Have you noticed that past summers have been lacking a particular “buzz”? Our bees are in a lot of trouble. Neonics are being used as a pesticide which has been causing worldwide colony collapse. It’s extremely sad and a serious issue. BUT something exciting is happening. Health Canada is proposing to make changes to how we use neonics in Canada. We demand that they be banned. Continuing to use these toxic pesticides will destroy the very ecosystem in which our food systems rely on. Health Canada wants to hear from you!
This is our chance to #savethebees don’t miss out, follow the link in the bio to write in today!
Ursus Valley Winter Expedition Dec. 1994. Pulling research camp supplies up the Ursus River.
Located right in the geographic heart of Clayoquot Sound is the 6,567 hectare Ursus Valley, a never-clearcut watershed, blanketed in towering moss-hung trees and rich in wildlife and salmon. This still-wild valley is part of Ahousaht First Nations' territory.
In 1993 Macmillan Bloedel logging company sought a permit to quickly build a logging road up the Ursus Valley and across a mountain pass in order to access timber in the neighbouring Bulson Valley.
In the spring of 1995 the Wilderness Committee published a paper with the Ahousaht First Nation on the Ursus Valley and launched a campaign for supporters to write to Premier Mike Harcourt and opposition leader Gordon Campbell telling them to protect the Ursus Valley.
These little critters were found in remaining western Manitoba short-grass prairie. We think it's Bombus Rufocinctus and the Cabbage White Butterfly.
Pollinators are responsible for one out of every three bites of food we eat, and they contribute billions of dollars to our economy every year. They are critical to the survival of over 80 per cent of flowering plants, including numerous fruits, vegetables and other common crops such as apples, tomatoes, coffee, tea, blueberries, squash and beans.
Here in Canada, honey bee colonies have experienced a large number of deaths in the past few years, and according to the Canadian Honey Council, Canada has lost 35 per cent of its bees annually since 2010.
While there are many different threats facing pollinators today – from parasites and bacterial infections to loss of habitat and monoculture crops – the deadly effects of a specific class of pesticides is causing increasing concern among beekeepers and scientists. These pesticides are called neonicotinoids "neonics", and their harmful impacts to bees are slowly being recognized all over the world.
The Wilderness Committee is joining other bee advocates across the country to push for a complete, nationwide ban on these bee-killing pesticides – before it’s too late.
Photo: @ericredergwac .
Yesterday was #NationalBirdDay here's a picture of two spotted owls huddled on a branch looking at something on the forest floor.
Photo by: @isabellegroc
In Canada, the endangered northern spotted owl is found only in the southwestern corner of British Columbia. This handsome medium sized owl, with its unusual dark-brown eyes, relies on old-growth forests to roost, nest and forage.
Due to ongoing logging of the old-growth forests of southwestern British Columbia scientists estimate that less than a dozen owls now remain in the wild in Canada. The historic population of spotted owls in Canada is estimated to have been 500 pairs.
Because of the declining numbers of the northern spotted owls, the Wilderness Committee is asking for: -The recovery of spotted owls to 250 birds as recommended by the Spotted Owl Recovery Team.
-The protection of all occupied and unoccupied intact spotted owl forest habitat.
-The recovery of fragmented spotted owl forest habitat.
-A total of enough protected forest habitat to accommodate 250 spotted owls.
We're celebrating wildly at the Wilderness Committee because BC is ending the grizzly bear hunt completely!
The government has just announced a complete ban of the grizzly bear hunt effective immediately. The Wilderness Committee and a majority of B.C. residents have been asking for a ban to this barbaric hunt for more than 20 years.
Clearly the people of BC have asked for this for a long time. We're very grateful that the government has finally stepped up to do what the people have asked for which is an end to this barbaric, bloody sport hunt. This means around 300 grizzly bears each year won't get killed. Now we want to see the government aggressively working to re-establish the populations where they're dangerously low or gone altogether. The next step is a combination of habitat protection and, in emergency cases grizzly bear relocation to bring the numbers back up. The province needs to establish standalone endangered species legislation if the grizzlies are going to have a chance at survival and recovery.
Photo: Isabelle Groc
Salmon farm in Clayoquot Sound
The BC salmon farming industry has a long history of poor practices, which are exacerbated by poor government regulation. Regulation of fish farming in BC was transferred in 2011 from the provincial to the federal government. However the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) has conflicting mandates. On the one hand they are supposed to regulate the aquaculture industry, while on the other they are supposed to promote it. They seem to be leaning toward promotion to boost international trade, rather than regulation to protect wild fish stocks. - Friends of Clayoquot Sound
Located behind Shawnigan Lake, the Koksilah Grove is one of the best stands of old-growth Douglas-fir left anywhere, and is relatively accessible. Surprisingly, a few of the guys had never been there, so we packed up and headed out.
Along the way, we chatted and joked around, but when the trail turned and we walked between the first of the giants, the mood instantly changed. All conversation stopped, and everyone wandered around, staring upwards, feeling the awe that only an old-growth forest can inspire. I even caught a couple of them with their mouths wide open.
Watching my friends, I was reminded of famous world wonders that I’ve been lucky enough to see, like Machu Picchu or Niagara Falls. And that struck me as weird, because these weren’t tourists I was with – they weren’t visitors from faraway, less-forested places – they were all locals who grew up in the coastal temperate rainforest.
Koksilah River Grove is one of the last stands of old-growth Douglas Fir forests on the island and it is still unprotected. This beautiful grove is located about 60 minutes from Victoria, near Shawnigan Lake. Did you know that old-growth Douglas Firs have been reduced to 1 percent of their original numbers here on Vancouver Island? - Torrance Coste, Vancouver Island Campaigner
Photo credit: Jacob Wise
"Toad People" screening at Science World tonight at 6:45. Event ticket link in bio.
The story of people like Steve Clegg and other families and communities across BC who are taking action to save the wildlife in their backyard, whether it’s toads, mountain caribou, rattlesnakes or barn owls.
Their work is immense. Because despite having some of the most diverse wildlife in North America – including 1,900 species at risk – British Columbia is one of only two provinces in Canada with no endangered species law.
For the last six years, co-directors Mike McKinlay and Isabelle Groc have documented intensive community efforts to save species at risk in British Columbia and explored the urgent need for a BC endangered species law. Today, they bring those stories and the people behind them together in "Toad People."
Picture - Isabelle Groc, BC Species Outreach Coordinator
Further south on Vancouver Island, in the unceded territory of the Pacheedaht Nation, sits Kaxi:ks, or the Walbran Valley. The old growth rainforest is still being clearcut by Teal Jones logging company despite public outcry, blockades and extensive campaigning by the Wilderness Committee and others.
For the past two summers, we’ve partnered with the grassroots Friends of Carmanah/Walbran to build boardwalks and trails into Teal Jones’ planned cutblocks. Because of these efforts, thousands of citizens have seen and borne witness to the ten-thousand-year-old ecosystem Teal Jones wants to liquidate for profit.
This year, we partnered with the Friends on three trips, building boardwalks and expanding trails into several different parts of the Walbran. .
The long journey that salmon take every year has always amazed me. Small and vulnerable, juvenile salmon make their way from streambeds to the open ocean. Years later, they somehow find their way back to spawn in the same rivers where they were born. Their four-year journey from birth to death takes them from rivers far in the interior to the deep ocean and back again. During their amazing life cycle they play a critical role in nourishing the people and wildlife of this province. First Nations people, orcas, eagles, bears, and our forests all depend on the life-giving feast of wild salmon. They are the knot that ties our ecosystems together, the foundation that everything else is built on.
Wild salmon used to be plentiful in hundreds of rivers across B.C.. Habitat destruction and urban sprawl have created many “lost streams” where salmon used to breed, but no longer do. Over the last 10 years, the rate of return in the key Fraser River run has been steadily declining. Last year’s devastating collapse of the very same run that is so bountiful this year shows us just how fragile salmon are—and how little we know about the systems that support them.