Author: Friends of Carmanah Walbran
Walbran deferral extended!
FoCWs info booth at the Feb 25th 2023 forest rally
Central Walbran logging deferral extended.
In response to a FoCW request to the relevant ministries of the NDP government we received this reply in part from the Ministry of Forests in regards to the expiry on June 9Th 2023 of the current logging deferral in the Central Walbran.
‘On July 20, 2022, the Province extended the Part 13 deferral areas, including the Central Walbran Valley, until March 1, 2024………… this deferral and its extension are intended to provide the necessary time for the Province and the Pacheedaht First Nation to work together on a long-term approach to this important area.’
‘Aligning with our commitments under the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, the Province is continuing to explore ways to meaningfully collaborate with First Nations to co-develop an action plan to support the implementation of the OGSR recommendations. This includes the Province and First Nations working in partnership to defer ancient, rare, and priority large stands of old growth within BC’s most at-risk old growth forests. These harvest deferrals are intended to allow time to develop a new approach for old growth forest management to protect and support ecosystem health and community prosperity across British Columbia.’
FoCW calls on the government and the Pacheedaht First Nation to protect this important area in perpetuity, by adding the deferral area wholly to the provincial park or to create an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (IPCA), within the deferral area.
February 25th Forest Rally
Please come and raise your voice in support of the protection of our ancient forests and to keep the pressure on David Eby and the NDP to fulfill their words and promises. The deferral for the Central Walbran expires on the 9th June 2023! See below for our letter to the ministry of environment which was hand delivered 6th December 2022 and with still, at this late hour, with no response!
As a signatory supporter FoCW will be there at the rally helping with a pop-up nature house!
Re: Central Walbran Deferral December 6th 2022
The two year Central Walbran deferral will lapse on June 9th, 2023.
The Friends of Carmanah Walbran (FoCW), who have been the primary organization concerned with the protection of the Walbran and the integrity of the Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park, wish to know what are the plans of the government and the relevant First Nations for the future of this area.
This area, known as the Central Walbran or the “bite,” was not included in the park when it was established in 1995 and now contains several proposed cutblocks, immediately adjacent to the park boundaries and its contiguous old growth forest.
Ecologically, the exclusion of this area never made sense and the proposed roads and logging would definitely compromise the integrity of the park in a major way. The forest in the deferral represents the highest biodiversity values – the rationale for the deferral – and logic suggests that it be fully protected. The Special Management Zone (SMZ) that was created at the time has, by the evidence, failed to be implemented in either the spirit or intent of that zone and failed to protect the highest ecological values therein.
We call on the government and the Pacheedaht First Nation to protect the area in perpetuity, by adding the deferral area wholly to the provincial park or to create an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (IPCA), within the deferral area.
FoCW as a stake-holder in the area stands ready to assist in any way, having been responsible for the development of the campgrounds and the well used trails, the outhouses, notice boards and signage and have held many educational events there.
We look forward to an early response to this letter, indicating the government’s intentions in this matter.
Friends of Carmanah Walbran
Mycological survey report.
With BC experiencing an unprecedented drought the scheduled Myco blitz in the Central Walbran had been in doubt but the attendees on the weekend of October 15-16th were met with a fungal bounty.
This is mostly due to the valleys location close to the ocean and the sea fogs that rise up through the forest and the fog ‘advection’ that is then turned into rain on the forest floor by the trees.
There were 135 species collected and identified during a day and half, there will be a few more added that have been sent to the UBC Herbarium for further classification.
Thanks to all the attendee’s, special nod to Juliet, James and Brandon. The full species list will be posted soon. See you all next year.
Held with gratitude on the traditional territory of the Pacheedaht First Nation, Kleko kleco.
Myco-blitz October 15th-16th
FoCW will be hosting in the Central Walbran a Myco-blitz (fungi identification and count) on Saturday 15th until Sunday16th 2022.
Join us for another weekend in the rain forest with knowledgeable mycologists and FoCW volunteers for a fungi identification and count. With the 2 year deferral for the central Walbran soon to expire and with no clear indication on a way forward towards permanent protection biological inventories are as important as ever.
The Myco blitz celebrates this area’s incredible and precious biodiversity, the strong hold of the ‘ganerderms’. Please pre-register if you are planning to attend.
Friday; Travel in evening.
Saturday; 9.30am Myco hike. 11.30am, meet on W bridge for welcome for those arriving on Saturday. Noon Myco hike,etc.
Sunday; 9.30am Myco Hikes. 3.30 pm pack up and leave.
June 25-26th work group
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.
Bill Jones Gifting
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.
Work Group 13th-15th May
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!
7th Annual Bio-Blitz
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.