Thank you to Neil Fletcher and the BCWF, and to the workshop funders for holding a restoration workshop in Kamloops. In the semi arid climate of the Kamloops region, wetlands are vital for the continued existence of wildlife.
At the Stud’s Pasture location the additional ephemeral ponds restored create habitat for amphibians. The presentation by Jocelyn Garner, TRU Spadefoot Toad researcher, talked of the toads life cycle. It was fascinating to see the tiny tracking devices they strap on the toads for research of this threatened species. The lesson in frog calls was challenging but has inspired to me to learn the calls for next spring’s breeding season and be able to monitor my own wetland for BC Frogwatch by identifying frog calls and not just visual sightings.
The Strawberry Hill restoration site will in time show it’s success. As biologist Ernest Leupin explained the area has potential to attract the Sharp-tailed Grouse as well as cavity nesting birds in the mature aspen grove that is near. The pond had been a watering hole for cattle and wild horses and is in a terrible state. So the fencing and cattle access ramp are key to the restoration of this wetland. Many plants, trees and shrubs were thoughfully layed out and planted by the hard working and dedicated participants and of course the hardest working volunteer 83 year old Frank Maydaniuk.
As an Advisor for the Dallas-Barnhartvale Nature Park Wetland Restoration Committee it was very benenficial to have had the participants on site at the nature park to do a lesson in measuring slope and distance. The result of the lesson gave our committee the data needed to pursue our project. This unique wetland restoration is to have 3 wetlands restored on a slope. The classroom lesson by Devon Moore on wetland construction techniques was also relevent to this project as a wetland on a slope requires an earth dam which he had demonstrated to the class.
Historically, prior to these wetlands being in a Nature Park, the wetlands were ditched, dammed, and water diverted. The participants could see evidence of historic ditching and damming at both the sloped site and at the David’s Spring site which was also ditched to divert water to a now dry well that was constructed decades ago.
An engaging presentation by Erin Rutherford of the South Coast Bat Action Team enlightened the group as did her evening bat monitoring activity. Who knew there were so many species of bats! Her knowledge and passion for bats was appreciated by all, especially me, because she tried 3 evenings to detect bats at my wetland unsuccessfully. But not to be deterred, we shall try next spring at bat breeding time.
It was a busy workshop, day and evening with lots of activity, working, learning, networking and making new friends of common interest. The knowledge shared and contacts made for future projects is valuable to continue the conservation momemtum.
Thank you to Eryne Donahue for her continued help with computer instructions on the BogBlog and Flicker!