to birth and raise their young. They will only use cavities with entrance holes that are approximately 8 – 12 cm in diameter: large enough for them to squeeze into, but small enough to keep larger predators away from their kits. Den trees also need to have other trees and shrubs around them to allow the female approach her den unseen. These specific requirements (along with the fact that females usually require multiple cavities to accommodate the growing kits) make fisher populations extremely vulnerable to extirpation through loss of suitable denning habitat.   In the Bridge River Watershed, north of Lillooet, BC, fisher habitat has been impacted by the creation of two large hydro-electric reservoirs, large-scale fires, mountain pine beetle, and an ongoing history...
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Tiny Technology: Mapping Marten Movement

Tiny Technology: Mapping Marten Movement
In the frozen wilderness of North-central BC, a small, furry head pops out from under the snow. Its fox-like profile stands out against a creamy orange bib of fur. In a flash, the animal’s long, lithe body and bushy tail spring from the powder. It is an American Marten ( Martes americana ), a medium-sized mustelid known for its tree-top acrobatics and cat-like curiousity. She boldly lopes across the snow towards a tasty morsel, conspicuously placed to entice her into a cage trap disguised with branches and straw. Marten are commonly trapped for their pelts, but this cage won’t spell her demise. Instead, she will become part of a ground-breaking study examining marten’s movements, and how they might be affected by forestry practices. Shannon Crowley, a researcher with the John Prince Research Forest (co-managed by UNBC and T’laz’ten Nation), and his colleagues check the study traps daily: if they’re lucky enough to get a marten, they fit it with the latest in GPS collars before releasing it safely back into the forest. “They’re tough little critters,” confides Crowley. “Based on our experiences capturing them, they’re not fearful at all. We’ve had marten in cage traps that we’ve released, only to...
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