PGNC News and Notes, October 20, 2021

  • Prince George Naturalists Club: News from the Executive
  • Club Events
  • PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
  • Friday October 22, 3:30 p.m. NRESi Colloquium, “Stop-and-Go Primary Succession: The Story of Vegetation Development on the Nisga’a Lava Beds”
  • Wednesday October 27, 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time, Things That Make You Go Boo!
  • West Coast Olefins natural gas extraction plant applications
  • Birdwatching Backpacks at the Prince George Public Library

Club News and Events


Prince George Naturalists Club: News from the Executive

Current members of the Executive have been holding the fort for the past 18 months. Some directors have delayed retirement in order to keep the Club afloat during the pandemic. Essential business has been conducted by email. The Executive has now started to meet via Zoom so we can prepare for an in-person Annual General Meeting in early 2022. This will be a great opportunity for Club members to get together after months of reduced activity. The Executive is working on ways to recruit new members to the Executive. If you have ideas or would like to join the Executive, please email us at princegeorgenaturalistsclub@gmail.com.

Club Events

December 2021, Christmas Bird Count

Swan Eagle Count, January 16, 2022

Annual General Meeting, January or February 2022

More information on all these events will be publicized closer to the dates.

PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals

New members who join the Club between now and December 31 this year will remain in good standing until December 31, 2022. Memberships are available online at https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. Memberships can now be paid using eTransfer. No secret word is needed. Just send the e-Transfer to PrinceGeorgeNaturalistsClub@gmail.com and it goes directly into the Club’s bank account.

Memberships run from January 1 to December 31 and are available online any time. Cost is $25 per calendar year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. Payments by cheque can be mailed to Prince George Naturalists Club, PO Box 1092, Prince George BC V2L 4V2.

Benefits of membership: Subscription to BC Nature magazine, liability insurance coverage for Club work parties and field trips, 10% discount on some bird seed purchased at Spruce Capital Feeds, and access to popular events limited to Club members only. 

Other Events and News

Friday October 22, 3:30 p.m. NRESi Colloquium, Stop-and-Go Primary Succession: The Story of Vegetation Development on the Nisga’a Lava Beds”.

Dr. Phil Burton, Professor, Ecosystem Science and Management, UNBC, will be presenting remotely on the Nisga’a Lava Beds. The 26 km2 lava plain left by the Tseax Volcano in the Nass Valley is an impressive central feature of the Nisga’a Lava Beds Memorial Provincial Park north of Terrace, B.C. The volcanic eruption that took place sometime in the 1700s and its impacts are central to the history of the Nisga’a First Nation. The current lava landscape supports a wide variety of vegetation, ranging from largely bare rock and thick blankets of lichens and mosses, to areas of closed forest cover dominated by mature lodgepole pine and cottonwood, prompting the question, “Why are there such pronounced differences in ecosystem development more than two centuries after a single historical disturbance?” Field research undertaken in 2018 and 2019 revealed significant effects of substrate differences, as expected, but also a pronounced legacy of recent disturbance events. A distinctive climate on the lava plain, combined with human activity, has resulted in recurrent wildfires that repeatedly reset the pattern of succession there. Conversely, other disturbances such as flooding and road construction have led to silt deposition that has promoted the establishment of trees and other vascular plants. As extreme weather leading to fires and floods is on the increase, future vegetation development on the lava beds can be expected to be set back in some places and accelerated elsewhere. This complexity challenges textbook descriptions of linear ecological succession and foretells an uncertain future in a changing climate. This talk will be available to attend in-person in Room 8-164** or Online via this link: https://www2.unbc.ca/nres-institute/colloquium-webcasts


**Please note: Masks must be worn by all those attending in person as per PHO order and UNBC Policy. Thank you for your understanding.


If you’re unable to access a webinar on the day it’s broadcast, here’s the link to the archive: https://video.unbc.ca/channel/NRESI/

Wednesday October 27, 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time, Things That Make You Go Boo!

From Nature Conservancy Canada: The season of fright is here, and all around us are images of commonly feared animals – bats fluttering against a full moon, the howling lone wolf, but just how scary are they? In this Nature Talks, a panel of speakers will walk us through the fact from fiction of some misunderstood creatures and help us understand how our perceptions impact species survival. Once registered, you’ll receive a link to the livestream event, and after the event, a link to the recording. https://tinyurl.com/6n5uuwb8

West Coast Olefins natural gas extraction plant applications

Submitted by Ellen Loughery: West Coast Olefins has submitted applications to the Oil and Gas Commission, Regional District Fraser Fort George and the Agricultural Land Commission. The Agricultural Land Reserve is involved as the company has applied for “non-agricultural use” in the Pineview Agricultural Land Reserve to have a natural gas extraction plant to service its needs.  
Petrochemical operations are known to cause serious health concerns in humans, pollute air, water and land, and negatively impact fish and wildlife.  

If you are opposed to this complex please let your voice be heard. The deadline is the end of October. Email your concerns to developmentservices@rdffg.bc.ca using WCOL ALR Application in the subject line. 

To ensure the submission can be forwarded to the Agricultural Land Use Standing Committee for consideration, the following is required in your email:

I, (your name) consent to comments contained in or attached to this email becoming public information.  I understand that this means the comments may be placed on a public meeting agenda of the Regional District and may be forwarded to the Agricultural Land Commission for their use.

Birdwatching Backpacks at the Prince George Public Library
The Prince George Public Library is lending out six birdwatching backpacks containing a Field Guide, binoculars, a checklist of birds in north-central BC and a brochure on birdwatching around Prince George. The PGNC provided the local checklist and brochure to the Library for reproduction. All six backpacks are being put to use – they are either checked out or awaiting pickup at the Bob Harkins Branch. This is an excellent service for beginning birdwatchers.

PGNC News and Notes, October 6, 2021

  • PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
  • Friday October 8, 3:30 p.m. NRESi Colloquium, Plastic Pollution in the Arctic
  • How colourful cat collars can save millions of birds
  • Northern BC Bog/Rein Orchids: information needed
  • If you have a bat box, scientists want to know about it!

Club Events and News
Prince George Naturalists Club News

The Annual General Meeting scheduled for March 2020 had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. The Club received an extension from BC Registries that allows the 2020 AGM to be held before November 1, 2021. It turns out it’s not feasible to organize an in-person 2020 AGM by the November 1 deadline, so later options are now being considered. They include holding an in-person 2021 AGM before Christmas or alternatively holding the 2022 AGM as soon as possible after the New Year. An in-person meeting would be a great opportunity to get together and may encourage new members to join the Executive. 


Current members of the Executive have been holding the fort for the past 18 months. Some directors have delayed their retirements in order to help keep the Club afloat during the pandemic. The Club needs more new directors if it’s going to survive and thrive!


PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals

New members who join the Club between October 1 and December 31 this year will remain in good standing until December 31, 2022. Memberships are available online at https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. Memberships can now be paid using eTransfer. No secret word is needed. Just send the e-Transfer to PrinceGeorgeNaturalistsClub@gmail.com and it goes directly into the Club’s bank account.


Memberships run from January 1 to December 31 and are available online any time. Cost is $25 per calendar year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. Payments by cheque can be mailed to Prince George Naturalists Club, PO Box 1092, Prince George BC V2L 4V2.

Benefits of membership: Subscription to BC Nature magazine, liability insurance coverage for Club work parties and field trips, 10% discount on some bird seed purchased at Spruce Capital Feeds, and access to popular events limited to Club members only. 


Other Events and News


Friday October 8, 3:30 p.m. NRESi Colloquium, Plastic Pollution in the Arctic


On Friday, October 8th, 3:30 pm Dr. Jennifer Provencher, Wildlife Health Division, Environment and Climate Change Canada, will be giving the talk “Monitoring Plastic Pollution in the Canadian Arctic: what we have done, and future planning”.  Plastic pollution is now a pervasive global pollutant. The fate and effects of plastic pollution are largely unknown, and the Arctic is not immune to both local and distant sources of plastic pollution. In the environment, plastic pollution represents a complex set of pollutants including physical plastic pieces made from diverse polymers. Plastic pieces can range of mega-plastics such as abandoned-lost-discarded fishing gear, down to microplastics that can be ingested by species. In the Arctic, with the longest and richest data from over 17 years of ingested plastic data from seabirds, studies have now examined ingested plastics in dozens of species, including invertebrates, fish, seals, walrus, polar bears and whales. Plastic also have a chemical contaminant component, with plastic additives known to be toxic to biota. It is within this context that the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) under the Arctic Council formed a new expert group, the Litter and Microplastics Expert Group (LMEG), to review and advise on plastic pollution monitoring and research. In 2021, the LMEG released a series of reports that proposes a pan-Arctic litter and microplastic monitoring program, with an accompanying set of technical documents to help harmonize and standardize practices throughout the region. This talk will review the state of knowledge of plastic pollution and additives in the Canadian Arctic, and discuss how future sampling will help expand our understanding of plastic pollution. *Please note that Dr. Provencher will be presenting remotely. This talk will be available to attend in-person in Room 8-164* or Online. Please email al.wiensczyk@unbc.ca for the online passcode.

 *Please note: Masks must be worn by all those attending in person as per PHO order and UNBC Policy. Thank you for your understanding.


The best way to ensure access to the NRESi and FWCP webinars is to sign up for the NRESi weekly newsletter which contains all the access information for each event. If you would like to receive NRESi’s newsletter, updates on events and other announcements, please contact Al Wiensczyk at Al.Wiensczyk@unbc.ca or Art Fredeen at Art.Fredeen@unbc.ca.

If you’re unable to access a webinar on the day it’s broadcast, here’s the link to the archive: https://video.unbc.ca/channel/NRESI/


How colourful cat collars can save millions of birds


Dr. Ken Otter at UNBC is well-known for his research on animal behaviour, especially birds and bird life. He is currently looking for about 40 more cats and their owners for a study that he and professor Annie Booth are currently conducting on how to protect birds from domestic cats using rainbow-coloured collars. Here’s the link to a recent CBC story on the project: https://tinyurl.com/pt3rza39 If you would like your cat to participate in the study, contact Ken at ken.otter@unbc.ca.


Northern BC Bog/Rein Orchids: information needed


Genevieve van der Voort is a graduate student at UNBC, supervised by Dr. Dezene Huber. She is looking for information on the location of bog/rein orchids (Platanthera / Piperia spp.). Part of her research will involve filming potential northern pollinators of bog/rein orchids using motion-detected videos. If you have ever come across a location where these orchids may grow, please email Genevieve at gvan@unbc.ca. She is hoping to find some study sites around the Prince George area.


If you have a bat box, scientists want to know about it!

Bats in Canada face multiple threats from habitat loss and disease. A bat box is a simple way to provide additional roosting habitat for bats, yet little is known about bat box use in Canada. Information on bat box use is especially important as three bat species in Canada are listed as endangered: little brown bats, northern long-eared bats, and tricolored bats.

If you have a bat box and would like to participate in this study, please fill out this online multiple-choice survey with questions about your bat box. Your participation is important even if your box does not have any bats! https://trentu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_86og8C3MIgO2ff7The project is in partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Canadian Wildlife Federation. More information on the project is posted here: https://wcsbats.ca/Our-work-to-save-bats/Batbox-Project/BatBox-Project-Canada-wide and here https://rrvfn.org/canadian-bat-project/

This information is provided by:
Karen J. Vanderwolf, MScPh.D. student, Trent University
Research Associate, New Brunswick MuseumEnvironmental Life Sciences1600 West Bank Dr., Peterborough, Ontario,  K9L 0G2
Twitter: @VanderwolfKarenhttps://www.researchgate.net/profile/Karen_Vanderwolf
http://blog.cwf-fcf.org/?author=5

PGNC News and Notes, September 17, 2021

  • Prince George Naturalists Club News
  • PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
  • Sunday September 19, 7 p.m. Introduction to Drawdown Climate Solutions Course, Webinar (45 min.)
  • NRESi Colloquium Proposed Schedule, Fall 2021
  • Plants of Northern British Columbia, expanded second edition

Club Events and News


Prince George Naturalists Club News


Field trips have been limited this year for all the reasons that make it hard to plan in advance, especially the pandemic. We are grateful to Sandra Kinsey for organizing three weed pulls this summer, with special thanks to the volunteers who turned out to help.


The Annual General Meeting scheduled for March 2020 had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. The Club received an extension from BC Registries that allows the 2020 AGM to be held before November 1, 2021. Current members of the Executive have been holding the fort for the past 18 months. An in-person AGM would be a great opportunity to get together and encourage new members to join the Executive. More information to come soon about the AGMs for 2020 and 2021 once the current Executive has a chance to review the options.


PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals

Club members continue to renew their memberships by mail or online at https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. New members are also joining the Club. This support is much appreciated. Memberships can now be paid using eTransfer. No secret word is needed. Just send the e-Transfer to PrinceGeorgeNaturalistsClub@gmail.com and it goes directly into the club’s bank account.


BC Nature has changed how individual Club membership lists are kept. Anyone more than three months in arrears will not receive BC Nature magazine or BC Nature’s monthly eNews. 

Memberships run from January 1 to December 31 and are available online any time. Cost is $25 per calendar year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. Payments by cheque can be mailed to Prince George Naturalists Club, PO Box 1092, Prince George BC V2L 4V2.

Benefits of membership: Subscription to BC Nature magazine, liability insurance coverage for Club work parties and field trips, 10% discount on some of the bird seed purchased at Spruce Capital Feeds, and access to popular events limited to Club members only. 


Other Events and News


Sunday September 19, 7 p.m. Introduction to Drawdown Climate Solutions Course, Webinar (45 min.)
Drawdown BC, is a part of a global coalition of scientists, researchers, economists, and others, that has built a model to evaluate solutions to global warming, based on their actual impact on greenhouse gas emissions.  

Attending the Introduction to Drawdown Climate Solutions Course on Sept 19 will help you explore and initiate climate change solutions, help you decide if you want to register for the full 5-week course, and give you an opportunity to ask questions.  

By Zoom. Register for free:   https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/introduction-to-drawdown-tickets-169024961209?utm-campaign=social%2Cemail&utm-content=attendeeshare&utm-medium=discovery&utm-source=strongmail&utm-term=listing This event is sponsored by the BC Nature Climate Action Sub-Committee. For more information on Project Drawdown visit: https://drawdown.org


NRESi Colloquium Proposed Schedule, Fall 2021


The Colloquium presentations this fall are scheduled for Fridays at 3:30 p.m. with in-person attendance at UNBC or accessible online. Those wishing to attend in person must be partially vaccinated (before Oct 24th) or fully vaccinated (after October 24th) and wear a mask as per Provincial Health Officer (PHO) orders and UNBC policy. 


The best way to ensure access to the NRESi and FWCP webinars is to sign up for the NRESi weekly newsletter which contains all the access information for each event. If you would like to receive NRESi’s newsletter, updates on events and other announcements, please contact Al Wiensczyk at Al.Wiensczyk@unbc.ca or Art Fredeen at Art.Fredeen@unbc.ca.


If you’re unable to access a webinar on the day it’s broadcast, here’s the link to the archive: https://video.unbc.ca/channel/NRESI/

Presentation DateTentative Presenter and/or Topic
September 17, 2021Omineca Fisheries on the rise – an overview of current freshwater fisheries management approaches and challenges in the Omineca Region of BC. Dr. Nikolaus Gantner (FLNRORD)
September 24, 2021Ecosystem Integrity Monitoring: My Journey from UNBC to Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. Dr, Travis Gerwing (Parks Canada)
October 1, 2021Christopher Morgan (UNBC)
October 8, 2021Dr. Jennifer Provencher (Canadian Wildlife Service)
October 15, 2021Todd French (EDI consultants)
October 22, 2021Dr. Dominick DellaSala (Geos Institute)
October 29, 2021Dr. Geoff De Ruiter (BC BioCarbon)
November 5, 2021David Boudinot, Daniel Brendle-Moczuk, and Calvin Sanborn (UVic)
November 12, 2021Mayflies across northern Canada: Adventures of an aquatic insect biologist. Dr. Donna Giberson (University of PEI)
November 19, 2021Reconciliation in Land Use Planning. Dr Sarah Atkinson, (Vesta Consultants). Inspiring Women Among Us (IWAU) sponsored presenter
November 26, 2021Dr. Samuel Bartels (UNBC)

Plants of Northern British Columbia, expanded second edition


Great news! The second edition of Plants of Northern British Columbia is back in print after seven years. Plant lovers can now replace their well-worn first editions by buying a copy from Books and Company here in Prince George. Books and Company had to place an order for 1,000 copies in order to convince the publisher to print it again. Here’s a link to the bookstore website in case you want to order a copy online: https://www.booksandcompany.ca

PGNC News and Notes, August 8, 2021

  • Prince George Naturalists Club, Invasive Plant Cleanup, Carrie Jane Gray Park, Wednesday August 11, 9 a.m. to 12 noon
  • PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
  • Nature Canada Photo Contest Closes on August 16
  • Mugaha Bird Banding Station, Mackenzie, Volunteer Opportunities

Club Events and News


Prince George Naturalists Club, Invasive Plant Cleanup, Carrie Jane Gray Park, Wednesday August 11, 9 a.m. to 12 noon


Come on out on Wednesday August 11 to help remove invasive Himalayan Balsam at Carrie Jane Gray Park in Prince George. This pretty pink flower grows so well it crowds out our native species. We don’t want the seeds floating down the channel toward the Fraser River. It’s an annual that dies off in the fall, leaving the stream bank open to more erosion. For more information about Himalayan balsam and common tansy see: http://nwipc.org/invasive-plants


Long pants, long-sleeved shirts and sturdy, water-proof footwear are recommended (no sandals or open-toed shoes) as we may be working in wet areas. If possible, bring your own hand tool for cutting off flowers and seed heads, work gloves and a personal water bottle. Bring personal hand sanitizer if possible. Long bladed trimmers are also useful. The Club will provide garbage bags as well as extra work gloves and clippers if someone needs them. The work is suitable for adults and teens. 


We will meet in the small gravel parking lot behind the ball diamonds to sign a waiver and review how to remove the plants. There are two access roads from Massey Drive. The first is north of the new firehall. The second is at Laverdure Way, behind the YWCA, past the horseshoe pits, then follow the paved road. You’ll see us in the small gravel parking lot at the far end of Carrie Jane Gray Park. This event is open to members and non-members. For more information, email Sandra at sjkinsey@direct.ca, voice: 250.963.8381 and text: 250.617.8381.


PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals

Club members continue to renew their memberships by mail or online at https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. New members are also joining the Club. This support is much appreciated. Memberships can now be paid using eTransfer. No secret word is needed. Just send the e-Transfer to PrinceGeorgeNaturalistsClub@gmail.com and it goes directly into the club’s bank account.


BC Nature has changed how individual Club membership lists are kept so anyone more than three months in arrears will not receive BC Nature magazine or BC Nature’s monthly eNews. 

Memberships run from January 1 to December 31 and are available online any time. Cost is $25 per calendar year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. Payments by cheque can be mailed to Prince George Naturalists Club, PO Box 1092, Prince George BC V2L 4V2.

Benefits of membership: Subscription to BC Nature magazine, liability insurance coverage for Club work parties and field trips, 10% discount on some of the bird seed purchased at Spruce Capital Feeds, and access to popular events limited to Club members only. 


Other Events and News


Nature Canada Photo Contest closes on August 16


The Nature Canada photo contest opened on May25 and closes on August 16, 2021. Details are here: https://tinyurl.com/43jad39t

Nature Canada announcement: We have partnered with Black Feather the Wilderness Adventure Company for our 2021 Photo Contest Grand Prize. This year’s first prize winner of our contest will receive a spot on an incredible seven-day sea kayaking trip exploring the 30,000 Islands that surround Georgian Bay in the 2022 season, valued at over $2000! 

The 30,000 Islands make northeast Georgian Bay a kayaker’s paradise. From a few square meters to several square kilometres, these granite islands form a protective maze for the paddler to explore. Away from the sheltered channels, there are also open bays and crossings to distant islands for the experienced paddler. There is very little soil in this area, and most of the vegetation on the coastline consists of wind-twisted and gnarled trees that are far older than they look. It’s a harsh and fragile environment — the least-settled wilderness on the great bay.

Mugaha Bird Banding Station, Mackenzie, Volunteer Opportunities


Message from Mugaha Bird Banding Station: To out-of-town volunteers, potential volunteers and visitors: The station is up and running as of Monday, July 19. With BC opening up again, we are able to welcome back all volunteers with not too many rules and restrictions. We are really hoping to see new and familiar faces again. Unfortunately, we have yet to find a replacement for our visitor trailer so accommodation options are tenting or you can bring a RV if you have one.  You would also have use of the kitchen, and would have access to the showers at the municipal campground beside the Municipal Office and near the Ministry of Forests building.  

Our Birder-in-Charge (BIC) this year is Laura Tabbakh, Assistant 1 is Kristen Mancuso and Assistant 2 is Zoe Roberts. Sue Crosby will be the contact person for scheduling of volunteers this summer. Please let her know if you are interested in coming and what dates you are thinking of.  Sue will do her best to accommodate your preferred dates. You can phone her: 250-997-3858 landline; call/text cell 250-997-7447 or email suecrosby79@gmail.com 

Our Covid Guidelines: We are restricting the number of people in the lab and kitchen to 4 people at one time.  As well, if you are not 2 weeks clear of your second vaccination, we ask that you wear a mask inside the buildings for your safety and that of the other volunteers and banders.   Hand washing and sanitizing of shared surfaces are pretty much the extent of it and not being around others if you are ill. Please let Sue know if you have any questions. We are so excited that the station is open and look forward to having a great season. 

Website: http://www.mackenzienatureobservatory.ca/ Directions to Mugaha Marsh Banding Station:Text version:  http://www.mackenzienatureobservatory.ca/Banding/Directions%20Text.htmMap Viewhttps://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?msid=212941849169360375018.0004bcba66eb6b671a9b1&msa=0&iwloc=0004bcba6a916c7d77904 

Things volunteers can do:•    Scribing•    Checking nets and extracting or notifying an extractor of birds in the net•    Census•    Observations•    Banding •    Releasing birds•    Cleaning, sanitizing the station (sweeping, tidying), cleaning outhouse.•    Turning bird bags, taking home to wash and bringing back•    Checking data•    Greeting and dealing with the public•    Watering plants, deadheading flowers•    Maintaining/repairing bicycles•    Closing nets at end of day•    Removing garbage and recycling from site•    Netlane maintenance•    Trailer maintenance•    Marking and mending nets (usually done at the end of the season)•    Set up and take down of station 

PGNC News and Notes, July 31, 2021

  • PGNC Weed Pull, 9 a.m. Tuesday August 3, Hudson’s Bay Wetland
  • Prince George Naturalists Club, Invasive Plant Cleanup, Carrie Jane Gray Park, Wednesday August 11, 9 a.m. to 12 noon
  • PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
  • Nature Canada Photo Contest Closes on August 16
  • Spruce City Wildlife Association seeks volunteers
  • Mugaha Bird Banding Station, Mackenzie, Volunteer Opportunities

Club Events and News

Prince George Naturalists Club Weed-Pull, 9 a.m. Tuesday August 3, Hudson’s Bay Wetland

The Prince George Naturalists Club is holding its second weed-pull at 9 a.m. on Tuesday August 3 to coninue removing common tansy and other invasive plants at the Hudson’s Bay Wetland. Club members and supporters are invited to meet in the parking lot at The Exploration Place for waiver signing and a quick introduction to techniques for removing tansy. Bring your favourite hand tool for cutting off flowers and seed heads, or your favourite shovel for digging tansy, as well as work gloves and a personal water bottle. Participants should consider wearing long pants and waterproof footwear, and bring personal hand sanitizer if possible. The Club will provide garbage bags, extra work gloves, and clippers if someone needs them. The work is suitable for adults and teens and all levels of ability, and there’s lots of space to spread out. For more information, email Sandra at sjkinsey@direct.ca, voice: 250.963.8381 and text: 250.617.8381.

Prince George Naturalists Club, Invasive Plant Cleanup, Carrie Jane Gray Park, Wednesday August 11, 9 a.m. to 12 noon

Come on out on Wednesday August 11 to help remove invasive Himalayan Balsam at Carrie Jane Gray Park in Prince George. This pretty pink flower grows so well it crowds out our native species. We don’t want the seeds floating down the channel toward the Fraser River. It’s an annual that dies off in the fall, leaving the stream bank open to more erosion. For more information about Himalayan balsam and common tansy see: http://nwipc.org/invasive-plants

Long pants, long-sleeved shirts and sturdy, water-proof footwear are recommended (no sandals or open-toed shoes) as we may be working in wet areas. If possible, bring your own hand tool for cutting off flowers and seed heads, work gloves and a personal water bottle. Bring personal hand sanitizer if possible. Long bladed trimmers are also useful. The Club will provide garbage bags as well as extra work gloves and clippers if someone needs them, and also sanitizer for disinfecting tools. The work is suitable for adults and teens. 

We will meet in the small gravel parking lot behind the ball diamonds to sign a waiver and review how to remove the plants. There are two access roads from Massey Drive. The first is north of the new firehall. The second is at Laverdure Way, behind the YWCA, past the horseshoe pits, then follow the paved road. You’ll see us in the small gravel parking lot at the far end of Carrie Jane Gray Park. This event is open to members and non-members. For more information, email Sandra at sjkinsey@direct.ca, voice: 250.963.8381 and text: 250.617.8381.


PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals

Club members continue to renew their memberships by mail or online at https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. New members are also joining the Club. This support is much appreciated. Memberships can now be paid using eTransfer. No secret word is needed. Just send the e-Transfer to PrinceGeorgeNaturalistsClub@gmail.com and it goes directly into the club’s bank account. BC Nature has changed how individual Club membership lists are kept so anyone more than three months in arrears will not receive BC Nature magazine or BC Nature’s monthly eNews. 

Memberships run from January 1 to December 31 and are available online any time. Cost is $25 per calendar year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. Payments by cheque can be mailed to Prince George Naturalists Club, PO Box 1092, Prince George BC V2L 4V2.

Benefits of membership: Subscription to BC Nature magazine, liability insurance coverage for Club work parties and field trips, 10% discount on some of the bird seed purchased at Spruce Capital Feeds, and access to popular events limited to Club members only. 


Other Events and News


Nature Canada Photo Contest closes on August 16


The Nature Canada photo contest opened on May25 and closes on August 16, 2021. Details are here: https://tinyurl.com/43jad39t

Nature Canada announcement: We have partnered with Black Feather the Wilderness Adventure Company for our 2021 Photo Contest Grand Prize. This year’s first prize winner of our contest will receive a spot on an incredible seven-day sea kayaking trip exploring the 30,000 Islands that surround Georgian Bay in the 2022 season, valued at over $2000! 

The 30,000 Islands make northeast Georgian Bay a kayaker’s paradise. From a few square meters to several square kilometres, these granite islands form a protective maze for the paddler to explore. Away from the sheltered channels, there are also open bays and crossings to distant islands for the experienced paddler. There is very little soil in this area, and most of the vegetation on the coastline consists of wind-twisted and gnarled trees that are far older than they look. It’s a harsh and fragile environment — the least-settled wilderness on the great bay.

Spruce City Wildlife Association seeks volunteers

Message from the SCWA:
– Could you spare a weekend or 2 in August or September?- Do you like Salmon and the outdoors? – Would you like to be a part of the Upper Fraser’s ONLY volunteer team operating stock rebuilding programs? (on endangered runs)

Email us today and we can send you details on being a part of SCWA Salmon Support Team! Brood capture is set to start in about 3 weeks. Join us today and help us bring these stocks back! Contact us at Salmonspprtteam@gmail.com and we will reach out to you!


Mugaha Bird Banding Station, Mackenzie, Volunteer Opportunities


Message from Mugaha Bird Banding Station: To out-of-town volunteers, potential volunteers and visitors: The station is up and running as of Monday, July 19. With BC opening up again, we are able to welcome back all volunteers with not too many rules and restrictions. We are really hoping to see new and familiar faces again. Unfortunately, we have yet to find a replacement for our visitor trailer so accommodation options are tenting or you can bring a RV if you have one.  You would also have use of the kitchen, and would have access to the showers at the municipal campground beside the Municipal Office and near the Ministry of Forests building.  

Our Birder-in-Charge (BIC) this year is Laura Tabbakh, Assistant 1 is Kristen Mancuso and Assistant 2 is Zoe Roberts. Sue Crosby will be the contact person for scheduling of volunteers this summer. Please let her know if you are interested in coming and what dates you are thinking of.  Sue will do her best to accommodate your preferred dates. You can phone her: 250-997-3858 landline; call/text cell 250-997-7447 or email suecrosby79@gmail.com 

Our Covid Guidelines: We are restricting the number of people in the lab and kitchen to 4 people at one time.  As well, if you are not 2 weeks clear of your second vaccination, we ask that you wear a mask inside the buildings for your safety and that of the other volunteers and banders.   Hand washing and sanitizing of shared surfaces are pretty much the extent of it and not being around others if you are ill. Please let Sue know if you have any questions. We are so excited that the station is open and look forward to having a great season. 

Website: http://www.mackenzienatureobservatory.ca/ Directions to Mugaha Marsh Banding Station:

Text version:  http://www.mackenzienatureobservatory.ca/Banding/Directions%20Text.htmMap Viewhttps://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?msid=212941849169360375018.0004bcba66eb6b671a9b1&msa=0&iwloc=0004bcba6a916c7d77904 

Things volunteers can do:•    Scribing•    Checking nets and extracting or notifying an extractor of birds in the net•    Census•    Observations•    Banding •    Releasing birds•    Cleaning, sanitizing the station (sweeping, tidying), cleaning outhouse.•    Turning bird bags, taking home to wash and bringing back•    Checking data•    Greeting and dealing with the public•    Watering plants, deadheading flowers•    Maintaining/repairing bicycles•    Closing nets at end of day•    Removing garbage and recycling from site•    Netlane maintenance•    Trailer maintenance•    Marking and mending nets (usually done at the end of the season)•    Set up and take down of station. 

PGNC News and Notes, July 21, 2021

  • PGNC Weed Pulls, 9 a.m. Wednesday July 28 and Tuesday August 3, Hudson’s Bay Wetland
  • PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
  • Nature Canada Photo Contest Closes on August 16
  • Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program Peace Region News: A dozen calves in the caribou maternity pen
  • Caribou Homeland

Club Events and News


Prince George Naturalists Club Weed Pulls, 9 a.m. Wednesday July 28, and Tuesday August 3, Hudson’s Bay Wetland


On Wednesday July 28, the Prince George Naturalists Club will hold our first in-person event of 2021! It’s a weed-pull to remove common tansy and other invasive plants at the Hudson’s Bay Wetland. A second weed pull will be held at 9 a.m. on Tuesday August 3


For both events, Club members and supporters are invited to meet in the parking lot at The Exploration Place at 9 a.m. for waiver signing and a quick introduction to techniques for removing tansy. Bring your favourite hand tool for cutting off flowers and seed heads, or your favourite shovel for digging tansy, as well as work gloves and a personal water bottle. Participants should consider wearing long pants and waterproof footwear, and bring personal hand sanitizer if possible. The Club will provide garbage bags, extra work gloves, and clippers if someone needs them. The work is suitable for adults and teens and all levels of ability, and there’s lots of space to spread out. For more information, email Sandra at sjkinsey@direct.ca, voice: 250.963.8381 and text: 250.617.8381.


PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals

Club members continue to renew their memberships by mail or online at https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. New members are also joining the Club. This support is much appreciated. Memberships can now be paid using eTransfer. No secret word is needed. Just send the e-Transfer to PrinceGeorgeNaturalistsClub@gmail.com and it goes directly into the club’s bank account.
BC Nature has changed how individual Club membership lists are kept so anyone more than three months in arrears will not receive BC Nature magazine or BC Nature’s monthly eNews. 

Memberships run from January 1 to December 31 and are available online any time. Cost is $25 per calendar year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. Payments by cheque can be mailed to Prince George Naturalists Club, PO Box 1092, Prince George BC V2L 4V2.

Benefits of membership: Subscription to BC Nature magazine, liability insurance coverage for Club work parties and field trips, 10% discount on some of the bird seed purchased at Spruce Capital Feeds, and access to popular events limited to Club members only. 


Other Events and News


Nature Canada Photo Contest closes on August 16
The Nature Canada photo contest opened on May25 and closes on August 16, 2021. Details are here: https://tinyurl.com/43jad39t

Nature Canada announcement: We have partnered with Black Feather the Wilderness Adventure Company for our 2021 Photo Contest Grand Prize. This year’s first prize winner of our contest will receive a spot on an incredible seven-day sea kayaking trip exploring the 30,000 Islands that surround Georgian Bay in the 2022 season, valued at over $2000! 

The 30,000 Islands make northeast Georgian Bay a kayaker’s paradise. From a few square meters to several square kilometres, these granite islands form a protective maze for the paddler to explore. Away from the sheltered channels, there are also open bays and crossings to distant islands for the experienced paddler. There is very little soil in this area, and most of the vegetation on the coastline consists of wind-twisted and gnarled trees that are far older than they look. It’s a harsh and fragile environment — the least-settled wilderness on the great bay.

Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program Peace Region News: A dozen calves in the caribou maternity penTwelve caribou calves in a maternity pen near Chetwynd will be released in mid-August. The goal of the maternity pen project – led by the Nikanese Wah tzee Stewardship Society, with FWCP funding – is to increase survival of caribou in the Klinse-Za and Scott East herd areas. This year, 12 of the 13 cows captured were pregnant – the second highest pregancy rate in the eight-year history of the maternity pen. All cows and calves are feeding well and are expected to be released when the calves are at least eight weeks old.

In an effort to gain a better understanding of calf survival in the wild, the team also captured and collared three wild calves that were born outside the pen this year. This calf has just been collared and released. Photo: Wildlife Infometrics Inc.

Caribou Homeland


Mike Nash has forwarded this link to Caribou Homeland, a short film by David Moskowitz: https://caribourainforest.org/caribou-homeland. “Two First Nations in western Canada come together to protect an iconic animal they’ve relied upon for countless generations. “Caribou Homeland”, an 11-minute short film, offers a glimpse into the multi-faceted, Indigenous led, conservation project that has created the most successful caribou recovery program in North America. The West Moberly and Saulteau First Nations’ work to restore mountain caribou, food sovereignty and their traditional cultures is a unique and poignant bright spot on the conservation map”.

PGNC News and Notes, June 11, 2021

  • PGNC Field Trips and Work Parties
  • PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
  • Nature Canada Photo Contest
  • Moth Sightings

Club Events and News


PGNC Field Trips and Work Parties

The PGNC Executive is drafting guidelines for field trips and work parties which can now resume as pandemic restrictions are gradually lifted. We will seek the advice of past trip leaders before posting the guidelines on the Club blog for comment. Over the next few months the guidelines will be adapted as public health orders change.
In 2020 we were able to hold physically distanced work parties at Hudson’s Bay Wetland Nature Park, Carrie Jane Gray Park and Wilson Park. We are looking forward to doing similar work in 2021 as well as holding local field trips.

PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals

Club members continue to renew their memberships by mail or online at https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. New members are also joining the Club. This support is much appreciated. Memberships can now be paid using eTransfer. No secret word is needed. Just send the e-Transfer to PrinceGeorgeNaturalistsClub@gmail.com and it goes directly into the club’s bank account.


BC Nature has changed how individual Club membership lists are kept so anyone more than three months in arrears will not receive BC Nature magazine or BC Nature’s monthly eNews. 

Memberships run from January 1 to December 31 and are available online any time. Cost is $25 per calendar year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. Payments by cheque can be mailed to Prince George Naturalists Club, PO Box 1092, Prince George BC V2L 4V2.

Benefits of membership: Subscription to BC Nature magazine, liability insurance coverage for Club work parties and field trips, 10% discount on some of the bird seed purchased at Spruce Capital Feeds, and access to popular events limited to Club members only. 


Other Events and News


Nature Canada Photo Contest


The Nature Canada photo contest opened on May25 and closes on August 16, 2021. Details are here: https://tinyurl.com/43jad39t

Nature Canada announcement: We have partnered with Black Feather the Wilderness Adventure Company for our 2021 Photo Contest Grand Prize. This year’s first prize winner of our contest will receive a spot on an incredible seven-day sea kayaking trip exploring the 30,000 Islands that surround Georgian Bay in the 2022 season, valued at over $2000! 

The 30,000 Islands make northeast Georgian Bay a kayaker’s paradise. From a few square meters to several square kilometres, these granite islands form a protective maze for the paddler to explore. Away from the sheltered channels, there are also open bays and crossings to distant islands for the experienced paddler. There is very little soil in this area, and most of the vegetation on the coastline consists of wind-twisted and gnarled trees that are far older than they look. It’s a harsh and fragile environment — the least-settled wilderness on the great bay.

Moth Sightings

Two beautiful moths were spotted recently in Prince George. iNaturalist shows four sightings of a One-Eyed Sphinx Moth, Smerinthus cerisyi in the Prince George area, including one at Eskers Provincial Park on May 23, 2021. Thanks to Jack Bowling who provided this helpful link: https://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?phylo=890141 (Taylor Sapergia photo)

The second, a Hummingbird Clearwing, Hemaris thysbe, was seen this week in Prince George. iNaturalist lists two other sightings in the Prince George region dated June 3, 2021 and June 19, 2020. (Bob Steventon photo)

PGNC News and Notes, May 4, 2021

  • Hudson’s Bay Wetland Nature Park
  • PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
  • Monday May 10, 6:30 p.m. The Exploration Place, Virtual Adult Speaker Series: Freshwater Misfits That Fit So Well
  • Peace Region of the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program Supports Mugaha Marsh Bird Banding Station
  • Have your say in the future of Jasper National Park

Club Events and News


The PGNC is currently not scheduling any outdoor events or activities due to the pandemic. We are hopeful that this will change in a fe  w weeks if restrictions are lifted. In 2020 we were able to hold physically distanced work parties at Hudson’s Bay Wetland Nature Park, Carrie Jane Gray Park and Wilson Park. We are looking forward to doing similar work in 2021.


Hudson’s Bay Wetland Nature Park
This is an excellent time to go for a nature walk at Hudson’s Bay Wetland Nature Park in downtown Prince George. The Fraser River is rising rapidly, filling the channel between the river and Queensway Street with water. Young salmon seek refuge in the flooded channel during spring freshet.
On your walk you may see beaver, muskrat, fox and other mammals. The Park is a haven for birds, especially at the pond area west of Queensway. A Great Blue Heron and a Northern Shoveler were spotted recently. A long list of Wetland birds can be found on eBird: https://ebird.org/hotspot/L445353
The PGNC maintains four viewing platforms: two east of Queensway and two west of Queensway. Each platform has interpretive signs that describe the birds, mammals and fish that rely on these waters. Be sure to visit all four and enjoy what you find at each site.
There are several ways to access the Nature Park including the Heritage Trail, The Exploration Place parking lot, and the small parking lot on Queensway across from Regents Crescent.


PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals

Club members continue to renew their memberships online at https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/ or by mail. New members are also joining the Club. This support is much appreciated. Memberships can now be paid using eTransfer. No secret word is needed. Just send the e-Transfer to PrinceGeorgeNaturalistsClub@gmail.com and it goes directly into the club’s bank account.
BC Nature has changed how individual Club membership lists are kept so anyone more than three months in arrears will not receive BC Nature magazine or BC Nature’s monthly eNews. 

Memberships run from January 1 to December 31 and are available online any time. Cost is $25 per calendar year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. Payments by cheque can be mailed to Prince George Naturalists Club, PO Box 1092, Prince George BC V2L 4V2.

Benefits of membership: Subscription to BC Nature magazine, liability insurance coverage for Club work parties and field trips, 10% discount on some of the bird seed purchased at Spruce Capital Feeds, and access to popular events limited to Club members only. 


Other Events and News


Monday May 10, 6:30 p.m. The Exploration Place, Virtual Adult Speaker Series: Freshwater Misfits That Fit So Well


This is a free online event. Registration is required: https://tinyurl.com/b5kx2cc9As some of the world’s rarest species, freshwater semi-aquatic mammals live in some of their most threatened habitats. Along with well-known species, such as the platypus, beavers, the common hippopotamus, and otters, more than 140 species of mammals around the globe make freshwater habitats their home. 


This talk introduces you to how semi-aquatic mammals from around the world thrive in the intermediate realm between fully aquatic and fully terrestrial species. Their physical and behavioural adaptations have perplexed scientists for centuries and pushed our understanding of evolution along the way. Semi-aquatic mammals also show us the precarious nature of our natural world, and how concerted conservation efforts can overcome even the most daunting challenges.


Dr. Glynnis Hood is an ecologist and Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus in Camrose. Before signing on with the university, she worked for 24 years in various protected areas, from Canada’s west coast to the subarctic. In July 2007, she left a 19-year career with Parks Canada’s warden service and followed her passion for teaching and research. Her research interests include aquatic ecology, wildlife ecology, and natural resource management. She is the author of Semi-aquatic mammals: Ecology and Biology and The Beaver Manifesto.

The Exploration Place is pleased to acknowledge that CBC Daybreak North – Northern British Columbia is the official media sponsor of the Adult Speaker Series. https://www.cbc.ca/

Peace Region of the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program Supports Mugaha Marsh Bird Banding Station

PGNC volunteers help with bird banding every fall at the Mackenzie Nature Observatory which operates the Mugaha Marsh Sensitive Area Bird Banding Station on the Parsnip Reach of the Williston Reservoir. The FWCP has awarded a grant of $20,475 in support of year 4 of a long-term, multi-year project that will add to 20-plus years of bird monitoring data. The 2021 data will provide important information on breeding bird population trends, distribution, and health, which can guide species conservation and habitat enhancement initiatives in the region.

Have your say in the future of Jasper National Park 

Jasper National Park is pleased to resume its public consultation for the park management plan. A draft management plan for Jasper National Park has been created, using feedback from the initial phase of Indigenous and public engagement in 2019, and based on the success of previous plans. To hear what we’re planning for the next 10 years, please join us at a virtual information session. Virtual information sessions:

  • Wednesday, May 5, 2021, 1:30 pm–3:00 pm
  • Thursday, May 6, 2021, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm

Register for a session at  letstalkmountainparks.ca/Jasper or email pc.opinion-jasper.pc@canada.ca.Sessions are identical.

 What is a management plan? A management plan is the road map that guides Parks Canada’s work in your national parks. Topics in Jasper National Park’s draft management plan include:·         

  • Ecological integrity (conservation, species at risk, invasive species, fire management, human-wildlife conflict)·        
  • Managing visitor use·         
  • Development and the community of Jasper·        

PGNC News and Notes, April 20, 2021

  • PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
  • Ferguson Lake Nature Reserve News
  • Sunday April 25, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Annual Civic Cleanup
  • Make BC Rodenticide Free: Petition
  • Jasper National Park 2020 Annual Report
  • Feeding Endangered Caribou at Kennedy Siding

Club Events and News

PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals

We are very grateful that Club members continue to renew their memberships online at https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/ or by mail. New members are also joining the Club. This support is much appreciated. Memberships can now be paid using eTransfer. No secret word is needed. Just send the e-Transfer to PrinceGeorgeNaturalistsClub@gmail.com and it goes directly into the club’s bank account.

BC Nature has changed how individual Club membership lists are kept so anyone more than three months in arrears will not receive BC Nature magazine or BC Nature’s monthly eNews. 

Memberships run from January 1 to December 31 and are available online any time. Cost is $25 per calendar year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. Payments by cheque can be mailed to Prince George Naturalists Club, PO Box 1092, Prince George BC V2L 4V2.

Benefits of membership: Subscription to BC Nature magazine, liability insurance coverage for Club work parties and field trips, 10% discount on some of the bird seed purchased at Spruce Capital Feeds, and access to popular events limited to Club members only. 


Ferguson Lake Nature Reserve News
The Regional District of Fraser-Fort George held a public hearing on April 8 to consider input on Bylaw 3195, a proposed rezoning to allow a residential subdivision adjacent to Ferguson Lake Nature Reserve. Most submissions to the public hearing were opposed to the rezoning, including the Prince George Naturalists Club. The public hearing has not been closed but has been adjourned to a future date. The date will depend on when the applicant wants to continue with the rezoning application. The public hearing will then be re-opened and will provide another opportunity for comments.

To receive advance notice of public hearing dates and other Regional District meetings, people can sign up for E-Updates. Just go to https://rdffg.civicweb.net/Portal/ and click on E-Updates to see the list of available notices.

Other Events and News

Sunday April 25, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Annual Civic Cleanup
Everyone is invited to get outside on Sunday April 25 and pitch in to clean up public spaces throughout the city. REAPS is handing out free bags and gloves to anyone who wishes to participate. The City of Prince George will have garbage collection bins stationed in various locations. Join others Pitching In! Whether you are by yourself, with your family or partaking with a group (with COVID-19 guidelines in place) sign up today by emailing recycling@reaps.org. Bags, gloves and instructions are provided.

For more information and a map of bin locations check out the City of Prince George website: https://tinyurl.com/wc74ehxa

Club members and supporters may wish to work on cleanup at two locations with strong connections to the PGNC: the Hudson’s Bay Wetland where the Club maintains four observation decks, and Ferguson Lake Nature Reserve.

Make BC Rodenticide Free: Petition
From Jovanka Djordjevich: A petition is going to the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy regarding the use of rodenticides in the province. Background information on rodenticides, and details of the petition are here: https://tinyurl.com/3bsjapsr

Jasper National Park 2020 Annual Report
Mike Nash provided this link to the Jasper National Park 2020 Annual Report: https://tinyurl.com/Jasper-P-2020-Annual-Report

Feeding Endangered Caribou at Kennedy Siding
From Doug Heard: Kathi Zimmerman and I are pleased to let you know that an article on feeding caribou has just been published in the online journal PeerJ. The article is “Fall supplemental feeding increases population growth rate of an endangered caribou herd”.

This paper describes the results of our supplemental feeding experiment which showed how this technique might contribute to the conservation and recovery of small caribou herds. The paper has links to a short video (7.5 min  – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgzjC8Gh-4c) and a graphical abstract (brochure-style) that were designed for a less technical audience to support communicating our project results to the public.
https://peerj.com/articles/10708/
We would be happy to discuss project results if you have any questions:

Abstract
Most woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) populations are declining primarily because of unsustainable predation resulting from habitat-mediated apparent competition. Wolf (Canis lupus) reduction is an effective recovery option because it addresses the direct effect of predation. We considered the possibility that the indirect effects of predation might also affect caribou population dynamics by adversely affecting summer foraging behaviour. If spring and/or summer nutrition was inadequate, then supplemental feeding in fall might compensate for that limitation and contribute to population growth. Improved nutrition and therefore body condition going into winter could increase adult survival and lead to improved reproductive success the next spring. To test that hypothesis, we fed high-quality food pellets to free-ranging caribou in the Kennedy Siding caribou herd each fall for six years, starting in 2014, to see if population growth rate increased. Beginning in winter 2015–16, the Province of British Columbia began a concurrent annual program to promote caribou population increase by attempting to remove most wolves within the Kennedy Siding and the adjacent caribou herds’ ranges. To evaluate the impact of feeding, we compared lambdas before and after feeding began, and to the population trend in the adjacent Quintette herd over the subsequent four years. Supplemental feeding appeared to have an incremental effect on population growth. Population growth of the Kennedy Siding herd was higher in the year after feeding began (λ = 1.06) compared to previous years (λ = 0.91) and to the untreated Quintette herd (λ = 0.95). Average annual growth rate of the Kennedy Siding herd over the subsequent four years, where both feeding and wolf reduction occurred concurrently, was higher than in the Quintette herd where the only management action in those years was wolf reduction (λ = 1.16 vs. λ = 1.08). The higher growth rate of the Kennedy Siding herd was due to higher female survival (96.2%/yr vs. 88.9%/yr). Many caribou were in relatively poor condition in the fall. Consumption of supplemental food probably improved their nutritional status which ultimately led to population growth. Further feeding experiments on other caribou herds using an adaptive management approach would verify the effect of feeding as a population recovery tool. Our results support the recommendation that multiple management actions should be implemented to improve recovery prospects for caribou.

PGNC News and Notes, March 31, 2021

  • History of the Ferguson Lake Nature Reserve
  • Proposed Rezoning and Potential Residential Subdivision
  • PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
  • Join the Peace Region board: Apply by April 16

Club Events and NewsHistory of the Ferguson Lake Nature Reserve

Prince George Naturalists Club has a long history of support for the Ferguson Lake Nature Reserve. The City of Prince George established the Reserve in the summer of 1990 following recommendations from regional biologists Dave King and Dennis Ableson to preserve the only lake in the city able to support a fish population (Shane Lake in Forests for the World had not yet been developed as a fishing lake). In 1991 the Club formally agreed to undertake a four-season survey of the Reserve for the City of Prince George. Past President Sandra Kinsey sent a 10-page letter with supporting maps to the City summarizing the findings of the survey. The letter itemized an extensive list of plant and animal species found in the Reserve. The Park was created with wide community support. The Killy family donated the site to the Nature Trust of British Columbia. Other organizations involved in maintaining and developing the Reserve include the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Spruce City Wildlife, and the Downtown Rotary Club of Prince George.

Club members and many other local residents enjoy the park for activities such as canoeing, kayaking, fishing, photography, nature walks, picnics and general enjoyment. A distinctive feature of the park is the trail that loops around the lake. In September 2020 the City of Prince George rebuilt sections of the boardwalk at the south end of the park. Another 30 metres of boardwalk at the south end will be repaired in 2021. The City has applied for a $848,980 Canada Infrastructure grant to make further improvements to the trail and boardwalk.

Proposed Rezoning and Potential Residential Subdivision

This unique urban nature park will soon be put at risk by a proposed rezoning that would allow a residential subdivision immediately west of the park. The property is in the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George. The property is 32.5 ha (80 acres). The current zoning is “Rural 1” which allows residential use with a minimum lot size of 15 ha (37 acres). The owner could also replant the land and plan to harvest it again when the forest matures. The rezoning to “Rural Residential 2” would allow residential lots with a minimum size of 1.6 ha (4 acres). The recently logged area in the attached image shows the location of the potential subdivision adjacent to the Nature Reserve. It is approximately 25 meters west of the boardwalk along the northwest side of the lake.

A public hearing via conference call is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday April 8. Written comments from the public must be received by 12 noon on Wednesday April 7:
* Public Hearing notice: <https://tinyurl.com/rmzbzvxh>.
* Detailed background reports are on this page: <https://tinyurl.com/56apayjy>.

Residents and park users in both the Regional District and the City should oppose this rezoning.

* The activity associated with a rural subdivision so close to the park is not compatible with a nature park or with the interests of the many people who use this park.

* Two streams flow the entire length of the property. One (Ferguson Creek) is designated as potentially fish bearing. The lower 30 m of the other stream is designated as fisheries sensitive. A rural subdivision, even with a leave strip along each stream, would impact the water quaility of both the streams and the lake. Contaminants could include fertilizers, nutrients leaching from sewage systems, herbicides and pesticides with a potential impact on fish populations and eutrophication due to increases in algae and aquatic plants.

* This rezoning would put the value of the City’s current and future investments in the park at risk.

* The rezoning may offer benefits to the owner of the property but there is no benefit to the residents of this region. The owners of the property are Global Union Investment Group Ltd. and a numbered company both registered in BC. Both owners share a street address in Vancouver. 

(Submitted by Anne Hogan and Bob Steventon)

PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals

We are very grateful that Club members are supporting the work of the Prince George Naturalists Club and BC Nature by  renewing their Club memberships online or by mail. New members are also joining the Club. This support is much appreciated. 

BC Nature has changed how individual Club membership lists are kept so anyone more than three months in arrears will not receive BC Nature magazine or BC Nature’s monthly eNews. 

Memberships run from January 1 to December 31 and are available online any time. Cost is $25 per calendar year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. Payments by cheque can be mailed to Prince George Naturalists Club, PO Box 1092, Prince George BC V2L 4V2.

Benefits of membership: Subscription to BC Nature magazine, liability insurance coverage for Club work parties and field trips, 10% discount on some of the bird seed purchased at Spruce Capital Feeds, and access to popular events limited to Club members only. 

Other Events and News

Join the Peace Region board: Apply by April 16The Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program is looking for a new public representative to join their Peace Region board for a three-year term starting in June 2021. As a board member, you will share in decision-making about projects to help conserve and enhance fish and wildlife in watersheds impacted by BC Hydro dams. We’re seeking someone who lives in—or in close to—our Peace Region and is committed to supporting thriving and sustainable watersheds. Candidates should bring a regional perspective to fish, wildlife, and environmental issues, and represent a broad range of public interests—not the interests of a single or specific organization(s). Apply by Friday, April 16, 2021.For more information see: https://fwcp.ca/join-peace-region-board/