On the sunny weekend of June 25th-26th we continued our work fixing the trails in the central Walban. Clearing a fallen tree from the Castle Grove trail and repairing the broken boardwalk. We also spent time on the access road down to the bridge which is quite overgrown and will require a few more weekends of work to help keep the road open.
The FoCW continue to advocate for the protection of the Central Walbran and to keep the trails and infrastructure there maintained. In the vision that this tall trees visitor destination has the potential to become an sustainable alternative economy for the Pacheedaht Nation whose traditional territory this is.
It has been 9 years now since FoCW started working with Pacheedaht Elder Bill Jones on the protection of the Central Walbran. On June 7th 2021 the protection of this priceless forest took a major step when the Pacheedaht Nation, Chief Jeff Jones and Band Council ratified the 15sqkm logging deferral for this area.
On Wednesday 22nd June 2022 members of FoCW in recognition of Bills tireless work presented him with a framed print of an Ancient Western Red Cedar that is located in the logging deferral and with a dedication that reads.
’Presented with gratitude to Pacheedaht Elder Bill Jones for his important contribution towards the protection of the Ancient forests of the Central Walbran/Kaxi:ks’
We will continue to work together towards the permanent protection of this area and others.
The 7th annual Central Walbran Bioblitz was held May 28th-29th and with the forecast rain holding off the early morning and late night bird observations were a great success. With Screech Owl sightings, Marbled Murrelets, large flocks of migrating Red Crossbills and many more species. Again it demonstrated the high concentrations of birds that use and rely on these ‘Refugia’ areas of remaining and contiguous Old Growth forest.
There were also finds of a rare lichen Old Growth Specklebelly,( see photo below and info posters) and a rare moss Hypoterygium Falvolimbatus see photo below.
Thanks to all the attendees, the CW species list will be updated and posted soon.
Volunteers from FoCW and the Wilderness Committee spent the weekend in early May working on the trails in the Central Walbran. Over the last few years with Covid and the police exclusion zones they have been a bit neglected and in 5 separate locations they had been damaged by trees. Our two new electric chainsaws, thanks to our donors for these, we’re put to (quiet) work and these apart from one have been fixed. We also worked on making the boardwalks less slippery and cut the brush back.
Next work group June 24th-26th, we are looking to rent or borrow some hedge trimmers to help cut the brush back from the road down to the bridge and volunteers to help!
Join the Friends of Carmanah Walbran for the 7th annual Bio- Blitz, a flora and fauna count. Held with gratitude on the traditional territory of the Pacheedaht Nation. Please pre- register.
Below is a rough itinerary, due to weather conditions this may change.
10am; A biologist hike towards Foetus/Dragonfly Lk that is situated in the park.
4am; Dawn bird count with knowledgeable birders.
10am; Guided hike and flora and fauna count.
FoCWs new calendar for 2022, if you wish to attend please contact us to register.
Outhouse at Big Lonely Doug Trail head.
On the weekend of March 5-6th volunteers with the FoCW and others helped finish off the outhouse project near the trail head of Big Lonely Doug. With the increasing numbers of visitors to the area it had became a priority before we could carry on with our work on the trails.
Again this area is not currently part of any of the recent logging deferrals and is not protected.
Trail to outhouse and privacy screens,
On the rare rain free weekend of November 20th volunteers with FoCW were able to work on the trails in the unprotected ‘Eden Grove’ area of Edinburgh Mt, Pacheedaht territory. We also had time to put up this arch at the entrance of the trail. It’s made from a part of an ancient Red Cedar, the top of the tree the ‘castle’ or ‘reiteration’ where a new leader grows. It was pulled out of a slash pile, cut in half, book matched, turned upside down and set into the ground.
The latest on the NDPs logging deferrals show that there are some proposals for Edinburgh Mt but there are key areas that are missing protection like ‘Eden Grove’. This does not necessarily mean it will be logged but is mostly down to insufficient government data which shows it as being a low-prod hemlock stand. The governments science panel has acknowledged that some areas may be missed and that ground truthing and local knowledge should fill in the gaps.
Hoping that these trails and entrance arch will help!
A few volunteers with FoCW had a chance to check and clear the hiking trails in the Central Walbran the weekend of 23rd-24th October and also try out a new cordless electric chainsaw. Thanks to the donors to our groups work that helped purchase this.
With the recent discoveries this summer of large numbers of nesting Marbled Murrelets in the vicinity of the trails it became clear that our work should be carried out during the spring and summer in as careful a way as possible to minimize disturbance and noise.
The chainsaw worked excellently providing us with a tool that can work in these sensitive areas, we will hopefully be able to get one more before the trail/visitor season starts next year.
Picture below is one of the many Ancient Western Red Cedars which were slated to be logged but is now included in the 2 year, 1500 hectare deferral in the Central Walbran. Amazing, something to celebrate and many thanks to the Pacheedaht Nation and the the many groups who have worked towards this including FoCW. We all hope this deferral will become full and permanent protection.