PGNC News and Notes, July 3, 2020

  • Prince George Naturalists Club Events and News
  • PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
  • City of Prince George Seeking Feedback on Pidherny Recreation Site
  • White-Throated Sparrows Research at UNBC
  • iNaturalists – BC’s Big Nature Challenge
  • Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program Annual Newsletter
  • Jasper National Park
  • Built From Within by Ansel Adams

Prince George Naturalists Club Events and News

BC has entered Phase 3 of the province’s restart plan. As a result, some outdoor clubs are now resuming activities with limits on attendance and carpooling. Any PGNC member wishing to lead a nature walk or field trip is invited to contact the Executive at princegeorgenaturalistsclub@gmail.com with their ideas.
The pandemic lockdown in March meant that the Club’s Annual General Meeting had to be postponed. The current Executive is holding the fort until a date can be set, hopefully in the fall and with in-person meeting rather than online. Several members of the current Executive will be stepping down at the AGM. It’s very important for new people to get involved and provide leadership to the Club. We encourage Club members to think about volunteering for the Executive at the next AGM.
PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
The Club is very grateful to members who have renewed their memberships online or by mail in the past three months. 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 the monthly eNews from them.
Memberships are available online any time. Cost is $25 per year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/
 
Benefits of membership: Subscription to BC Nature magazine, liability insurance coverage for Club field trips, 10% discount on bird seed purchased at Spruce Capital Feeds, and access to popular events limited to Club members only. 

Other Events and News

City of Prince George Seeking Feedback on Pidherny Recreation Site
The City of Prince George is seeking feedback from the public about the use of one of the City’s increasingly popular outdoor recreation destinations. In recent years, Pidherny Recreation Site has seen a steady increase in visitations from outdoor recreation enthusiasts, such as hikers, dog walkers, and mountain bikers in particular, including visitors from out of town.
 
Full details including links to a survey and an interactive map are here: https://news.princegeorge.ca/en/news/city-seeking-feedback-on-pidherny-recreation-site.aspx Feedback will be accepted until August 4.
White-Throated Sparrows Research at UNBC
 
Congratulations to Dr. Ken Otter, Biology Professor at UNBC, for his many years of research on song evolution of white-throated sparrows. On July 2 the results were published in Current Biology and the news went worldwide immediately. A quick media search shows links to reports that have appeared in Canada, the US, the UK, Australia and Asia overnight. Here’s a link to the story in the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/02/science/sparrow-bird-song.html In the past few years Ken and then-PhD candidate Stefanie LaZerte have made presentations to the PGNC, sharing their research on the changing song of white-throated sparrows. Our members really enjoyed learning about the research as it progressed.
 
iNaturalistsBC’s Big Nature Challenge
A message from the BC Parks Foundation: The BC Parks Foundation in partnership with BC Parks, UVIC and SFU, want to meaningfully engage the British Columbia public in citizen science, so this year, we are launching B.C.’s Nature Challenge campaign. Our goal is to collect one million observations, province wide, to not only support scientific discovery but also provide data that supports informed, conservation-minded management of natural resources in B.C. As an example, observations from iNaturalist have already been used to inform the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.
 As you may know, there is very poor information about parks and what is in them, and how that is changing due to climate, use, and other factors. British Columbians have such passion and respect for their environment, and many are looking for a way to be more engaged. Let’s work together to get them involved!
We are connecting with other organizations in the province and adding all our observations together to reach this audacious goal. We need everyone we can get, and with parks re-opening and summer just getting started, there’s no better time to get outside. It’s a simple and enjoyable thing to do – you just take some photos while you are out and upload them to iNaturalist, or our platform partners (eBird, Birds Canada, or the WhaleReport App). It can be inside or outside parks. We are also using remote wildlife cameras in case any of your members have those out on the landscape or near their homes.
As nature enthusiasts and naturalists, PG Naturalists Club members are already excellent citizen scientists and it would be great to have your involvement in this initiative. Learn more at www.naturechallenge.ca.
Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program Annual Newsletter
The FWCP annual newsletter is available now. It’s full of updates and results from fish and wildlife projects in the Coastal, Columbia and Peace regions. The newsletter is in a new reader-friendly format: http://fwcp.ca/annual-newsletter/
Jasper National Park
2019 Jasper National Park Annual Report Now Available:
Built From Within is a three-minute historic 16mm colour film shot along Teton Crest Trail in Wyoming, narrated by Ansel Adams, renowned American photographer and environmentalist: https://vimeo.com/410137897. Thanks to Mike Nash for passing this along.

PGNC News & Notes, May 6, 2020

  • Prince George Naturalists Club in-person events cancelled
  • Curlewmania Continues
  • PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
  • iNaturalists at UNBC and Forests for the World
  • Regional Parks Now Open
  • Advice from the BC Wildlife Federation re: Hunting and Angling Activities
  • Log Decks of the Rainforest
  • Canadian Institute of Forestry E-Lectures on Citizen Science
  • Hoary Marmots
  • Willow Canyon in full flood
Club Events and News
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all in-person Club activities have been suspended until further notice, including the Annual General Meeting, the May presentation night, and Wednesday Walkers. Everyone is welcome to join the Prince George Naturalists Club Discussion Facebook group to share nature-related information.
Curlewmania Continues
The webinar held on April 17 on long-billed curlews was well-attended. Curlewmania continues, with regular updates among bird-lovers regarding recent curlew arrivals and activities. For those who missed it, the webinar is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dVp4DGhOFQ The Club is very grateful to Dr. David Bradley and Graham Sorenson from Birds Canada who put this presentation together.
PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
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 the monthly eNews from them. Therefore, personalized reminders will be emailed to those whose membership is due.
Memberships are available online any time. Cost is $25 per year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/
 
Benefits of membership: Subscription to BC Nature magazine, liability insurance coverage for Club field trips, 10% discount on bird seed purchased at Spruce Capital Feeds, and access to popular events limited to Club members only. 
Other Events and News
iNaturalists at UNBC and Forests for the World
Saphida Migabo, who teaches at UNBC in the Biology program, advises that the UNBC Forest Lands and Forests for the World iNaturalists project is up and running. Everyone visiting UNBC and Forests for the World is invited to contribute to the project: https://www.inaturalist.org/places/university-of-northern-british-columbia-unbc-forest-lands-forests-for-the-world Be sure to click on the link to see the variety of plant and animal life already identified at UNBC and Forests for the World.
Regional Parks Now Open
Media Release: After a long winter, the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George is pleased to confirm that many of its Regional parks are open for the season as of May 1. There are 11 sites within the Regional District park system which provide residents opportunities for recreation and space to enjoy the natural beauty of our area. Parks are day use only with no overnight camping permitted.
The Regional District reminds everyone that for the safety and comfort of all park users and to align with public health guidelines, visitors should keep their time at the parks short and maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet away from other users and refrain from contacting gates, fences and other surfaces with their hands.
As ground conditions and snow-melt vary for the parks, some may have areas cordoned off for visitor safety.
The Regional District is pleased to provide the parks for residents as a place to go and enjoy open spaces, but encourages visitors to be responsible with park use.
The 11 parks within the Regional District parks system are:
• Berman Lake
• Cedarside
• George Hicks
• Giscome-Portage/Huble Homestead (opening June 1)
• Harold Mann
• John Dahl
• Koeneman
• Kristian Winther
• McMillan Creek
• Ness Lake
• Wilkins
Further details on the parks can be found at: http://www.rdffg.bc.ca/services/environment/regional-parks/regional-parks-overview.Media Contact:Petra Wildauer, General Manager, Environmental Services,
(250)961-4483
Advice from the BC Wildlife Federation re: Hunting and Angling Activities
BCWF.jpg
Log Decks of the Rainforest
Conservation North has made a short video, Log Decks of the Rainforest: https://youtu.be/oGHas2JXpGQ “In what is becoming an unpleasant annual tradition, we have again documented log decks at Pass Lake FSR near Prince George, BC. These logs come from BC’s globally unique temperate inland rainforest. We are logging the last of our old growth forests. Once gone, these forests and the species that rely on them will never come back.” 
Our Instagram post will be here: https://www.instagram.com/conservationnorth/
 
Here is last year’s footage from the same area: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KZy6Rap59s&t=3s
Conservation North is a 100% volunteer-run community group. We support and advocate for the protection of nature in northern BC. Reach us at info@conservationnorth.org
Canadian Institute of Forestry E-Lectures on Citizen Science
Wednesday May 13, 2020, 10:30 a.m. PDT: Citizen Science and Invasive Species. Presenter is Lauren Bell, Education and Community Outreach Coordinator, Invasive Species Centre.
This is the first of six lectures on Partnerships through Citizen Science: Success Stories and Solutions. All electronic lectures are free but registration is required. For more information and to register online, visit: https://www.cif-ifc.org/e-lectures/
Hoary Marmots
 
Mike Nash has passed along a short video about hoary marmots, with suitably heroic musical background: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1QwseK7fec
Willow Canyon in full flood
Forty-six years ago this weekend, a party of eight teenage boys set off in canoes down the Willow River from Highway 16 east of Prince George. Unknowing of what lay ahead, they quickly rounded a bend and were swept into an impassible canyon just downstream of the highway. All were lost in what became one of Canada’s worst ever canoeing accidents. The tragedy galvanized the community and was the beginning of the Prince George Search & Rescue Group, which continues to this day.
Despite its tragic history, the Willow Canyon is also one of this area’s best, but lesser known natural wonders, especially during the spring freshet which we are in the midst of now. This is surprising since there is pretty good vehicle access to a fenced viewing area. To get an idea of what the canyon looks like in full flood, these images were taken in late April and early May this year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyBo6SVlog0.
If you wish to see the canyon in person, the fenced viewpoint is accessible either by walking or by vehicle or some combination. On foot, you can park at the paved Highway Rest Area and walk along the CIF interpretive trail to the picnic shelter, and just beyond that walk up the forest road for the remaining kilometre to the viewpoint. Note: if you undertake this option, there are quite a few wet sections and trees down that have not yet been cleared, as well as fresh bear sign, so I would only recommend this for reasonably fit hikers at the present time. However, you can drive to the viewpoint, turning north off Highway 16 just over a kilometre before (west of) the Willow River highway bridge and rest area. The dirt road is narrow and may have a few muddy spots, but should be passable for a car. The viewpoint is on the right (east) side of the road as you drive north, just past the 1.5 km sign. (with thanks to Mike Nash for this history as well as a chance to view the spring flood in action from the comfort of our couches).
image001.jpg

PGNC News and Notes, April 13, 2020

  • Prince George Naturalists Club in-person events cancelled
  • Friday April 17, 5 to 6 p.m., Online Presentation on Curlews in Prince George
  • PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
  • Hudson’s Bay Wetland Project Report
  • Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP): Peace Region action update
  • BC Moose Winter Tick Surveillance Program 2020
  • Project FeederWatch extended
  • Green Mountain
  • NRESi Colloquium Presentations Online

Club Events and News

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all in-person Club activities have been suspended until further notice, including the Annual General Meeting, the April and May presentation nights, and Wednesday Walkers. Everyone is welcome to join the Prince George Naturalists Club Discussion Facebook group to share nature-related information.

Friday April 17, 5 to 6 p.m., Online Presentation on Curlews in Prince George

Curlewmania continues in the Prince George region! Please join Birds Canada (Graham Sorenson and David Bradley) on Friday April 17 as they present on the satellite-tagged Long-billed Curlews in Prince George. On April 17 from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. they will share updates on the curlews that were monitored in the summer of 2019 and provide information on how you can continue to help this project. Curlew re-sight information can be entered into this spreadsheet:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1jMWdo57TQA5H_ccLo6Snv8_P8h-II6fn_grJvkFv2MY/edit#gid=0 and this will be described in greater detail.

Birds Canada is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting on April 17 from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. Join the Zoom Meeting here https://zoom.us/j/324700128 on your computer, tablet, or phone.

  • Use your computer and computer audio if possible so that you can view the presentation 
  • Be sure you are muted when entering the meeting
  • If calling in on a landline or cellphone, dial this number: +1 778 907 2071, then be prepared to enter the meeting number: 324 700 128
  • If calling on a cellphone, you can dial this full number: +16473744685,,324700128#

Message from the Prince George Naturalists Club: The presentation can handle about 50 people. It is primarily for PG folk and will be recorded so others can catch the presentation later. We’ll let you know when and where. There is no local phone number for PG people to phone in on if they aren’t watching it on their computer. We will be using the Zoom platform. So familiarize yourself with it as much as you can before the presentation starts. You may have to download it.

Hudson’s Bay Wetland Project Report

The Annual General Meeting scheduled for March 19 had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. It will be rescheduled whenever restrictions on gatherings are lifted. In the meantime the Executive wants to share important news about the Hudson’s Bay Wetland Project that would have been reported at the March AGM.

At the 2018 AGM, members were advised that it wasn’t feasible to do any further construction on the Hudson’s Bay Wetland Project west of Queensway. This was due to the high costs of capital construction of boardwalks or towers, the costs of ongoing maintenance of new structures, and the potential for environmental damage caused by construction. In 2019 a volunteer committee worked with McElhanney and the City of Prince George to update the design of an accessible ramp on the east side of Queensway. The ramp would connect Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park with the observation deck on the north side of the channel.

In the fall of 2019 the Executive considered in detail the full extent of the construction process and concluded that the Club did not have the capacity to build the ramp. The process requires volunteers who will be available over several years to carry out the many responsibilities the project entails. Responsibilities include researching funding opportunities, applying for grants, hiring contractors, setting up and following the necessary budgeting and reporting requirements, and carrying out public information and liaison with various government bodies including City Council. When we notified the City Parks Department about the decision, they were very appreciative of the work the Club has done to date. It is possible the City will take on the redesigned ramp as part of a future capital project.

Also in 2019, the Club held our annual spring Wetland Cleanup, and continued our efforts to deadhead tansy and remove Himalayan Balsam from the Wetland drainage areas. We dug and deadheaded common tansy and cut Himalayan Balsam. Volunteers removed about 60 big black contractor bags of these two priority invasive plants. These annual events are making a difference. We noticed the plants are smaller than when we worked in 2018. We hope to be able to continue these cleanup-events in 2020 and beyond.

For yet another year, volunteer Ric Mylnarczyk, assisted by Nowell Senior, regularly inspected the four observation decks, cleaned graffiti and removed garbage. Special thanks go to Ric for the maintenance checks he has conducted consistently since the summer of 2017.

PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals

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 the monthly eNews from them. Therefore, personalized reminders will be emailed to those whose membership is due.

Memberships are available online any time. Cost is $25 per year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/.

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

Other Events and News

Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP): Peace Region action update

FWCP is proceeding with plans to update the Peace Region action plan, which guides close to $1.5 million each year toward fish and wildlife projects in the area. They are hosting six online discussions and an online feedback form so that people can safely join the discussion about the Peace Region action plans. See the poster below for details of introductory online information sessions and online technical workshops in April.

FWCP

BC Moose Winter Tick Surveillance Program 2020, feedback accepted until April 30
 

The BC Wildlife Health Program is again asking for help assessing the effects of winter ticks on the province’s moose population as part of its annual moose winter tick surveillance program.

The program relies on observations from wildlife professionals, wildlife enthusiasts, and the public to:

  • Document and map the distribution of winter ticks in moose in B.C. and;
  • Estimate the severity of winter tick infestations within moose populations across the province.

An online survey, downloadable survey forms and background information are available on the Moose Winter Tick Program website:  https://tinyurl.com/wkskkmw  Feedback will be accepted until April 30, 2020, at 11:59 pm.

Project FeederWatch Season Extended
A message from Birds Canada: Birds are fascinating and inspiring. When we hear a song from the trees or catch a glimpse out our window, it’s a moment of joy and wonder. Birds are a daily, delightful connection to nature. During this time when so many are confined to their homes, we have decided to extend the FeederWatch season through the end of April so that FeederWatchers can continue to watch the birds in their yards and submit counts through our website and app. This brief extension is purely voluntary and for this year only. We are hoping that being able to report birds to FeederWatch for a few extra weeks will bring some cheer during the COVID-19 crisis. Website: https://tinyurl.com/t8hm3sj
Green Mountain
Green Mountain is across from Tabor Mountain Ski Resort but you won’t find it on Google Earth or hiking lists. Mike Nash describes it here and gives us a chance to experience it online:
There are no trails that I am aware of on Green Mountain, and access is by bushwhacking, at least from the highway side. Access is perhaps least challenging in the late winter or early spring when there is a good snow pack to partly cover the plentiful deadfalls. Because of its location next to a major tourist highway, close to the city, and directly across from Tabor Mountain, it had the highest Visual Quality Objectives (VQOs) applied to it for logging purposes. Because of this, when the plentiful Douglas fir trees on Green Mountain were attacked by the Douglas fir bark beetle a number of years ago, the hill was extensively helicopter logged to remove the infested trees, and those of us who were skiing down the adjoining hill were treated to a front row seat to the spectacle of the big Sikorsky helicopter lifting bundles of Douglas fir stems from the hillside. Most of us have driven by this landmark hill many times, but few have ventured up; so here’s a chance to experience it vicariously: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZ7XCKgxgT8
NRESi Colloquium Presentations Online
UNBC has made over 150 NRESi presentations available on video: https://video.unbc.ca/channel/NRESI/ Now we can catch up on presentations we didn’t have time to attend in person at UNBC before the Great Pandemic Shutdown. Check out presentations on climate change, salmon research, bats and wind energy, and a host of other topics.

PGNC News and Notes, April 3, 2020

  • Prince George Naturalists Club in-person events cancelled
  • Curlew News
  • PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
  • Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP): Peace Region action update
  • BC Moose Winter Tick Surveillance Program 2020
  • Project FeederWatch extended
  • Grand Canyon of the Fraser

Club Events and News

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all in-person Club activities have been suspended until further notice, including the Annual General Meeting, the April and May presentation nights, and Wednesday Walkers. Everyone is welcome to join the Prince George Naturalists Club Discussion Facebook group to share nature-related information.
Curlew Events
Bird-lovers are hoping to see curlews returning to this region by mid-April, depending on the weather. The Club is working on an online presentation about the Prince George curlews. More information to come.
 
PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
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 the monthly eNews from them. Therefore, personalized reminders will be emailed to those whose membership is due.
Memberships are available online any time. Cost is $25 per year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/
 
Benefits of membership: Subscription to BC Nature magazine, liability insurance coverage for Club field trips, 10% discount on bird seed purchased at Spruce Capital Feeds, and access to popular events limited to Club members only. 

Other Events and News

Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP): Peace Region action update
 
FWCP is proceeding with plans to update the Peace Region action plan, which guides close to $1.5 million each year toward fish and wildlife projects in the area. They are hosting six online discussions and an online feedback form so that people can safely join the discussion about the Peace Region action plans. See the poster below for details of introductory online information sessions and online technical workshops in April. FWCP
BC Moose Winter Tick Surveillance Program 2020, feedback accepted until April 30
 

The BC Wildlife Health Program is again asking for help assessing the effects of winter ticks on the province’s moose population as part of its annual moose winter tick surveillance program.

The program relies on observations from wildlife professionals, wildlife enthusiasts, and the public to:

  • Document and map the distribution of winter ticks in moose in B.C. and;
  • Estimate the severity of winter tick infestations within moose populations across the province.

An online survey, downloadable survey forms and background information are available on the Moose Winter Tick Program website:  https://tinyurl.com/wkskkmw  Feedback will be accepted until April 30, 2020, at 11:59 pm.

Project FeederWatch Season Extended
A message from Birds Canada: Birds are fascinating and inspiring. When we hear a song from the trees or catch a glimpse out our window, it’s a moment of joy and wonder. Birds are a daily, delightful connection to nature. During this time when so many are confined to their homes, we have decided to extend the FeederWatch season through the end of April so that FeederWatchers can continue to watch the birds in their yards and submit counts through our website and app. This brief extension is purely voluntary and for this year only. We are hoping that being able to report birds to FeederWatch for a few extra weeks will bring some cheer during the Covid-19 crisis. Website: https://tinyurl.com/t8hm3sj
Grand Canyon of the Fraser
Mike Nash has sent us interesting notes on the Grand Canyon of the Fraser. Food for thought while we wait for spring and the chance to get outside and enjoy more of the natural world.
Images of the Grand Canyon of the Fraser from a Caledonia Ramblers snowshoe trip led by PGNC member Dave King on Sunday March 8, 2020:
For other Grand Canyon videos, click on the ‘Canyons’ playlist at the end of the video. The following link is to one of them, namely a comparative view of the Grand Canyon, accessed by riverboat at low water in early September, 2011 on the occasion of putting up the BC Parks boundary signs on the Fraser River below the canyon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XG_g4T8EAU4. On that trip, we also disembarked above the upper rapids and again between the canyons, from where we bushwhacked up to the lower canyon viewpoint. You can see this from about the 3 min 15 secs mark, and this is followed by a complete downriver run from Kenneth Creek, starting from where we first hit the Fraser River on the recent snowshoe trip, down through the upper rapids and the upper and lower canyons. You can see from the tide marks on the rocks, as well as the vegetation lines how much higher the water is at peak flow in June. This year, the water through the Grand Canyon is likely to be very high in June due to the Upper Fraser mountain snow packs being well above average. It could be a good year to see the famous whirlpool in the lower canyon for anyone willing to undertake the arduous bushwhack necessary to get there.

PGNC News and Notes, March 17, 2020

  • Prince George Naturalists Club Annual General Meeting, Thursday March 19: Cancelled
  • Wednesday Walks
  • Curlew Events
  • PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
  • Report: PGNC Swan and Eagle Count, January 12
  • BC Moose Winter Tick Surveillance Program 2020
  • More on Slim Creek Provincial Park

Club Events and News

 
Prince George Naturalists Club Annual General Meeting, Thursday March 19: Cancelled
The PGNC Annual General Meeting has been cancelled. Our partners at The Exploration Place closed the Museum to the public and all childcare programs on March 13 for at least two weeks due to the corona virus. The Club will consider rescheduling the AGM once the Museum re-opens.
Wednesday Walks
 
Wednesday Walks are presently scheduled to start up again in April. However conditions dictated by COVID-19 may impact the schedule. These morning events are slow walks to observe nature in local natural areas and parks. They are open to members and non-members. For more information or to go on a mailing list contact Dora Hunter at hunterdora@shaw.ca.
 
Curlew Events
The Club is hoping to sponsor an evening talk in mid-April about curlews and also take part in field trips relating to these amazing birds. However it all depends on factors outside of our control relating to COVID-19. We will provide more information as it becomes available.
 
PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
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 the monthly eNews from them. Therefore, personalized reminders will be emailed to those whose membership is due.
Memberships are available online any time. Cost is $25 per year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/
 
Benefits of membership: Subscription to BC Nature magazine, liability insurance coverage for Club field trips, 10% discount on bird seed purchased at Spruce Capital Feeds, and access to popular events limited to Club members only. 

Club Reports

 
January 12 Swan and Eagle Count Field Trip
 
The 21 Trumpeter Swans tallied on this year’s swan count were seen a couple of times. After we snowshoed down to the river through light fluffy snow to see the swans, the birds decided to fly over our heads as we were standing on a bridge a couple of kilometres upstream. Yes, it was -24 C, but it was a gorgeous sunny day. Yes, one of the six of us hadn’t snowshoed or gone birding before. He gets credit for participating in Extreme Birding! Thank you to Allan, Angie, Joe, Julia, and Sara for coming out helping with the survey! (report by Sandra Kinsey)
 

Other Events and News

BC Moose Winter Tick Surveillance Program 2020, feedback accepted until April 30
 

The BC Wildlife Health Program is again asking for help assessing the effects of winter ticks on the province’s moose population as part of its annual moose winter tick surveillance program.

The program relies on observations from wildlife professionals, wildlife enthusiasts, and the public to:

  • Document and map the distribution of winter ticks in moose in B.C. and;
  • Estimate the severity of winter tick infestations within moose populations across the province.

An online survey, downloadable survey forms and background information are available on the Moose Winter Tick Program website:  https://tinyurl.com/wkskkmw  Feedback will be accepted until April 30, 2020, at 11:59 pm.

More on Slim Creek Provincial Park 
Submitted by Mike Nash: An editorial note in a recent club newsletter warned that Slim Creek Provincial Park is not for the faint of heart, requiring ten or more kilometres of hard bushwhacking and up to eight hours to see most of the park. However, it’s worth qualifying that one can experience a representative piece of the park with much shorter treks of as little as a few hundred metres, as indicated on the map. And if the round-trip drive of 240 kilometres seems excessive for a short visit, one could make a full day of it by combining a couple of hours in Slim Park with a similar amount of time in the Ancient Forest just two kilometres to the west, perhaps using the opportunity to compare the forests in the two parks above and below the highway bench. Once in Slim Park, however, it’s so enchanting that you might wish to spend several hours there, even if you don’t travel very far. I recommend going on a sunny day because the open glades provide wonderful winter sun opportunities in a completely unspoiled and untouched landscape.
Certainly, anyone who ventures into the park must be prepared for deep snow, snow-bridged creeks and ponds, weakening ice later in the winter, bushwhacking and some steep terrain, but it can be an easy and delightful trip on a broken snowshoe trail. In a poor snow year it can be tough snowshoeing, but with this year’s normal and settled snowpack, and continuing cool temperatures, the park should still be good for snowshoeing to mid-March and possibly later. Although this is wild, untouched forestland, it’s hard to get lost in the park as all you have to do is head south, preferably using a compass (or on a sunny day by heading directly towards the sun) and you will hit the highway. However, this is also an ideal place for GPS in order to plan a route to hit the glades that are visible on Google Earth. If anyone plans to visit the big Douglas fir tree, I can supply GPS coordinate for that.
Slim Creek Park is entirely undeveloped and likely to remain so, as it was established mainly for its ecological values. Apart from relative ease of travel in the late winter using snowshoes, there is also less impact to the flora than a spring or summer visit would entail. There is good parking on a paved pull-off on the north side of the highway some two kilometres east of the Ancient Forest parking lot (which is another option if you don’t mind some added walking or snowshoeing). Park your vehicle(s) tight in at one or other end of this pull-off so as to not impede trucks needing to chain up or off for the Slim Creek Hill just beyond.
If you would like to visit the park vicariously, or to just get an idea of what to expect if you go, four of the eight videos in this playlist are of Slim Creek Park. I recommend starting with number 8, ‘Ancient Forests of Prince George’ which has images from my first two exploratory trips, in April 2010 with Dave King and a BC Parks Ranger and my first winter snowshoe explore in 2011: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLy0NTkFnAEe2uAjb1wwFUpfcxFbIzaInM. (Give it a little while to load, as playlists take a bit longer than individual videos).
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PGNC News & Notes, February 29, 2020

  • Prince George Naturalists Club Annual General Meeting, 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday March 19, The Exploration Place
  • Prince George Naturalists Club Presentation Night, Curlews, 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday April 16, The Exploration Place
  • PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
  • Seedy Saturday, March 7
  • BC Moose Winter Tick Surveillance Program 2020
  • Slim Creek Provincial Park

Club Events and News

 
Prince George Naturalists Club Annual General Meeting, 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday March 19, The Exploration Place
The PGNC Annual General Meeting will be held at The Exploration Place. New directors are needed to ensure the Club stays healthy. Several directors are retiring and others will be moving away from Prince George once they complete their UNBC studies. The AGM in March will be an excellent opportunity to discuss future directions for our Club and for new directors to get involved. Think about putting your name forward or nominating someone you believe would be suitable.
If you would like to be a director but are unable to attend the AGM, send us an email at princegeorgenaturalistsclub@gmail.com confirming your intention to let your name stand for office. Memberships need to be up to date to run for office or vote and will be available at the meeting.
Prince George Naturalists Club Presentation night, Curlews, 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday April 16, The Exploration Place
The April 16 talk will be about curlews! More information to come soon.
PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
The Club’s membership year runs from January 1 to December 31. Cost is $25 per year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/.
Benefits of membership: Subscription to BC Nature magazine, liability insurance coverage for Club field trips, 10% discount on bird seed purchased at Spruce Capital Feeds, and access to popular events limited to Club members only. The discount on bird seed is especially valuable from November to April, during Project Feederwatch: https://tinyurl.com/yyw227ho

Other Events and News

 
Seedy Saturday, March 7
 
The Prince George Naturalists Club will be hosting a table at Seedy Saturday on March 7. If you would like to help out between 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m., send us an email at princegeorgenaturalistsclub@gmail.com.
Seedy Saturday 2020
BC Moose Winter Tick Surveillance Program 2020, feedback accepted until April 30
 

The BC Wildlife Health Program is again asking for help assessing the effects of winter ticks on the province’s moose population as part of its annual moose winter tick surveillance program.

The program relies on observations from wildlife professionals, wildlife enthusiasts, and the public to:

  • Document and map the distribution of winter ticks in moose in B.C. and;
  • Estimate the severity of winter tick infestations within moose populations across the province.

An online survey, downloadable survey forms and background information are available on the Moose Winter Tick Program website:  https://tinyurl.com/wkskkmw  Feedback will be accepted until April 30, 2020, at 11:59 pm.

Slim Creek Provincial Park 
Submitted by Mike Nash: In the past week we have made two forays into Slim Creek Provincial Park, accessed from Highway 16 near the Ancient Forest. The first, in mid-week, was a reconnaissance and trail breaking trip made by Judy and I in preparation for the later Caledonia Ramblers snowshoe hike on the weekend. Snow conditions and weather were ideal for both trips, and we explored much of the park.
Surprisingly, we saw very little sign of wildlife on either of the trips, and we heard so few birds that we could count them on one hand. It was eerily quiet. Dave King later commented that he too was surprised by the lack of animal sign. “Usually,” he said, “we have seen moose tracks and much more. This time no moose, wolf, lynx or coyote tracks. No snowshoe hare tracks and I recall only squirrel tracks at two or three locations. We did see a few pine marten track sets and ermine tracks in two or three places, but still rather scarce. And very few birds too.”
So, what’s going on? Is this related to the low numbers of birds observed on this year’s Christmas Bird Count? We know that moose numbers are down in the region, and birds have declined by nearly a third in North America in half a century. In September 2019, the New York Times ran an article titled ‘Birds Are Vanishing From North America’ which you can still read at: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/19/science/bird-populations-america-canada.html.
Slim Creek Provincial Park was established to protect its rich and diverse vegetation, including ancient western red cedars, old Douglas firs, and other tree types. It was originally proposed as an ecological reserve, but lost out to one near McBride; and instead it later became a park. Its location is propitious, providing added buffer to the Ancient Forest / Chun T’oh Whudujut Provincial Park that is immediately to the south across the highway.
If anyone is interested in seeing this park, now is the best time of the year to do so. There is currently a good snowpack on a firm base that affords relatively easy bushwhacking and also protects the ground. There is safe parking on a paved widening on the north side of the highway about two kilometres past the Ancient Forest parking area, before you get to the top of the hill leading down to Slim Creek. Be sure to park tight in at one end or the other of the pull-off so as not to impede trucks that might need to use it for chaining on/off or other purposes. If you go in the next few days, there should still be a good, broken snowshoe track to follow once you have scrambled over the tall highway snow berm. If you prefer to explore it vicariously, here is my YouTube video (with links to others) of last week’s reconnaissance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azUhmil564g.
Editor’s Note: This field trip is not for the faint of heart. The Caledonia Ramblers website states that the trip is rated Moderate to Strenuous, 6 to 8 hours in duration, moderate level of difficulty with some bushwhacking. Round-trip is 10 to 15 km.

PGNC News and Notes, February 15, 2020

  • PGNC: No Presentation Night on February 20
  • Prince George Naturalists Club: Annual General Meeting, 7 p.m. Thursday March 19, The Exploration Place
  • PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
  • John Dunne: Journey North, 7:30 p.m. Thursday February 20, Weldwood Lecture Theatre UNBC
  • Royal Astronomical Society Prince George, Open House, 7:30 p.m. Friday February 21
  • Trails Strategy Review Now Underway Until February 28
  • BC Moose Winter Tick Surveillance Program 2020
  • Betelgeuse

Club Events and News

 
Prince George Naturalists Club: No presentation night, Thursday February 20
 
The regular February presentation night is cancelled so that Club members can enjoy John Dunne’s Journey North at UNBC, starting at 7:30 p.m. See details below.
 
Prince George Naturalists Club: Annual General Meeting, 7 p.m. Thursday March 19, The Exploration Place
The PGNC Annual General Meeting will be held at The Exploration Place. New directors are needed to ensure the Club stays healthy. Several directors are retiring and others will be moving away from Prince George once they complete their UNBC studies. The AGM in March will be an excellent opportunity to discuss future directions for our Club and for new directors to get involved. Think about putting your name forward or nominating someone you believe would be suitable.
PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
The Club’s membership year runs from January 1 to December 31. Cost is $25 per year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/.
Benefits of membership: Subscription to BC Nature magazine, liability insurance coverage for Club field trips, 10% discount on bird seed purchased at Spruce Capital Feeds, and access to popular events limited to Club members only. The discount on bird seed is especially valuable from November to April, during Project Feederwatch: https://tinyurl.com/yyw227ho

Other Events and News

John Dunne: Journey North, 7:30 p.m. Thursday February 20, Weldwood Lecture Theatre UNBC
John Dunne returns to Prince George to present the story of his 8,000 km, 400-day series of wilderness expeditions between Tofino and the northernmost land in Canada. Tickets are $15 from jdunne@eventbrite.ca or at the door. You can see a map and images on John’s website at https://arcticlight.com/talks/journey-north/journey-north-description.html
 
Royal Astronomical Society Prince George, Open House, 7:30 p.m. Friday February 21
 
The Prince George Astronomical Society is holding a Friday Open House on February 21 from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Glen Harris will give a talk on Circumpolar Constellations. Dress warmly – temperatures at the observatory are typically 5 C colder than Prince George. For full details, see https://pgrasc.org
 
Trails Strategy Review Now Underway until February 28
The Province is seeking public input on a formal review of a Trails Strategy for BC: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/trailsstrategyreview/ Deadline to submit feedback is 4 p.m.on February 28.
BC Moose Winter Tick Surveillance Program 2020
 

The BC Wildlife Health Program is again asking for help assessing the effects of winter ticks on the province’s moose population as part of its annual moose winter tick surveillance program.

The program relies on observations from wildlife professionals, wildlife enthusiasts, and the public to:

  • Document and map the distribution of winter ticks in moose in B.C. and;
  • Estimate the severity of winter tick infestations within moose populations across the province.

An online survey, downloadable survey forms and background information are available on the Moose Winter Tick Program website:  https://tinyurl.com/wkskkmw  Feedback will be accepted until April 30, 2020, at 11:59 pm.

Betelgeuse
From Mike Nash: Have PGNC members been following what’s happening to the variable red giant star Betelgeuse? It has dimmed to an unprecedented (in the modern era of astronomy) half its normal brightness in just four months, and now more closely matches the brightness of Orion’s Bellatrix than the hitherto comparably bright Rigel. There’s anticipation that it’s ready to go supernova, and while the consensus is that the event is still probably hundreds or thousands of years in the future, just imagine if you were outside looking up and it blew up right in front of you to the equivalent luminosity of the full moon? Of course, at some 642 light years away it might already have happened; and at that distance it poses no threat other than being a spectacular light show and scientific goldmine.
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PGNC News and Notes, January 28, 2020

  • PGNC Executive Meeting: 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday February 12, Spruce City Wildlife Fish Hatchery, 1384 River Road
  • Prince George Naturalists Club: Annual General Meeting, 7 pm. Thursday March 19, The Exploration Place
  • PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
  • Report: PGNC Presentation on Fibre from Local Plants, Thursday January 16
  • Conservation North: An Evening with Herb Hammond, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday January 29, the Courtyard Marriot, 900 Brunswick Street
  • Conservation North: It’s In Your Hands, 7:30 p.m. Thursday January 30, Trench Brewing, 399 2nd Avenue
  • Old Growth Strategic Review Panel: Deadline to respond: 4 p.m. on January 31
  • NRESi: The Amazing World of Aspen, 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Friday January 31, UNBC Room 8-164
  • Prince George Royal Astronomical Society: 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday January 31, Observatory Open House, 7365 Tedford Road
  • John Dunn: Journey North, 7:30 p.m. Thursday February 20, Weldwood Lecture Theatre UNBC
  • Trails Strategy Review Now Underway

Club Events and News

PGNC Executive Meeting: 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday February 12, Spruce City Wildlife Fish Hatchery, 1384 River Road
Calling all members! A message from the Executive: Do you as a Club member want to make a difference? Express your passion for nature? Why not consider attending an Executive meeting and contribute ideas for planning events such as field trips, guest speakers, and other activities? There are currently nine directors and three vacant director positions. See the list of directors at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/737-2/ 
The next Executive meeting is on Wednesday February 12 at Spruce City Wildlife Fish Hatchery, 1384 River Road, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. All members of the Club are welcome to attend and contribute their ideas, especially for events planning.
 
Prince George Naturalists Club: Annual General Meeting, 7 p.m. Thursday March 19, The Exploration Place
The Annual General Meeting will be held at The Exploration Place. New directors are needed to ensure the Club stays healthy. Several directors are retiring and others will be moving away from Prince George once they complete their UNBC studies. The AGM in March will be an excellent opportunity for new directors to get involved and set direction for the Club. Think about putting your name forward or nominating someone you believe would be suitable.
PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
The Club’s membership year runs from January 1 to December 31. Cost is $25 per year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/.
Benefits of membership: Subscription to BC Nature magazine, liability insurance coverage for Club field trips, 10% discount on bird seed purchased at Spruce Capital Feeds, and access to popular events limited to Club members only. The discount on bird seed is especially valuable from November to April, during Project Feederwatch: https://tinyurl.com/yyw227ho
Club Reports
 

PGNC Presentation: Fibre from Local Plants, Thursday January 16

Many thanks to Sue Perron for her enlightening presentation on the types of fibre available from local and other plants. Sue’s presentation included a large display of fibre samples which can be processed to make a variety of products. Her opening comments provided context for how fibre collection is best carried out in harmony with the land. This involves respect, safety, conservation, minimal waste and making use of what we collect. The Club is grateful to The Exploration Place, our partners in these presentations.
 
For more information on uses of local fibres in British Columbia, see Nancy J. Turner’s Plant Technology of First Peoples in British Columbia. Two copies are available at the Prince George Public Library along with several other publications by the same author. 
 

Other Events and News

Conservation North: An Evening with Herb Hammond, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday January 29, the Courtyard Marriot, 900 Brunswick Street
 
Conservation North is sponsoring a talk by ecological forester Herb Hammond on nature-based forest planning. See this article for more information: https://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/news/local-news/forester-to-give-talk-on-nature-based-planning-1.24058826
Conservation North: It’s In Your Hands, 7:30 p.m. Thursday January 30, Trench Brewing, 399 2nd Avenue
 
Conservation North is holding a special event on Thursday January 30 to have members of the public complete the Old Growth Strategic Review Panel questionnaire on laptops provided for the event. Some recommendations will be available for feedback that will support old growth conservation. There will be a short movie as well as free snacks. For more information contact michelle.connolly: mailto:michelle.connolly@alumni.unbc.ca
 
Old Growth Strategic Review Panel: Deadline to provide feedback: 4 p.m. on Friday January 31
The Province has appointed a two-person panel to lead an Old Growth Strategic Review and provide a report to the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Development and Rural Development. Feedback is invited from the public, organizations and professionals. Feedback is open until 4 p.m. on Friday January 31, 2020. For details on how to participate see: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/oldgrowth
NRESi: The Amazing World of Aspen, 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Friday January 31, UNBC Room 8-164
This Friday, the NRESi is presenting Mr. James Steidle from Steidle Woodworking here in Prince George. James will be giving the presentation “Amazing World of Aspen.” Come visit the amazing world of Trembling Aspen, Canada’s most widely distributed tree species in a talk by local Prince George resident James Steidle. We will cover the vast range of this important species, both geographically, genetically, and temporally, and investigate some of its widely known attributes, as well as some of its lesser known. We will visit the oldest and largest organism on the planet, an aspen forest in Utah, and talk about the importance of aspen to our northern forests. Covering forage, biodiversity and wildfire studies we will argue that the presence of aspen can have a large impact on the biological productivity of our forests, in addition to the likelihood and severity of wildfire. Like other broadleaf species, aspen also have remarkable properties in maintaining soil health and collecting and storing water. The talk will also cover aspen’s biophyisical characteristics that make aspen forests a powerful climate change fighting tool, the threats facing aspen, as well as their economic and cultural value.
Prince George Royal Astronomical Society: 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday January 31, Observatory Open House, 7365 Tedford Road
Everyone is welcome to attend an open house at the observatory this Friday evening. Blair Stunder will talk about Venus – Variations in Illumination. There may also be a chance to discover Neptune. For details, visit https://pgrasc.org Dress warmly as temperatures are generally 5C degrees colder than Prince George.
John Dunn: Journey North, 7:30 p.m. Thursday February 20, Weldwood Lecture Theatre UNBC
John Dunn returns to Prince George to present the story of his 8,000 km, 400-day series of wilderness expeditions between Tofino and the northernmost land in Canada. Tickets are $15 from jdunne@eventbrite.ca or at the door. You can see a map and images on John’s website at https://arcticlight.com/talks/journey-north/journey-north-description.html
Trails Strategy Review Now Underway
The Province is seeking public input on a formal review of a Trails Strategy for BC: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/trailsstrategyreview/ Deadline to submit feedback is 4 p.m.on February 28.

PGNC News and Notes, January 13, 2020

  • Prince George Naturalists Club, Fibre From Local Plants Presentation, 7 p.m. Thursday January 16, The Exploration Place
  • PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
  • NRES Grad Student Poster Session, Friday January 17, 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., UNBC Winter Garden
  • Old Growth Strategic Review Panel

Club Events and News

Prince George Naturalists Club, Fibre From Local Plants, 7 p.m. Thursday January 16, The Exploration Place
 
Sue Perron, local fibre artist, will share her knowledge of how local and other plants are deployed to create fibre. This event is presented in partnership with The Exploration Place. Everyone welcome. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The talk starts promptly at 7 p.m.
PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
The Club’s membership year runs from January 1 to December 31. Cost is $25 per year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. Memberships will also be available at the January 16 presentation night at The Exploration Place.
Benefits of membership: Subscription to BC Nature magazine, liability insurance coverage for Club field trips, 10% discount on bird seed purchased at Spruce Capital Feeds, and access to popular events limited to Club members only. The discount on bird seed is especially valuable from November to April, during Project Feederwatch: https://tinyurl.com/yyw227ho
 

Other Events and News

NRES Grad Student Poster Session, Friday January 17, 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., UNBC Winter Garden
 
In lieu of an NRESi Friday colloquium this week, the NRESi and the NRES Graduate Student program will be hosting the NRES 700 graduate class poster session. Come out and discuss with students their research projects. See the poster below for students presenting and their research topics. The poster session is being held, 3:30 – 6:00 pm in the Winter Garden area. Finger foods and snacks will be provided.
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Old Growth Strategic Review Panel
The Province has appointed a two-person panel to lead an Old Growth Strategic Review and provide a report to the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Development and Rural Development. Feedback is invited from the public, organizations and professionals. Feedback is open until 4 p.m. on January 31, 2020. For details on how to participate see: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/oldgrowth

PGNC News and Notes, January 6, 2020

  • Prince George Naturalists Club Swan and Eagle Count Field Trip, Sunday January 12, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Prince George Naturalists Club, Fibre From Local Plants Presentation, 7 p.m. Thursday January 16, The Exploration Place
  • Calling All Members! A Message From the Executive
  • PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
  • Christmas Bird Count, December 15: Report
  • Christmas Bird Count for Kids, December 14: Report 
  • Old Growth Strategic Review Panel
  • BC Chapter of the Wildlife Society Annual Conference, March 19 to 21 in Prince George
Club Events and News
Prince George Naturalists Club Swan and Eagle Count Field Trip, Sunday January 12, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The annual Swan and Eagle Count is largely carried out by car, and walks are fairly short. As a result, this event always goes ahead whatever the temperature. Meet for a 9 a.m. departure under the central green Spruceland Shopping Centre sign for car pooling and waiver signing. Bring lunch and snowshoes and be sure to dress warmly. Gas share cost is $8.  For more info, email sjkinsey@direct.ca or phone at 250-963-8381.
Prince George Naturalists Club, Fibre From Local Plants, 7 p.m. Thursday January 16, The Exploration Place
 
Sue Perron, local fibre artist, will share her knowledge of how local and other plants are deployed to create fibre. This event is presented in partnership with The Exploration Place. Everyone welcome.
Calling All Members! A Message From the Executive
Do you as a Club member want to make a difference? Express your passion for nature? Why not consider attending an Executive meeting and contribute ideas for planning events such as field trips, guest speakers, and other activities? There are currently nine directors and three vacant director positions. See the list of directors at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/737-2/
The next Executive meeting is on Wednesday January 8 at Spruce City Wildlife Fish Hatchery, 1384 River Road, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. All members of the Club are welcome to attend and contribute their ideas, especially for events planning.
 
Several directors are retiring in the spring and others will be moving away from Prince George once they complete their UNBC studies. The AGM in March will be an excellent opportunity for new directors to get involved and set direction for the Club.
PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
The Club’s membership year runs from January 1 to December 31. Cost is $25 per year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. Memberships will also be available at the January 16 presentation night at The Exploration Place.
Benefits of membership: Subscription to BC Nature magazine, liability insurance coverage for Club field trips, 10% discount on bird seed purchased at Spruce Capital Feeds, and access to popular events limited to Club members only. The discount on bird seed is especially valuable from November to April, during Project Feederwatch: https://tinyurl.com/yyw227ho
Club Reports
 
Christmas Bird Count December 15: Report
 
Report by Cathy Antoniazzi, PG CBC Compiler: Sunday December 15 turned out to be a good day to have a count.  The roads were decent—most of them had been cleared.  The temperature hung around -7°C to -8°C  and the sun came out in the afternoon.       
 
Before the tally many of the participants remarked that there weren’t many birds around, although they were seeing a good variety of species, and the results validated their impressions. We had 49 species which is slightly above the 10 year average of 47 and 7,654 total birds which is the third lowest count in the last 10 years. There were no crossbills, no Pine Siskins, very few redpolls or grosbeaks and less than a third of the Bohemian Waxwings that we had last year. However, had we seen the same number of waxwings as last year, this would have been one of the higher CBC counts.   
 
There were a few highlights. Eleven Wood Ducks were a surprise. There had only been two previous records of one and two birds. Bald Eagle numbers continue to increase — 145 was another all time high count. A Northern Goshawk and two Red-tailed Hawks were nice finds. A close encounter with an owl was the highlight for some of the participants. Two Barred Owls, 1 Northern Pygmy-Owl and a Northern Hawk Owl were seen. Northern Flickers set another record — 127 were seen. I don’t know if we are double counting some, but there sure seemed to be a lot of them. Common Ravens also set another high record — 912 were seen. It isn’t a surprise anymore to find some thrushes on the CBC—two robins and a Varied Thrush were spotted this year. Have a look at the table — overall there were decent numbers of the expected species and it was nice to see the Black-capped Chickadee numbers start to increase after two low years. Thank you to everyone who took part out in the field or by watching their feeders and also to the folks at Spruce City Wildlife for letting us use the Fish Hatchery for the tally this year.
  
Editor’s note: The PDF of the complete tally is available here: CBC December 15, 2019 tally-5
 
Other Events and News
Christmas Bird Count for Kids, December 14: Report

Report by PG Nature Kids: On December 14, PG’s Nature Kids Club participated in our first Christmas Bird Count at Cottonwood Island Park. We were lucky to have a balmy -4 degree day and see 12 different species of birds, including chickadees, woodpeckers, eagles and sparrows (we also saw a muskrat, squirrel and even snowshoe hare tracks!). A huge thank you goes to the wonderful members of the Prince George Naturalists Club for sharing their knowledge and passion for birding! Thank you to Starbucks Canada for a fabulous hot chocolate and coffee donation – it kept our families warm and energized!

Old Growth Strategic Review Panel
The Province has appointed a two-person panel to lead an Old Growth Strategic Review and provide a report to the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Development and Rural Development. Feedback is invited from the public, organizations and professionals. Feedback is open until 4 p.m. on January 31, 2020. For details on how to participate see: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/oldgrowth
BC Chapter of the Wildlife Society Annual Conference, March 19 to 21 in Prince George
The BC chapter of the Wildlife Society is having its annual conference this year in Prince George, March 19-21. This may be of interest to the PGNC membership. For more information see: http://www.bctws.ca/2020conference.html The deadline to submit abstracts is 4 p.m. on January 30.