Chilliwack Mountain Nature Walk: Saturday August 6th

Learn about the fascinating plants and animals that call Chilliwack Mountain home!

Join us for a Biologist-led nature walk at the little known Hillkeep Regional Park on the top of Chilliwack Mountain. We will explore this scenic park habitat which supports a wide range of species, both common and rare.

We will be meeting 10 am on Saturday, August 6th at the park entrance: turn off Chilliwack Mountain Road on to Grandview Drive, follow Grandview to the top of the hill, then turn right on Hillkeep Place, and meet in the cul-de-sac at the end of this road.

Please wear sturdy walking shoes and bring water and sun-protection or rain gear.
We will be walking rain or shine!

Registration for this free tour is appreciated, but not required.

 

Toadlet Migration 2016

Thanks to all the help from our volunteers and project supporters the toadlets have safely migrated from their wetland breeding pond to their forest home. There were far fewer toadlets killed on the road this year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While we did encounter some challenges with our directional fencing and the numbers of toadlets migrating were less this year, we were really happy with their acceptance of the tunnel as a safe way to cross under the road. Yet again we learned some important lessons from the toads this season, and we will use this information to continue to improve the crossing. We are optimistic that we will have an even better fencing solution in place that will help direct the toadlets next year. We also expect the migrating numbers will likely return to a more normal (higher) level in 2017, based on past migration trends.

The local papers had some good coverage of the event:

Chilliwack Progress

Chilliwack Times article and a great video showing the toadlets in action!

 

 

 

 

Ryder Lake Amphibian Fencing Day – looking for volunteers for Wednesday June 15th

We are looking for a few energetic volunteers to help us install directional amphibian fencing for our Ryder Lake Amphibian Protection Project prior to this year’s migration. We will be working alongside our project partners from Lafarge to ensure the tiny toadlets are directed toward the a safe road crossing location at the tunnel they helped us build last year.  We start at 10 am (Wednesday June 15th) and we anticipate it will take us four hours or so to complete. Lunch will be provided.

The fencing is constructed from silt fencing material attached with staples and screws to wooden stakes which are hammered into the ground. We then lay down hose and attach it to the ground with metal pins to ensure the little toadlets can sneak underneath. The most challenging part of this work is the uneven ground and navigating over fencing and working on some steeper slopes to secure the fencing well with no gaps anywhere.Volunteers must be prepared to work in hot conditions (please bring water) and will need work gloves and good footwear (hiking boots recommended).

If you are interested in volunteering for this project please respond to this email to obtain further details. To ensure we have enough supplies and directions (there is no cell service at this location) we require volunteers to sign up with us ahead of time.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email or call 604.625.0066.

Calling all Summer Students – Amphibian Assistant Wanted!

 

 

We are accepting applications for a Student Conservation Steward to assist us with our amphibian-related projects this summer. The successful candidate will work alongside our Junior Biologist to learn and help with:

  • Recovery of the highly endangered Oregon Spotted frog in locations throughout the eastern Fraser Valley. This includes: bullfrog surveys and control, data entry and management, field equipment care and maintenance, trapping amphibians in restored habitats, as well as educational outreach to landowners and the general public.
  • Juvenile Western Toad migration monitoring, participating in the installation of fencing to direct migrating amphibians, as well as coordinating and supporting the volunteers assisting with the Ryder Lake Amphibian Protection Project.
  • Management of the FVC conservation properties including invasive species control and maintenance, helping with community outreach events, and promoting conservation values to the community.

This position is a great opportunity to gain experience in the conservation field. This type of work often involves slogging through wetlands, where you will be muddy and wet all day. Alternatively, sometimes the weather is fabulous, which means long hot days working in areas with little or no shade, and lots of bugs! Amphibians like to be out at night, so that means we often work all hours of the day as well. While we ensure our staff are well prepared and have all the field gear they need, this type of work requires someone with good stamina, and an optimistic attitude and a strong sense of humour.

While we do not require extensive previous work experience, we will be seeking candidates that have some experience (work, volunteer or academic) in the following areas:

  • Physically fit and comfortable working outside in all weather conditions
  • Keen interest in local conservation issues
  • Native flora and fauna identification knowledge
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills
  • Must have access to a reliable personal vehicle as you have to be able to get to the daily meeting locations in both Mission and Chilliwack (areas where public transportation is not an option)
  • Must be willing to work a flexible schedule (which can include evenings and weekends) to coincide with amphibians’ activities and public events

Additional qualifications that will be considered an asset:

  • Knowledge of amphibian biology, wetland ecology and species at risk issues (especially local species and ecosystems)
  • Field work experience; including monitoring methods, data collection, data analysis and technical reporting
  • Streamkeeper or other related volunteer experience
  • GIS knowledge and basic mapping skills
  • Experience coordinating volunteers and hosting events
  • Experience with construction projects (such as fence building)

This position is funded through the Canada Summer Jobs program; therefore, all candidates must meet the following qualifications in order to be considered:

  • Currently enrolled in post-secondary education (must have been registered full-time in the previous academic year and returning to full time studies in September 2016)
  • Be between 15 and 30 years of age (as of June 13th, 2016)
  • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred and be legally entitled to work in Canada

The amphibian assistant will be hired as a term employee starting after June 13th and ending August 27th, 2016. The rate of pay will be $14.00 per hour, 40 hours per week. Due to the short-term, timing-dependent nature of this work, the assistant is expected to be available 5 days a week for the entire work term.

To apply please email a resume and cover letter clearly outlining how you meet the above requirements through the link on the FVC website or directly to joanne (at) fraservalleyconservancy.ca (please ensure you put Student Conservation Steward Application in the subject line). Resumes will be accepted until 8:00 am Monday 30th, 2016. Applicants who meet the criteria for an interview will be contacted by June 1st and interviews will take place the week of June 6th.

Unique opportunity to work for the FVC – we are searching for our next Project Coordinator!

We are looking for the right person to join our team and help us implement a wide variety of conservation-focused projects. This is a rare opportunity to have full-time work with an organization whose mandate is to protect and enhance the biodiversity of the Fraser Valley.

We have spent the last two years developing this role, and we are now looking for a new biologist to take over and continue to advance this important work.

 

The job description is relatively straightforward, as there are three main areas of focus:

Expertise and support for our outreach program.

This includes producing informative property reports for private landowners including simple maps and habitat features; assisting with the design and accuracy of outreach materials; providing engaging and informative talks to a wide range of audiences (from academics to pre-schoolers); working with staff and contractors to provide data management support and solutions; creating and updating informative website and social media pages; and promoting the Fraser Valley Conservancy and our mandate in a cooperative and positive manner.

Advise and actively participate in the land management of our conservation properties.

This includes completing detailed baseline reports, writing and updating management plans as necessary; physically implementing invasive plant control as well as habitat enhancement and restoration work; recruiting and supervising staff, students and volunteers who are assisting with the property management activities; completing inventory surveys of sensitive species that occupy our properties; and addressing any other land management issues as they arise, including fostering relationships with neighbouring landowners.

Coordinate the ongoing Ryder Lake Amphibian Protection Project.

This includes adaptive management of the toad tunnel and its directive fencing; implementing and analyzing the monitoring methodology for the effectiveness of crossing structure; coordinating and supporting volunteers to assist with the project; writing ongoing funding applications and technical reports; sharing knowledge with other like-minded organizations, media, and industry partners.

The formal details are:

  • one-year term employment (renewed annually), based on a 32-hour per week schedule (additional hours may be available based on other work secured)
  • must be available to work evenings and weekends (for survey work and the occasional weekend event) when needed
  • initial pay range ($20-25/hour) based on experience and skills
  • must have a reliable vehicle that can be used for work (applicable mileage is reimbursed), our office is based in Mission and public transit is not an option for any of our work in the valley
  • ideally we would like to fill this position by June 13th, but can be flexible with the right person

If you think you have the skills and dedication to be considered for this position, please submit a cover letter outlining how the experience listed in your attached resume demonstrates your suitability.

We do not have a preference for the type or level of post-secondary education you have, or the number of years you have worked with a specific species or area of expertise. The quality of your experience, skill set, and ability to communicate how you can support the conservancy’s work will be used to evaluate your eligibility for this position.

We are looking for someone who will grow with our organization, propose effective and creative solutions, be highly organized, all while being diplomatic and enthusiastic. We encourage our employees to pursue their areas of interest and support them with continuing education and a positive work environment.

We will be accepting applications until 8:00 am Friday, May 27th, and interviews will take place the following week (June 1st and 2nd).

Please submit all applications directly to Joanne(at)fraservalleyconservancy.ca.

2015 Overview

Not nearly as interesting as photos of amphibians or our staff doing cool stuff, but important never the less!

Below are links to our 2015 financial statements and the year in review presentation from our AGM last month. It was another successful year of the FVC – working with our amazing partners, funders and volunteers in our continued efforts to protect the biodiversity of the Fraser Valley. New for 2016, we once again have a formal office space in Mission. We are in the office most days, if you plan to stop by, please call first to ensure someone is there, and we aren’t out helping toads or counting snails!

2015 Financial Statements

2015 Year in Review Presentation

 

Windebank Creek Spring Work-Party: Saturday Feb 27th at 9am

Okay so it might not be spring quite yet…
but we want to get a head-start in our ongoing battle against the blackberry and build nest boxes for the birds, bees and bats to use this coming year!

A great group of BCIT students have been helping us with a restoration plan for our section of Windebank Creek. They are organizing a Windebank Creek Maintenance and Nest Box Building Event the morning of Saturday February 27th.
Come out and help us cut blackberry, we will be targeting the new emerging shoots, and hopefully tackling the upstream section. Plus you can help provide habitat and attract pollinators to the creek by constructing bird, bat and mason bee nesting boxes. Kids can help too!
Light snacks will be provided. This event is rain or shine so please dress appropriately for the weather and ensure you are wearing sturdy shoes or boots. We will have some supplies but please bring clippers and gloves if you have them.

This event will take place at the usual location: the dead end at the west end of Logan Street in Mission (you will see the gate to our property which lies below the mall at the Northeast corner of Lougheed and Cedar Connector).

If you can confirm you will be attending  that would be great, send us a quick email to let us know so we have enough supplies on hand. If you want to just decide and show up on the day, that is fine too – the more the merrier!

Spring Break Job Shadowing Opportunity with the Oregon Spotted Frog Project!

Are you a grade 11 or 12 student (or know one) in Mission, Abbotsford or Chilliwack who is interested in getting into a career in conservation biology? Did you see the Chilliwack Progress article and think this may be a great learning experience?

If so, check out this great opportunity to learn from the biologists working with the highly endangered Oregon spotted frog during Spring Break. This is a temporary paid position with the Fraser Valley Conservancy from March 14th to 25th, 2016. Full training and field gear will be provided. You do not need to have previous experience, just a willingness to learn and great enthusiasm for the outdoor environment.

Send your resume to Aleesha@fraservalleyconservancy.ca by March 1st to be considered for this opportunity.

OSF spring break 2016

FVC AGM Tuesday February 16th, 2016!

In an effort to avoid having to take care of society business during the busy summer field season, we will be holding our Annual General Meeting (AGM) much earlier this year (February 16th). If you are interested in volunteering for a position on our board please email us, the board nominating committee will be meeting on January 26th and will be considering applications at that time.

Annual General Meeting

February 16, 2016 7:30 pm
33179 2nd Avenue, Mission BC
Join us at our Mission office to hear and see
what we’ve been up to this past year!
  • We will present information on the projects we have been working on this year.
  • You can meet the FVC staff, Directors, and members.
  • Participate in society business including election of board members.
  • Annual $10 membership fee will be collected at the door, guests are also welcome.

Meet and greet starts at 7:00 pm and the AGM will commence at 7:30 pm.


 

Another inspiring day at Windebank!

One of the best things about working in the conservation sector is witnessing first-hand the amazing ability of nature to rebound and the dedication of community volunteers to help out. This was reinforced to us yet again during our latest work party at Windebank Creek this past weekend…

Our great group of volunteers!

Our fantastic group of volunteers!

This salmon bearing stream in Mission has been continually impacted by us humans: it has been diverted from its original course to create enough land to build a shopping mall; its natural channel width has been limited by land use of the surrounding landscapes; it was illegally cleared of it riparian vegetation in 2008; it regularly experiences large amounts sediment and debris washing downstream during heavy rain events which alters the stream bed; and yet, the salmon continue to return to spawn every year!

It was great to have our regular volunteers return along with lots of new faces help us clean-up our section of Windebank Creek on Saturday. We continued our battle against the blackberry which will allow the native plants to establish themselves and eventually out-compete the blackberry. This will ultimately create a more diverse riparian habitat to shade the stream and provide habitat for non-aquatic species, and we can already see areas of improvement. We repaired sections of damaged fencing and removed a pick-up truck load of garbage from the site; we are installing sensitive habitat signage in an effort to dissuade the ongoing inappropriate use of this property.

We learned about the work the Mission of Stream Streamkeepers group has been doing monitoring the site (8 spawning Chum counted along this stream last week, and 37 the week before!).

Learning about the Mission of Streams Streamkeepers work!

Learning about the Mission of Streams Streamkeepers work!

A group of BCIT Ecological Restoration students have taken on the site for their project and will be doing all sorts of interesting surveys and restoration work on the site in the coming year. It is very exciting to see all the enthusiasm to help this site return to a functioning ecosystem.

BCIT students on their search to find out what kinds of salamanders might be on the site

BCIT students on their search to find out what kinds of salamanders might be on the site

Thanks everyone!