PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, February 13, 2018

Club Events

1. Thursday February 15, 7 p.m., The Exploration Place: The Great American Eclipse
 
Featuring a road trip in August 2017 through two Provinces and three States to see the total eclipse of the sun. Dubbed ‘The Great American Eclipse,’ this rare spectacle of nature tracked through Oregon, Idaho and Wyoming as it traversed the U.S. from coast to coast for the first time in nearly a century. Contending with an influx of people that would potentially double the populations of some States along the eclipse centreline (and cause at least one state of emergency to be declared), we travelled for three weeks in a record peak vacation and wildfire season on both sides of the border just to experience 90 seconds of totality! The talk will include general and historical information about total solar eclipses and coming opportunities to experience one. This presentation by Mike Nash will also feature some of the great national parks and wildlife of the region including some after-effects of the wildfires.
 
PGNC Membership 2018 cards

You can pick up your 2018 membership cards at the talk on February 15. The cards are very useful for such things as 10% discounts on bird seed at Spruce Capital Feeds. You can renew your membership, or join for the first time, at this event, or through Paypal at https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. Membership ($25 single, $40 family, $15 student) also brings you  membership with BC Nature and receipt of its excellent quarterly magazine.

 
2. Friday February 16, 7 p.m., St. Michael’s Anglican Hall, 1505 5th Avenue. Freightened: The Real Price of Shipping
 
PGNC is hosting Freightened: The Real Price of Shipping as part of the Travelling World Community Film FestivalThe cargo shipping industry is a key player in the world economy bringing 90% of the goods we consume in the West. Yet the functioning and regulation of this business remains largely obscure to many, and its hidden costs affect us all. Due to their size, freight ships no longer fit in traditional city harbours; they have moved out of the public’s eye, behind barriers and check points. The film answers many questions: Who pulls the strings in this multi-billion dollar business? To what extent does the industry control our policy makers? How does it affect the environment above and below the water-line?
 
3. Saturday February 17,  8:40 p.m., St. Michael’s Anglican Hall, 1505 5th Avenue: Water Warriors
 
PGNC is one of several groups sponsoring three documentaries on February 17, including Water Warriors as part of the Travelling World Community Film Festival, starting at 7 p.m. Water Warriors is the story of a community’s successful fight to protect their water from the oil and natural gas industry. In 2013, Texas-based SWN Resources arrived in New Brunswick to explore for natural (fracked) gas. The region is known for its forestry, farming and fishing industries, which are commercial as well as subsistence operations that rural communities depend on. In response, a multicultural group of unlikely warriors – including members of the Mi’kmaq Elsipogtog First Nation, French-speaking Acadians and white English-speaking families – set up a series of road blockades preventing exploration. After months of resistance, their efforts not only halted drilling, they elected a new government and won an indefinite moratorium on fracking in the province.
 
Volunteers are invited to help with these two events. Contact Sandra Kinsey at 250-963-8381 or sjkinsey@direct.ca$30 passes are available at the door and at Books and Company, 1685 3rd Avenue. $5 day passes available at the door only. The full schedule is here: 2018 Schedule TWCFF
 
4. Seedy Saturday, February 24, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Aboriginal Housing Society, 1919 17th Avenue
 
Seedy Saturday has moved to an expanded location! Presentations are of interest to naturalists and gardeners. PGNC will have an information table with displays and handouts on naturalist activities. If you would like to help for an hour or so, please contact Sandra Kinsey at 250-963-8381 or sjkinsey@direct.ca
Seedy Saturday 2018
 
5. Thursday March 15, 7 p.m., The Exploration Place: PGNC Annual General Meeting
 
The Club’s Annual General Meeting will be held in the Kordyban Learning Centre at The Exploration Place. Several directors are stepping down this year, and need to be replaced to ensure the Club stays healthy. Think about putting your name forward or nominating someone you believe would be suitable. The only duty required of Directors is that they attend a ninety-minute meeting on the second Wednesday of the month at the Spruce City Wildlife Fish Hatchery, 1384 River Road. Some directors also become officers or take on tasks which interest them, but this is entirely optional.

Club Reports

1. Annual Swan and Eagle Count, Sunday January 14, 2018
This was one of our more successful swan counts in a couple of decades. Five keeners gathered to check the Crooked River for swans and eagles on Sunday, January 14. Although it was foggy and -5C in town, we had sunny skies and -13C most of the day. We saw 45 Trumpeter Swans, 6 of which were immature. They were well
distributed along the river in the few open spots left after the -20C temperatures we had for several days. Other birds seen were 18 Mallard, 48 Common Goldeneye, 4 Ruffed Grouse,  3 Common Raven, 2 Steller’s Jays, and  6
American Dipper. A good time was had by all (report by Sandra Kinsey).
 
2. Remembering Victor
Longtime Club member Victor Bopp passed away in December 2017. Victor shared his passion for nature with us. He was a staunch supporter of Club activities and a regular participant at all the annual Christmas Bird Counts. This message and video is from Victor’s family.
 
Dear Friends, Family and Supporters of Victor and his Family,

As a thank you to everyone for their love and support, phone calls, emails, cards and donations, we created a video as a tribute to Victor, for those who knew him, and for friends and family who could not make his celebration of life. We were very blessed to have had the time to spend with Victor and for friends and family to share stories, photos and words of support and love.  Knowing how much Victor was respected and loved, and hearing how much of a positive influence he was to so many people, strengthens our connection with him.
 
Kind – Generous – Nature Loving – Friend – Respected – Mentor.  An honour to be part of his family, and a privilege to have met him, Victor made the world a better place.  He had a heart of gold, was always eager to help, share his knowledge and tell a joke.  He was a mentor in his work and in his hobbies of cameras, birds, bears, bugs, and all things nature; he will be greatly missed.

Please give yourself some time, the video is just over 5 minutes. The video includes the photos we had digitally in the past 10 years; the next project will be to compile all his many slides and photos over the past 60+ years. If you come across any photos you have of Victor, please feel free to forward them to us at Tania.Bopp@unbc.ca. He took a lot of photos, but wasn’t in nearly as many. Thank you to Dave and Cheryl (“Parkies”) for sharing such a suitable song for the tribute video and to remember Victor, The Vanishing Breed by Robbie Robertson. To view the video, Click the trusted link below, or copy and paste the link into your web browser address:
https://youtu.be/hdPH21UWJhQ

**Reminder to take the time to tell the ones you love, how much they mean to you, tell them on a regular basis!  Continue to respect the environment and enjoy the treasures nature has to offer!
With Love and Hugs, Victor’s Family

Notes

1. “Tall Tales, Long Lenses” Presentation and Book Signing, Wednesday February 28, 7:30 p.m. UNBC Canfor Theatre
John E. Marriott is one of Canada’s premier professional wildlife and nature photographers. He is known for photographing wilderness scenes and wild, free-roaming animals in their natural habitats. John’s new book, Tall Tales, Long Lenses, is an impressive collection of images and personal narrative, and chronicles his rise as one of Canada’s renowned wildlife photographers. This memorable event will feature John as he recounts many of his favourite stories and iconic photos from his most unforgettable wildlife encounters in some of Canada’s spectacular locales.

John is a Canmore/Banff based conservation advocate whose images have been published internationally by National Geographic, BBC Wildlife, Canadian Geographic, McLean’s and Reader’s Digest. He is a contributing editor for Outdoor Photography Canada magazine and the host of the popular web series EXPOSED with John E. Marriott. John is the author of three Canadian bestsellers and he recently co-released the critically acclaimed book The Pipestones: The Rise and Fall of a Wolf Family. John is the owner/operator of Canadian Wildlife Photography Tours (www.canwildphototours.com), featuring wildlife photo expeditions and workshops in remote Canadian settings. John is a premier storyteller and is sharing his tallest tales and unforgettable images of animals that inspired Tall Tales, Long Lenses.
 
This is an admission-by-donation event hosted by the Prince George Photographic Society. Seating is First-Come, First-Serve. Doors open at 7:00 pm. Show starts at 7:30 pm. A selection of John’s books will be available for purchase.
 
5. Wildlife Photography Seminar, Thursday March 1, 7 p.m., UNBC 6-238, Weldwood Theatre

“Getting Wild About Photography – the Goods on Shooting Wildlife” Wildlife Photography seminar with John E. Marriot. Join one of Canada’s premier professional wildlife photographers, John E. Marriott, for a two-hour wildlife photography seminar focusing on making you a better wildlife photographer. John covers the backyard basics and delves into a variety of topics, including an in-depth, beginner-to-advanced overview of your optimal camera settings and techniques for a diverse range of wildlife photography encounters and situations. John will provide a run-down of his own gear and what he considers to be must-have equipment, he’ll provide a comprehensive look at how to capture action in wildlife photography, he’ll look at the ethics of photographing wildlife, and he will provide insight into how to make a career as a wildlife photographer.


Join John as he shares with you his experiences photographing polar bears, wolves and other wild predators, and reveals his favourite tips, techniques, and easy-to-access locations for getting incredible wildlife shots. This event is open to the public. Registration is $30 for Prince George Photographic Society club members, $50 for non-members. Seating is limited, so contact Bob Steventon at bstevent@uniserve.com / 250-562-3717 to register and reserve your spot now.
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PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, January 29, 2018

Club Events

1. Thursday February 15, 7 p.m. at The Exploration Place: The Great American Eclipse
Featuring a road trip in August 2017 through two Provinces and three States to see the total eclipse of the sun. Dubbed ‘The Great American Eclipse,’ this rare spectacle of nature tracked through Oregon, Idaho and Wyoming as it traversed the U.S. from coast to coast for the first time in nearly a century. Contending with an influx of people that would potentially double the populations of some States along the eclipse centreline (and cause at least one state of emergency to be declared), we travelled for three weeks in a record peak vacation and wildfire season on both sides of the border just to experience 90 seconds of totality! The talk will include general and historical information about total solar eclipses and coming opportunities to experience one. This presentation by Mike Nash will also feature some of the great national parks and wildlife of the region including some after-effects of the wildfires.
 
2. Travelling World Community Film Festival, February 16 to 23 
 
The full schedule will be available soon. $30 passes are available at the door and at Books and Company, 1685 3rd Avenue. $5 day passes available at the door only.
Reports
 
The Club regrets that the January 17 presentation night with Dr. Dominick Della Sala had to be cancelled due to weather-related transportation delays. 

Notes

 
1. PGNC Membership 2018 cards

You can pick up your 2018 membership cards at the talk on February 15. The cards are very useful for such things as 10% discounts on bird seed at Spruce Capital Feeds. You can renew your membership, or join for the first time, at this event, or through Paypal at https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. Membership ($25 single, $40 family, $15 student) also brings you  membership with BC Nature and receipt of its excellent quarterly magazine.

 
2. WANTED: Reports of dead bats and of bats flying during winter
Public help is needed to monitor the spread of deadly bat disease   Now is the time of year we may see signs of White nose syndrome in bats.  The BC Community Bat Program in collaboration with the BC government is requesting the public’s help in monitoring the spread of this disease.  Please help by reporting bats that are flying or found dead, during winter and early spring, to the B.C. Community Bat Program at  1-855-922-2287 ext. 24 or info@bcbats.ca 
3. NRESI Colloquium, Friday February 2, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m UNBC Room 8-164
Predation risk for boreal caribou in human-modified landscapes: evidence of wolf behavioural responses independent of apparent competition. Presenter is Dr. Matt Mumma, UNBC.
 
4. Tall Tales Storytelling, Wednesday February 28, 7:30 p.m. UNBC Canfor Theatre
Presentation by John E. Marriott, wildlife and nature photographer. Come meet Frank the Tank, Delinda the Wolf, Casper the Friendly Bear and a host of other wildlife characters as one of Canada’s premier professional wildlife photographers, John E. Marriott, presents the remarkable stories and photos behind his critically-acclaimed new book, Tall Tales, Long Lenses. 


John is the photographer behind two of three BC Parks license plates and has been featured in National Geographic, Canadian Geographic, Reader’s Digest and Ranger Rick. He’s the star of the web series, EXPOSED with John E. Marriott, and is the wildlife photography columnist for Outdoor Photography Canada magazine. This is an admission-by-donation event hosted by the Prince George Photographic Society. Seating is First-Come, First-Serve. Doors open at 7:00 pm. Show starts at 7:30 pm. A selection of John’s books will be available for purchase.

 
5. Wildlife Photography Seminar, Thursday March 1, 7 p.m., UNBC, Weldwood Theatre

Join one of Canada’s premier professional wildlife photographers, John E. Marriott, for a two-hour wildlife photography seminar focusing on making you a better wildlife photographer. Join John as he shares with you his experiences photographing polar bears, wolves and other wild predators, and reveals his favourite tips, techniques, and easy-to-access locations for getting incredible wildlife shots. For full details of the seminar content, see the PG Photo Society Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pg/pgphotoclub/events/?ref=page_internal This event is open to the public. Registration is $30 for Prince George Photographic Society club members, $50 for non-members. Seating is limited, so contact Bob Steventon at bstevent@uniserve.com / 250-562-3717 to register and reserve your spot now.

Club Events

1. Going, Going, Gone? The global importance of primary and intact forest landscapes, 7 p.m. WEDNESDAY JANUARY 17, 2018 at The Exploration Place

Dr. Dominick A. DellaSala, Chief Scientist/President, Geos Instute, is the special guest speaker. His topic is the global importance of primary and intact forest landscapes. The very first road built into an intact forest is the beginning of its death by a thousand cuts. Globally, less than a third of the planet’s forests are considered primary (unlogged or virgin) and every day deforestation takes the equivalent area of >86,000 ice hockey arenas. About 80% of the Earth’s terrestrial surface remains roadless (1-km buffer to all roads); however, this area is fragmented into 600,000 pieces. In the US, the Forest Service alone has built enough roads to circumnavigate the globe nearly 20 times. In Canada, logging and energy development have been moving into the most extreme northern boreal forests. In recognition of the declining status of the last wild forested places on the planet, a new coalition of scientists and conservation groups has emerged aimed at creating global awareness for the last of the wild places. Dr. DellaSala’s talk will focus on this global effort with specific reference to BC’s rainforests. This presentation is sponsored jointly by the Prince George Naturalists Club, The Exploration Place, and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions: http://www.pics.uvic.ca
 
NOTE: THIS EVENT REPLACES THE PRESENTATION NIGHT ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED FOR THURSDAY JANUARY 18.
2. Thursday February 15 is our next presentation night
More details coming soon!

Notes

1. Membership 2018 cards
You can pick up your 2018 membership cards at this Wednesday’s talk. The cards are very useful for such things as 10% discounts on bird seed at Spruce Capital Feeds. You can also renew your membership, or join for the first time, at this event, or through Paypal at https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. Membership ($25 single, $40 family, $15 student) also brings you  membership with BC Nature and receipt of its excellent quarterly magazine.
 
2. NRESI Colloquium, Friday January 19, 2018, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., UNBC Room 8-164
Cumulative Impacts Research Consortium Panel Presentation: Wildfires – Dr. Dominic DellaSala, Madeline Maley, Dr. Raina Fumerton, Sonja Leverkus. Anyone from the university or wider community with interest in the topic area is welcome to attend. Presentations are also made available to remote participants through Livestream and Blue Jeans. Go to http://www.unbc.ca/nres-institute/colloquium-webcasts to view the presentation remotely.
3. Provincial Government seeking public input by January 19, 2018,on Professional Reliance in the Natural Resources Sector (submitted by Mike Nash)
In the early 2000s, the provincial government of the day replaced the prescriptive Forest Practices Code with the new Forest and Range Practices Act with a results-based approach that relied on professionals. While this has been successful in reducing costs and red tape, there have inevitably been areas of concern and opportunities for improvement. Now, government is conducting a review of Professional Reliance in the Natural Resources sector, and is accepting public input until January 19, 2018 at: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/professionalreliance/   Increasingly, there are overlapping demands on the natural resources land base. For forestry, some relevant background reading is: A Decade in Review: Observations on Regulation of Forest and Range Practices in British Columbia, pages 18-21, Professional Reliancehttps://www.bcfpb.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/SR46-A-Decade-in-Review.pdf
4. BC Wildlife Health Program Moose Winter Tick Monitoring Program
Provincial wildlife biologists are asking for help in promoting moose health and controlling potentially-deadly winter moose tick infestations. It’s easy to join in: all you need are keen eyes and a love of the great outdoors. Winter ticks are an external parasite found on white-tailed deer, mule deer, bison and elk, although moose are the ticks’ preferred host. The ticks can lead to skin irritation and blood loss for moose and, in cases of severe infestation, can lead to serious health issues and even death. Winter ticks pose no health risk to humans. For more information and ways to participate please visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/plants-animals-ecosystems/wildlife/wildlife-health/wildlife-health-matters/moose-health/moose-winter-tick-survey

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, January 1, 2018

Club Events

1. Annual Swan and Eagle Count, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday January 14, 2018 
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 am departure under the central green Spruceland Shopping Centre sign for car pooling and waiver signing. Bring lunch and snowshoes, and keep on eye on weather forecasts so you can dress appropriately. Gas share cost is $10.  For more info, email sjkinsey@direct.ca or phone at 250-963-8381.
2. Going, Going, Gone? The global importance of primary and intact forest landscapes, 7 p.m. Wednesday January 17, 2018 at The Exploration Place
Dr. Dominick A. DellaSala, Chief Scientist/President, Geos Instute, is the special guest speaker. His topic is the global importance of primary and intact forest landscapes. The very first road built into an intact forest is the beginning of its death by a thousand cuts. Globally, less than a third of the planet’s forests are considered primary (unlogged or virgin) and every day deforestation takes the equivalent area of >86,000 ice hockey arenas. About 80% of the Earth’s terrestrial surface remains roadless (1-km buffer to all roads); however, this area is fragmented into 600,000 pieces. In the US, the Forest Service alone has built enough roads to circumnavigate the globe nearly 20 times. In Canada, logging and energy development have been moving into the most extreme northern boreal forests. In recognition of the declining status of the last wild forested places on the planet, a new coalition of scientists and conservation groups has emerged aimed at creating global awareness for the last of the wild places. Dr. DellaSala’s talk will focus on this global effort with specific reference to BC’s rainforests. This presentation is sponsored jointly by the Prince George Naturalists Club, The Exploration Place, and the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions: http://www.pics.uvic.ca
 
Please note that this event replaces the Presentation Night originally scheduled for Thursday January 18, 2018.
Membership in the PGNC
Members are encouraged to renew their memberships. New members are always welcome. The membership year runs from January 1 to December 31. Click here for information on types of memberships and methods of payment: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. Thank you for supporting the PGNC!

Club Reports

Christmas Bird Count No. 50, December 17, 2017 (report by Cathy Antoniazzi)
A big thank you to everyone who took part in the Prince George Christmas Bird Count! There were 35 field participants in 13 groups and ten feeder watchers. Circle coverage was very good. I was really worried that the weather was going to be a negative factor after 10 cm of snow fell Saturday evening and the forecast was for more snow and wind on Sunday. Instead, Sunday turned out to be a wonderful day for counting birds. For the first time ever on a Prince George CBC, I only wore a hoodie and I was warm! There was a light north wind for the airport counters, but all other parts of the circle had a calm day with the temperature ranging from -2°C to 0°C. We found 49 species and 8,760 birds (slightly above average). The list of results is attached.
 
Mallard numbers remain high—679 were found and we were extra careful not to double-count them this year. Common Goldeneye and Common Merganser numbers were quite low likely because the rivers were open and the ducks were dispersed. No other duck species were found this year. Bald Eagles broke the 100 mark for the first time with 118 counted—most of them at the landfill. Few buteos came this way this fall and they didn’t stay, so a Red-tailed Hawk was a nice find. No Rough-legged Hawks were found—there were 7 last year. Eurasian Collared-Doves continue to increase—the 12 last year more than doubled to 31. A Barred Owl at College Heights and a Short-eared Owl at the airport were noteworthy. Northern Flickers remain plentiful with 113 found. We didn’t try to separate them into subspecies this year. The vast majority of our flickers are now intergrades and unless you see all of the field marks really well on a bird you can’t confidently identify it to subspecies. 
 
An American Kestrel was a second count record. They rarely linger this late. Ten Northern Shrikes tied a high record. Half of them were in the Pineview/BCR area. Common Ravens set another all time high record with 888 found—again the majority were at the landfill. Four ravens were found in 1968. Three Townsend’s Solitaires were a high record and two robins and a Varied Thrush were noteworthy, but not unexpected. European Starling numbers continue to fall and I am not sure why. Only 75 were found—there were 1,300 in 2001!  Bohemian Waxwings, Common Redpolls and Pine Grosbeaks were present in decent numbers. This won’t come as a surprise to anyone, but no crossbills were found. They just haven’t been here this year. I have seen one crossbill all year. So far, I have heard of Belted Kingfisher and Purple Finch for count week birds. All in all it was a good count—#50!  2017 Christmas Bird Count

Notes

NRESI Colloquium, Friday January 19, 2018, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., UNBC Room 8-164.
Cumulative Impacts Research Consortium Panel Presentation: Wildfires – Dr. Dominic DellaSala, Madeline Maley, Dr. Raina Fumerton, Sonja Leverkus. Anyone from the university or wider community with interest in the topic area is welcome to attend. Presentations are also made available to remote participants through Livestream and Blue Jeans. Go to http://www.unbc.ca/nres-institute/colloquium-webcasts to view the presentation remotely.
Provincial Government seeking public input by January 19, 2018,on Professional Reliance in the Natural Resources Sector (submitted by Mike Nash)
In the early 2000s, the provincial government of the day replaced the prescriptive Forest Practices Code with the new Forest and Range Practices Act with a results-based approach that relied on professionals. While this has been successful in reducing costs and red tape, there have inevitably been areas of concern and opportunities for improvement. Now, government is conducting a review of Professional Reliance in the Natural Resources sector, and is accepting public input until January 19, 2018 at: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/professionalreliance/  
 
Increasingly, there are overlapping demands on the natural resources land base. For forestry, some relevant background reading is: A Decade in Review: Observations on Regulation of Forest and Range Practices in British Columbia, pages 18-21, Professional Reliance

PG Naturalists Club Events and Notes, 4 December 2017

Club Events

1. Christmas Bird CountSunday  December 17, 2017
This year marks the 50th Prince George Christmas Bird Count. The PG Naturalists Club held the first one in 1968!  You don’t have to be an expert to take part – just enjoy a day looking for birds. The main activity is an all-day commitment working with a field team to count birds in specific areas, concluding with a potluck tally-up in the early evening. You can also take part by keeping a count of your feeder and yard birds, as long as you live within the Prince George count circle. For details see:  http://www.birdscanada.org/volunteer/cbc/maps/BCPG.pdfIf you would like to participate, contact Cathy Antoniazzi  (PG CBC Compiler) by email at canton1@telus.net by December 7.
 
The Christmas Bird Count is more than a local event. According to Birds Canada the Christmas Bird Count is North America’s longest-running Citizen Science project. “Counts happen in over 2,000 localities throughout the Western Hemisphere. The information collected by thousands of volunteer participants forms one of the world’s largest sets of wildlife survey data. The results are used daily by conservation biologists and naturalists to assess the population trends and distribution of birds”. For full information about the Christmas Bird Count see: http://www.birdscanada.org/volunteer/cbc/index.jsp?lang=EN
 
2.  Annual Swan and Eagle Count, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday January 14, 2018 
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 am departure under the central green Spruceland Shopping Centre sign for car pooling and waiver signing. Bring lunch and snowshoes, and keep on eye on weather forecasts so you can dress appropriately. Gas share cost is $10.  For more info, email sjkinsey@direct.ca or phone at 250-963-8381.
 
Club Reports
 
Nov 16 presentation on white-throated sparrow song variants
Ken Otter gave an entertaining and informative presentation at The Exploration Place, with song-filled videos and slides to demonstrate differences in songs between white-throated sparrows both west and east of the Rocky Mountains. He also described the advance of white-throated sparrows into the Prince George and Vanderhoof region via the Peace River. The research involved considerable input from citizen scientists who reported bird songs from across Canada. For more information about this initiative see: http://www.whitethroatsong.ca
 
Notes
 
1. Adult Speaker Series at The Exploration Place: Citizen Science, 7 p.m. Monday December 11, 2017
Dr. Mark Groulx, Assistant Professor of Environmentla Planning at UNBC, has a passion for all things ‘Northern’.  Mark’s research explores how our connections to the land shape community resilience to climate change. Much of Mark¹s work has centred on the sub-arctic community of Churchill, Manitoba. Mark will discuss his experiences conducting research in this rich social and ecological environment and will share stories from a recent project that examines citizen scientists experiences of learning on the land in Churchill. Admission to this event in the Atrium is free; galleries are closed. Doors open at 6:45 pm, lecture at 7pm. Cash beer and wine bar available
 
2. NRESi/FWCP – Peace Region Colloquium, 7:30 p.m. Thursday January 11, 2018, UNBC Canfor Theatre 6-213.
Dr. Charles Krebs, Professor Emeritus, Department of Geology, UBC, will discuss the question: Is Wildlife Management Still Possible? Government scientists and university professors and their graduate students labour mightily to study wildlife and suggest reasons for their population changes. All of this is too often for naught because of political and social constraints to actions that will achieve straightforward ecological goals. After a short discussion of two case histories that are relevant to Canada, he will discuss what we might do to change this frustrating situation both in the long- and short-term. There is no magic bullet and much work we have to do. Participants may also attend remotely by going to: www.unbc.ca/nres-institute/colloquium-webcasts
 
3. Dangerously Delicious (submitted by Mike Nash)
For the interest of those who attended the fall mushroom field trip led by UNBC’s Hugues Massicotte and Keith Egger in Wilkins Park earlier in the fall, this new podcast from Outside Magazine is one of a series on the science of survival. It spotlights the possible consequences of consuming wild mushrooms: https://www.outsideonline.com/2265036/dangerously-delicious For other episodes in the series, see: https://www.outsideonline.com/podcasts/science-of-survival
 
4. Island of the Blue Foxes (submitted by Mike Nash)
Here’s a new book of interest to naturalists. Written by Stephen Brown, it gives wonderful insights into the brilliant, difficult, and ultimately exonerated character of Georg Wilhelm Steller (Steller’s sea eagle, Steller’s jay, Steller’s sea lion, Steller’s sea cow [extinct; sketch by Steller], and Steller’s eider): ‘Island of the Blue Foxes: Disaster and Triumph on the World’s Greatest Scientific Expedition’ by Stephen R. Brown; Douglas & McIntyre, October 2017. Hardcover available in the Prince George Public Library.

PGNC News and Notes, 9 November, 2017

Club Events

1. Presentation Night, Thursday November 16, 7 p.m. at The Exploration Place. The British (Columbia) Invasion: western white-throated sparrow songs sweep the nation
Regional song variants (dialects) can shift over time, but it is unusual for a song dialect from one region to invade and replace that of another region, especially when this occurs over large geographic scales. However, this appears to be occurring with the western doublet-ending songs variant of the white-throated sparrow. Although initially rare relative to the common triplet-ending song in continent wide surveys from the 1960s, the doublet-ending song first became the sole song variant west of the Rocky Mountains sometime before 2000, and has now spread across Canada to nearly the Quebec border. Dr. Ken Otter of UNBC will talk about tracking this spread starting with when he first arrived at UNBC in 1999, and include data of a large citizen-science initiative he and others established in 2015 to help gather songs from across the continent. He will also present results of migration tracking studies that might provide an insight into how the song is spreading, as well as some speculation of why this dialect may have taken hold.
 
2. Christmas Bird Count, Sunday December 17
This year the PGNC celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Prince George Christmas Bird Count! Be sure to save the date. More information coming soon.
 
3. Wednesday Walkers (submitted by Dora Hunter)
October rewarded the Walkers with pleasant, colourful days for our walk to the Pidherny Larches on the 11th and to the Moose and Fir Trails and GWL Mobility Nature Trail off Scott Road at Tabor mountain on the 25th. The larches never disappoint and the autumn fungi season was in full bloom with bright specimens both days (photos below). With the approach of cold weather and with fewer participants, I have decided to discontinue the Wednesday Walks until April brings us a new season of warmth, growth and blooms. Thank you to all who have participated and, again, to all who have helped me plan our walks.
DSCN2533 (2) 2
P1040320[2]DSCN2454 (2) 2
Reports
 
Presentation on Moose, Thursday October 19
A capacity audience filled the Atrium at The Exploration Place on October 19 for a presentation on current information on moose in the Omineca region. Presenter Shelley Marshall, Senior Wildlife Biologist with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, has now forwarded a link to the 2017 BC moose research progress report available at: http://a100.gov.bc.ca/pub/eirs/viewDocumentDetail.do?fromStatic=true&repository=BDP&documentId=12720 It’s a 34-page PDF packed with data.
 
Parsnip-Moose-Wolf-Cariboo Project (submitted by Mike Nash)
Anyone who attended the October 19 moose presentation may be interested in seeing something of the work being done in the Parsnip-Moose-Wolf-Caribou Project. Here is a short slide show of a field trip that I did seven years ago with Doug Heard (from 2 min 4 sec). The earlier slides are from a caribou count flight with Dale Seip 11 years ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plz0NxowF8o

Notes

1. Old Growth Forest Protection Act for BC, Wednesday November 15, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Omineca Arts Centre, 1119 3rd Avenue, Prince George
There will be a slideshow and discussion about the proposed Old Growth Forest Protection Act for BC. The evening will include a short talk by Michelle Connolly about what old growth is and why it’s important, current threats to old growth, and recent proposed legislation. Michelle Connolly is UNBC’s program manager for the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions: https://www.unbc.ca/pacific-institute-for-climate-solutions. Interested naturalists are invited to discuss and comment on the need for an old growth protection act, and how this might look for Northern BC. This event brings together people with a wide range of opinions and experiences and we hope that you will attend. Drinks and snacks will be provided. Please RSVP to mrempel@unbc.ca to help plan food and seating. 
 
2. Larches of Prince George (submitted by MIke Nash)
It isn’t necessary to go all the way to Lake O’Hara to see the larches in their fall splendour!

 

PGNC Events and Notes, October 9, 2017

Club Events

  1. Wednesday Walkers, October 11, 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon, The Larches and Nechako hills

On October 11th  the Wednesday Walkers will hike to enjoy both The Larches and the hills along the Nechako in colour. Some of the trail may be slick from recent rains so walking sticks would be a good idea. Depending on time, we may do an in and out to the nearby Pidherny Bog. Meet in the parking lot at the Spruceland Shopping Mall at the corner of 5th Avenue and Hwy 97 under the big Save On Foods sign at 9:20 a.m. for a 9:30 a.m. departure time, to sign a waiver and arrange car-pooling. This event is open to members and non-members. For more information, call Dora Hunter at 250 596-6772 or email: hunterdora@shaw.ca.

  1. Moose in the Omineca Region, Thursday October 19, 7 p.m. at The Exploration Place

Shelley Marshall and Mike Klaczek, biologists with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, will present current information on moose populations in the Omineca Region. The talk will cover trends in moose populations in the central and southern Omineca management area region 7A. The talk will also provide an overview of the moose research project that the Province is conducting to examine what factors are driving moose population trends since 2 of the 5 study areas are in our region. There will also be a brief mention of some other initiatives underway in the region relating to moose. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the evening starts promptly at 7 p.m.

  1. Wednesday Walkers, October 25, 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon, Tabor Mountain area

On October 25th the Wednesday Walkers will go back to the Klein Road area of Tabor Mountain to hike the Moose trail and then pop back down to the Dougherty Creek Mobility Trail to see this scenic spot in autumn. Meet in the parking lot at the Spruceland Shopping Mall at the corner of 5th Avenue and Hwy 97 under the big Save On Foods sign at 9:20 a.m. for a 9:30 a.m. departure time, to sign a waiver and arrange car-pooling. This event is open to members and non-members. For more information, call Dora Hunter at 250 596-6772 or email: hunterdora@shaw.ca.

  1. Club Memberships

New members can take out a first-time membership as early as October for the next membership year which runs January 1 to December 31. Memberships can be purchased online at https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. Memberships are also available at Presentation nights.

Club Notes

  1. Friday October 13,  3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Where Does the Paris Agreement Get Us?UNBC Room 8-164

The Honourable Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament, will make a presentation at UNBC. Her topic: Where does the Paris Agreement get us? Are we still in a climate emergency? This is an Inspiring Women Among Us/Global Fridays sponsored talk. To participate remotely go to: http://www.unbc.ca/nres-institute/colloquium-webcasts

  1. Tuesday October 17, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tatlayoko Community Open House

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is holding a Tatlayoko Community Open House from 1 to 5 p.m. at Lincoln Creek Ranch, Tatlayoko Valley. Join this community gathering for snacks, tea and coffee and the chance to talk about conservation in the Valley. Nature Conservancy of Canada staff will deliver a presentation at 2 p.m. and again at 4 p.m., about plans for conservation work in the Tatlayoko Valley, after which there will be opportunities for discussion, followed by a barbecue lunch. For more information, contact Tanya Wahbe, director of NCC’s West Coast program, at tanya.wahbe@natureconservancy.ca, or call toll-free at 888-404-8428.

  1. Saturday October 21, Ethnobotany Workshop with Carla Burton, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., UNBC Lab 8-325

Carla Burton is a UNBC faculty member who teaches Ethnobotany in Terrace, B.C. The workshop will include a presentation on plant uses by local First Nations people for food, medicine, spirituality, and technology. Participants will take a short walk in the UNBC vicinity to examine  native plants.  The afternoon will consist of making salves with native plants that people can take home.  Registration for David Douglas Botanical Garden Society members is $25 and will be $50 for non-members, which will include a DDBGS membership.  To register or for more information contact Anne at 250-981-6333 or secretary@ddbotgarden.bc.ca  Registration for non-members will be open on October 15th. Please bring a sharp paring knife, sturdy gloves, and a container for your salve, to the workshop. Other equipment and tools will be provided by DDBGS.

Carla Burton (PhD, University of Victoria) is an Adjunct Professor at UNBC and a partner in the firm Symbios Research and Restoration, operating out of Terrace, BC. For over 20 twenty years she has worked on contracts relating to restoration ecology and ethnobotany in the northwest of British Columbia. She has worked in collaboration with the Nisga’a and Gitxsan First Nations in British Columbia documenting traditional plant use, conducting traditional use studies and restoring ecosystems with herbaceous native plants.

  1. Wednesday November 1, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. DFO Wild Salmon Policy Implementation Plan, Prince George Open House

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has outlined its five-year implementation plan for Canada’s Policy for Conservation of Wild Pacific Salmon. For all the details, see http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/consultation/wsp-pss/index-eng.htmlA public open house will be held in Prince George on November 1, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Coast Inn of the North.

  1. Pacific Salmon Foundation Concerned About Open-Net Farmed Salmon

On September 22, the Pacific Salmon Foundation issued a public statement of concern about a recent announcement by the US-based Seafood Watch and the BC Salmon Farmers of BC stating that BC open-net farmed salmon are now a good alternative seafood choice for consumers. PSF believes that the recommendation is premature  and inappropriate. Reasons are outlined here: https://www.psf.ca/news-media/public-statement-re-new-rating-farmed-salmon