Star status biologists and stunning wetlands gather in Smithers, BC

A Wetlandkeepers course was held in Smithers on June 12-14 with our indoor classroom provided generously by the Bulkley Valley Rod and Gun Club. Fourteen participants had the opportunity to listen to guest speaker Jim Pojar, co-author of many of our province’s reference books and respected botanist, deliver a  lecture on plant species found in a variety of wetlands types such as Shallow Waters, Marshes, Fens, Bogs, and Swamps . Both Jim and Rosamund Pojar, whom is also an author on several plant books and well respected naturalist, took the participants through a tour of Jolymore Bog, where they determined it was actually a rich complex of fens, forested fens,  shallow water and marsh.  Years ago, Jim surveyed the site with fellow researchers. He imparted that the fen was in an ancient lake that built up post glaciation with a depth of organic soils greater that are greater than 8 m in depth and organic material near the bottom dated to near 9000 years old. Along the way Jim and Rosamund Pojar

Rosamund Pojar shows off her Dragonfly collection
Rosamund Pojar shows off her Dragonfly collection

identified plants and birds while participants navigated through floating mats and a beaver dam. Once at the marsh site the group took soil samples and began classifying the wetland and plant communities. Rosamund had brought her dragonfly net in the hopes of catching some dragonflies for us, but the rain set in, so she shared her impressive collection instead.

Participants search for Invertebrates

Sunday began bright and early at 0700 at Then’s Marsh where Rosamund led the group in a birding activity: the group formed an impressive list of birds. Coordinator, Neil Fletcher, introduced the Marsh Bird Monitoring Protocal to the group. Next, the group took off to Tyhee Lake where they continued birding, identifying: ducks, loons, eagles, a young Bonaparte’s gull, and more. At Tyhee Lake picnic area Neil gave an brief presentation on invertebrates before the group headed back to the lake to catch their inverts. The group discovered a variety of snails, dragonfly larva, worms, predaceous diving beetles, and amphipods.

After all the morning activities and an early start, the group went off for coffee and lunch before arriving at Willowvale Wetland for the last section of the day: GPS work. The group worked together to map Willowvale Wetland, an attractive marsh,  before returning to the classroom to have a discussion about future plans for the group. The suggestions included an interpretive signage at Willowvale Wetland, and working with communities to build backyard wetlands. The group was inspired to connect to the community. We cannot wait to hear about this group’s success in the future!

For the coverage in the Smithers’ Interior News see page 23 at

Thank you to our Partners and Funders


One thought on “Star status biologists and stunning wetlands gather in Smithers, BC

  1. Sounds like you all had a great time. Our SWAMP program was a direct outgrowth of a similar training event. We are into our second year of wetland inventorying and have done over thirty sites. We are finding some remarkable species, i.e a mushroom that may be new to Canada. See our website

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