Myco-Blitz Photos and Update

Many thanks to the Mycologically talented people who came out for the 2019 Central Walbran Myco-blitz (fungi count). We added over 50 new specimens to our ever growing  list, delving deeper into this rare and magical place. Old growth forests contain a breadth of fungi that is not able to grow in the short harvest rotations of the tree farms that replace them.

Among the many things we learnt is that Western Red Cedars are loners, that is mycologically in the soil, not interacting  in a similar way as the other trees do with each other. Their mycological relationship is their own and their related mushrooms when they fruit are so small as to be not visible to the naked eye!

Held with gratitude on the traditional territory of the Pacheedaht Nation. Check out the updated species list and please join us again next year. All photos by James Holko. Photo below of species of Phaeocollybia with its immense tap root, whose reason for is not yet understood!

 

 

 

Myco-Blitz October 5th 2019

 

Please come and join FoCW in the Central Walbran for a Myco-blitz, mushroom and fungi count.

Start time is 12.30pm with a brief introductory circle and welcome.

This is followed by guided hikes led by mycologists familiar with the wide variety of mushrooms to be found in the autumn rain forest.

Hikes finish at approximately 4.30pm .

Final identification of species and finish, 5.30pm.

 

 

 

2019 Bio-Blitz Report

Dry and sunny weather, which seems to be the troubling normal for the RainForest recently, greeted the 30+ attendees of the 5th Annual Walbran Bio-Blitz. Held with gratitude on the traditional territory of the Pacheedaht  First Nation.

The event started with a circle and welcome from Elder Bill Jones and then with the help of biologists, naturalists and birders we set out into the forest for a series of guided hikes and the flora and fauna count.

Highlight from this year was a Dromadery Jumping Slug, pictured below, a very rare species that is Old Growth dependent. Again other new species to the Bio-Blitz were found this year and our understanding of this rare and special place continues to grow. The full list of this years species will be attached to this sites Archive Page

Thanks to everybody who made the journey and to Bill Jones, Juliet Pendery, James Holko and David Reidel. See you next year!

 

Science in the Valley Bio-Blitz

Provisional Itinerary;

Attending experts in; Bird song identification, plant biology, forestry, soil ecology, Owls, Entomology.

Saturday 18th;

Either travel vie Lake Cowichan for 2WD vehicles with sufficient ground clearance.

Or meet at 9.30am for car pooling and convoy if required at Port Renfrew Community Center. For access from this route 4WD is recommended or with high clearance 2WD and logging road travel experience. There are travel cost subsidies available to make access to the ancient forest more affordable. Contact FoCW for more info and to also reserve car pooling.

11am -1pm; Arrive in Central Walbran.

1pm; Welcome from Elder Bill Jones of the Pacheedaht FN, introductions from groups and experts.

2pm; Guided hikes.

Easy/medium difficulty hike ‘Tolkein Giant’ trail, 1 hour.

Medium + difficulty hike, Castle Grove/Giant trail, 2 hours.

Hard difficulty hike, Harriet Nahanee memorial Trail, 3 hours.

After dinner evening ‘Owl and Bat Hike’!

Overnight camp.

Sunday 19th,

5am; Bird and Marbled Murrelet identification hike starting on Walbran bridge.

11am; Guided Hikes.

3pm; Close.

Recreational Tree Climbing.

 

Below is a joint response from FoCW, Widerness Comittee, Bill Jones, Pacheedaht Elder and Dr Neville Winchester, Entomologist to the continuing recreational tree climbing in the Central Walbran/Kaxi:ks

To whom it may concern;

It has come to our attention that there is currently recreational tree climbing occurring in the Castle Grove in the Central Walbran, Kaik:ks, Pacheedaht First Nations territory.

Climbing ropes have been left hanging from one of the ancient Cedars and a trail has been cut to the base of the tree.

This development is troubling to us as the damage from climbing to the delicate suspended soils and plants in these trees, the epiphytes and hanging gardens in their canopies is irrevocable. These have taken as long to develop as the trees themselves and could be over 1000 years old. If these are damaged a critical habitat for rare and endangered species such as Mettriopa walbranesi, Marbled Murrelets and other species that rely on the canopies of these ancient trees would be lost.

The rich alluvial flats that give the Castle Grove its giant Cedar trees is an isolated fragment, surrounded by clear-cuts and tree farms. With this type of forest remaining on less that 3% of Vancouver Island it makes the Castle Grove a very precious place. It is one of the reasons that environmentalists and First Nations have struggled and worked for almost 30 years to have this area protected.

As we learn from our First Nations allies we have come to appreciate these trees as Elder Trees that need to be respected and not just for the spectacle of their size as Giants.

The climbing of Old Growth to protect it from logging differs from recreational climbing, it carries on a long tradition of direct action that has actually helped save forest, for example the Carmanah Walbran Park.

So please respect the last of these ancient trees, don’t climb recreationally in the Old Growth and if these are your ropes please take them down.

Friends of Carmanah Walbran.

Wilderness Committee.

Bill Jones, Pacheedaht Elder.

Dr Neville Winchester, Entomologist.