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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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Going Batty in Peachland

Going Batty in Peachland
What was first thought to be a liability has turned into a biological treasure in Peachland, where one of the largest known maternity colonies of Yuma bats in B.C. has been welcomed—instead of being destroyed. Located in the attic of a 108-year-old building which was originally the community’s primary school, the bat roost, where as many as 2,000 bats give birth to their pups and raise those young each spring, is now home also to the community’s Chamber of Commerce, tourism centre and the Boys and Girls Club. Those humans share the main floor of the lakefront building, which has undergone extensive renovations, while the maternity colony of bats roost upstairs during the day, swooping one-by-one through the dormers each evening to forage for insects. Biologist Tanya Luszcz says it’s estimated that this number of bats can consume half to one-and-a-half tonnes of insects in a summer, including many species that are human and agriculture pests. They contribute immensely to the community’s insect control efforts, but are often taken for granted. The tiny mammals have likely made the attic their maternity roost for decades, but the size of the colony came to light when the community began discussing whether to tear...
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Good, Clean Dirt

Good, Clean Dirt
UVic student Nathalie Vogel submitted the following narrative about PCAF Project 976, the Restoration of Robin Lane. HCTF contributed over $5000 to this project, which involved more than twenty volunteers removing invasives and restoring native plants to a former Garry Oak site in Saanich, BC. Thank you, Nathalie, for sharing your story.   What do you get when you combine sunshine, fresh lemongrass tea, Salal, Oregon grape, some restoration veterans and the smell of earth in your nostrils? A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon spent at Robin Lane, sharing in ecological restoration, and bodily rejuvenation. Fellow classmate and restoration rookie Jenna and I had the pleasure of sharing an afternoon with two ladies who know this business like the dirt under their nails. Sylvia Samborski and Louise Goulet have been working with plants for decades – both through their careers as naturalists and biologist/teachers and now through their hobbies of gardening, restoration and the continued desire to learn.  The fortune was truly ours that afternoon as the women passed along words of wisdom and knowledge about plants and life – the line sometimes blurring between the two. Robin Lane, our Eden of escape on that brisk January afternoon, is a piece of...
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Ritchie Lake Wetland Restoration: From Bad to Rad!

Ritchie Lake Wetland Restoration: From Bad to Rad!
The following story was provided by the South Okanagan-Similkameen Conservation Program , detailing the amazing transformation of a damaged bog into a key piece of wildlife habitat. The Summerland Sportsmen’s Association received an HCTF PCAF grant to fence and restore the Ritchie Lake wetland, one of the last intact wetlands in the Garnet Valley. Through partnerships with Province, local conservation organizations and the incredible efforts of a dedicated group of volunteers, they have certainly provided a helping hand for wildlife in BC. In the 1980’s the Province of BC had the foresight to purchase a number of properties in Garnet Valley just north of Summerland to augment existing crown lands and conserve some of the highest quality ungulate winter range some wildlife biologists had ever seen. The area, known as “Antler’s Saddle” is low elevation and highly suitable winter and early spring ranges for mule deer. The valley and hillside also supports sensitive grasslands, wetlands and open forest ecosystems – habitat for other wildlife species, some of which are federally listed as “at risk”. The area is managed by the Province of BC through the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and what a challenge it is to...
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PCAF Project Makes Ancient Forest Accessible to All

PCAF Project Makes Ancient Forest Accessible to All
Earlier this month, hundreds of people turned out for the Grand Opening of the Universal Boardwalk, near Dome Creek, BC . The newly-constructed boardwalk allows people of all ages and abilities to experience hiking through a unique inland temperate rainforest. The Ancient Forest is one of only a few surviving stands of old-growth cedar forest in the Upper Fraser River and Robson Valley, and is home to a rich abundance of native flora and fauna. There are more tree species within the inland rain forests than anywhere else in BC, and these include some impressive specimens: a number of the Ancient Forest's giant cedars are over 1000 years old and nearly 16 feet in diameter. More than 200 different kinds of lichen have been found here, some of which researchers believe may be newly-discovered species. And the forest and surrounding area provides habitat for a suite of iconic BC carnivores, including grizzly bears, lynx, wolves, wolverines, and cougars. Before the boardwalk was constructed, the rough terrain of the Ancient Forest Trail made it extremely difficult for people with physical limitations to experience this spectacular ecosystem first-hand. Now, the boardwalk provides full access for visitors requiring wheelchairs or other mobility devices.  ...
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