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!
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.
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.
FoCW have been working to support the current public interest in forest reform that is happening in Teal Jones TFL 46 which is near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island. The many boots on the ground there means a lot of support for the blockades but also means that a lot of people are visiting the forests, we have been helping to mitigate these visitor impacts by; improving trails, adding boardwalk, wood chips, signage and outhouses. We hope this work in the future will be part of the “big tree tourism” of an alternative economic model. These forests are worth more standing!
We have been working under the guidance of members of the Pacheedaht First Nation and insuring adequate Covid precautions.
As soon as the lifting of Covid restrictions we will be going ahead with public openings of the improved trails, in the so called ‘eden grove’ area at Edinburgh Mt, Bio-Blitz (flora and fauna counts) and other public events.