Windebank Work Party this Weekend – September 13th and 14th

It looks like it is going to be sunny and we’re still looking for more helpers for the restoration work in Windebank Creek this weekend. Come help us out!

Here are the details…

The plan – 3 Shifts (volunteers can participate in as many shifts as they are comfortable with):

  1. Saturday 9:00 am to 12:00 pm  (lunch will be served for all participants between 12 and 12:30)
  2. Saturday 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm
  3. Sunday 9:00 am to 12:00 pm (hopefully we will be done at this time otherwise we will be working later this day as well)

The work:

  • we will be moving gravel, rocks and wood by hand, buckets and wheelbarrows to predetermined sites along the creek
  • our DFO project partner (Al Jonsson) will provide instruction on how to build each rock weir and wood complexes
  • volunteers will work in groups of 2 or 3 to build the structures (with help as required) – it is our goal to build at least 10 of these structures
  • for volunteers who are not comfortable lifting heavy objects or working in the stream we have lots of other tasks you can help us with such as much needed help with our ongoing battle to control the invasive plants on the property and general property maintenance tasks

What to bring:

  • Gumboots if you want to work in the stream, hiking or good shoes if you are going to stay out of the stream – NO OPEN TOED SHOES ALLOWED ON THIS PROPERTY for your safety reasons!
  • Dress for the weather, it looks like this lovely sunny stretch will continue through the weekend, so don’t forget sun protection and a water bottle (we will have a water jug on site for refills)
  • If you have gloves and pruners please bring them too – we have a few for people to borrow as well

Where to meet:

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 that is on the Northeast corner of Lougheed and Cedar Connector.

Upcoming work on Windebank creek in Mission!

We are ramping up to do some exciting restoration work along Windebank creek where it runs through our conservation property in Mission in early September. This creek (and the salmon that use it) suffered a serious setback in 2003 when it was illegally logged after being historically diverted and channelized years prior . The surrounding land was donated to the FVC in 2011 and we have been working hard ever since to restore this site. We will be looking for lots of volunteers to help us out for the next phase of restoring this important habitat.

 

This year we have partnered with the Mission Streamkeepers group (Mission of Streams), Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and received funding support from the Pacific Salmon Foundation to help restore this degraded section of creek that provides valuable spawning and rearing habitat for Coho, Chum, and Cutthroat.

We will need a small army of volunteers to make this project happen in time for the salmon that are soon to return to spawn!

In particular we are looking for:

Volunteer Streamkeepers

Streamkeepers help with the invertebrate sampling (4-6 hrs) and fish sampling (1-2 hrs 2 days in row) and monitoring of stream health before and after the proposed works. Volunteers with a basic knowledge of invertebrates would be especially helpful but otherwise patience, curiosity and a willingness to get wet are a must for volunteers interested in this type of work. Diane will provide necessary training and supplies; this will be an ongoing monitoring project for the creek so it is best suited to residents of Mission who are looking for an ongoing commitment.

Restoration Volunteers

We will be needing lots of physically strong, enthusiastic and durable volunteers to help us with the in stream restoration work on the weekend of September 13th and 14th. We will be moving wood and rocks by hand into the stream, building weirs and improving the complexity of the stream bed.  This will make the creek more suitable as fish habitat. Training, supplies, and refreshments will be provided, volunteers just need to bring appropriate clothing, boots and work gloves as well as their muscles and a keenness to learn how restoration work is done first-hand!

If this sounds like something you would like to help us with please email us and we will follow up with additional instructions and details.

Name Announced for our Newest Conservation Property – THREE CREEKS it is!

Some of the great name suggestions:

Name Suggestions

Since we acquired it last year, we have been referring to our newest property acquisition as merely McKee Peak (based on its geographic location on Sumas Mountain). This summer we have been soliciting input from our members, neighbours, and online followers for name suggestions. There was a huge range of various suggestions; ranging from simple to obscure and some even comical! But in the end the FVC board elected to go with the elegantly simple “Three Creeks”. This name really sums up why this property was donated as conservation land and the moist hillside forest habitat that makes it such a special place.

We’re always on the lookout for Super-Humans!

“It’s nice to see the recognition,” Clegg told The Progress about the Superman award from Fraser Valley Conservancy.   - JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS FILE

Check out this link to the story in the Chilliwack Progress about Steve – one of FVC’s outstanding volunteers.

The FVC depends on dedicated volunteers to help implement our conservation efforts. In addition to the amphibian monitoring, we are always looking for help on our properties with: controlling invasive species, planting native trees and shrubs, assisting with mapping and surveys, and anything else that needs to be done!

To sign up to be a FVC volunteer please enroll in our volunteer email list here: volunteer sign-up form

Summer Celebration at our McKee Peak property!

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In June we hosted a barbeque for the residents of Ledgeview Estates and the FVC members to celebrate the acquisition of our newest property. The event was a chance for our new neighbours to get to know the FVC staff and members as well as a chance for everyone to learn about the ecological values of the property, so we can work together to help protect it for years to come.

In addition to having educational displays, a conservation biologist from one of our partner organizations (Pamela Zevit of the South Coast Conservation Program) provided guided tours of the property pointing out some of the rare species and unique habitat features.

Membe032rs and neighbours also helped us plant young Western Red Cedars and Big Leaf Maple trees to further enhance the habitat and compensate for some of the trees recently cleared in the adjoining housing development. Each new tree was protected by individual fencing because the resident deer population has a significant browsing effect on any young trees trying to establish themselves.

planting

Thanks to Tiffany at Birch Grove Nursery, we had native plants on  display that make excellent examples for nature-friendly gardens. The plants were a prize for our raffle draw and were won by one of our new neighbours who was excited to add them to her garden that backs onto the conservation property!

RBC staff from the Sumas branch volunteered there time and Blue Water supplies to ensure this event was a success – huge thanks to Melina, Jacqueline and their super-helper Grayson!

 

 

Conservation Intern Opportunity!

The Fraser Valley Conservancy (FVC) is accepting applications from qualified candidates for our Science Horizons Intern position. The intern will be working on the first year of a three-year project with great opportunities for growth and project development in future years.

We are looking for a flexible, curious, independent and personable employee who can grow into project management roles. The intern will work with a diversity of personalities in challenging conditions, and will need to be able to think on their feet. This is a fantastic position for an eager, energetic recent graduate with a strong interest in wildlife, plants, and field work. Days will be long, hot, cold, wet, muddy, and buggy. An optimistic attitude, good humor and laughter are crucial – must be able to rock a smile through bug hats! If wet, slimy and up to the shoulders in muck sounds like fun to you, please apply.

Description of Work:

Field duties in the early summer will include night-time turtle nesting surveys, bullfrog surveys and control programming, data entry and management, field equipment care and maintenance, etc. Late summer activities will include assisting in habitat construction projects and trapping turtles and amphibians. Fall activities will include planting at restoration sites and wrapping up summer projects. Winter months will be spent reporting on completed works, managing databases and developing project plans for upcoming seasons. Spring field work will include amphibian egg mass surveys and capture-mark-recapture field work. Training will be provided but the intern will then be expected to work independently approximately 30% of the time. Waders and field equipment will be provided.

As the summer field work will be mainly in the eastern Fraser Valley, the intern will be expected to stay in field accommodations while working in the area. The field work will be completed in all weather conditions, much of it at night in the early summer.

Applicants must be physically capable of performing physically demanding tasks such as walking long distances in mucky sites, paddling canoes and kayaks, lifting and transporting canoes and kayaks, carrying field equipment, etc.

The intern will be hired for 1576 hours (approximately 10 months) to work full-time (40 hours/week) on various species-at-risk projects in the Fraser Valley, from June 16th, 2014 to March 31st, 2015. Rate of pay will be $18.00 per hour.

Work Duties:

The intern will work with and be mentored by project biologists working towards the recovery of endangered wetland species in the Lower Mainland of BC. The intern will be assigned duties such as, but not limited to:

  • Invasive species control
  • Bullfrog control and monitoring
  • Trapping amphibians and reptiles
  • Western Painted turtle nest monitoring
  • Telemetry tracking of turtles and frogs
  • Data entry, data management, technical reporting and project planning
  • GIS mapping
  • Habitat restoration
  • Environmental monitoring of construction sites

Qualifications and Requirements:

This is a Science Horizons funded internship, therefore in order for an applicant to be considered they must meet the following criteria (these are non-negotiable):

  • Are aged 30 years or under as of June 16th, 2014
  • Have graduated from a university, college, post-secondary school of technology, post-secondary institution
  • Are legally entitled to work in Canada (Canadian citizen, permanent Canadian resident status, hold a valid Canadian work permit to work on a full time basis, or granted refugee status in Canada)
  • Will not be in receipt of Employment Insurance during the internship
  • Will not be in school during the internship

In addition, we are looking for the following required skills and qualifications:

  • Environmental sciences degree
  • Minimum of two seasons’ experience in related field work (paid or volunteer); including monitoring methods, data collection, analysis and reporting
  • Knowledge of wetland ecology and species at risk issues
  • Local plant identification knowledge
  • GPS knowledge and basic mapping skills
  • Animal handling experience
  • High level of comfort working in remote areas in the presence of wildlife and livestock
  • Outstanding communications skills, verbal and written
  • Strong note-taking skills (attention to detail, legible handwriting)
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently
  • Access to a reliable personal vehicle to use for field work purposes (neither the office, nor the work sites are accessible via public transit)
  • Willing to work a flexible schedule including nights and weekends, often outdoors under all weather conditions, and regularly staying overnight in field camps.

Additional qualifications that will be considered assets:

  • Knowledge of amphibian or reptile biology
  • GIS skills and experience
  • Good examples of completed field studies or monitoring reports
  • Experience coordinating field crews, students, and/or volunteers
  • Experience overseeing construction projects
  • Experience facilitating a wide range of stakeholders
  • Knowledge of species at risk and other sensitive ecological issues in the eastern Fraser Valley
  • Understanding of the agricultural sector
  • Canoeing or kayaking experience
  • Applicants with local knowledge and ties to the Fraser Valley or Lower Mainland will be preferred

To apply:

Submit a cover letter, which clearly outlines how you meet the above requirements, and corresponding resume to applications@fraservalleyconservancy.ca. Please ensure to include the position being applied for in the subject line.

Applications will be accepted until 8:00 am Monday May 26th, interviews will be conducted May 28th and 29th. Only applicants short-listed for the interview process will be contacted.

Student Work Opportunities at FVC!

The Fraser Valley Conservancy (FVC) is looking for two university students to work as Conservation Stewards on various FVC projects this summer.

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The projects will include the Ryder Lake Amphibian Protection Project (RLAPP), McKee Peak conservation property surveys, Windebank Creek restoration, and community outreach events. The students will work under the supervision of FVC staff and will work alongside volunteers.

Duties will include: assisting with the monitoring of the juvenile Western Toad migration; participating in the design, installation and monitoring of an amphibian crossing structure in Ryder Lake; and assisting with baseline surveys of FVC conservation properties. Baseline surveys will include vegetation, gastropod, and mammal surveys and the establishment of photo monitoring points. The students will also play a key role in organizing and hosting outreach events, engaging youth volunteers, and promoting conservation values to the community. This job may also involve physical control of invasive plants, planting native species, report writing, and data entry.

These positions are funded through the Canada Summer Jobs program; therefore candidates must meet the following qualifications:

  • 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 2014)
  • Be between 15 and 30 years of age (as of June 2nd, 2014)
  • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred and be legally entitled to work in Canada

In addition, successful candidates should have:

  • Keen interest in local conservation issues
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently
  • Physically fit and able to work outside in all weather conditions
  • Native flora and fauna identification knowledge
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills
  • Access to a reliable personal vehicle to use for work (the FVC office and most of the project sites are not on a bus route)
  • Willing and able to work a flexible schedule (which will include evenings and weekends) to coincide with toad migrations and public events

Additional qualifications that will be considered an asset are:

  • 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
  • GPS knowledge and basic mapping skills
  • Experience coordinating volunteers and hosting events
  • Experience with construction projects (such as temporary fence building)
  • Experience with media relations

Two student stewards will be hired as term employees from June 2, 2014 to August 22, 2014. The students will be paid $12 per hour up to 40 hours per week.

To apply please email a cover letter clearly outlining how you meet the above requirements and resume to applications@ fraservalleyconservany.ca.

Applicants who meet the criteria for an interview will be contacted by May 19th and interviews will take place the week of May 20th, 2014. Resumes will be accepted until midnight, Sunday May the 18th.

Chilliwack River Cleanup Saturday April 12th

Come join the FVC and other groups clean-up the banks of the Chilliwack River this weekend. It is a family friendly event that helps keep garbage out of the environment and provides an opportunity to enjoy the spectacular scenery along our adopted section of the river.

  • Registration starts at 8:30am Saturday April 12th, at the Great Blue Heron Reserve (5200 Sumas Prairie Road, in Chilliwack) we will then head out at 9:30 am to our section of the river (between Slesse Road and the Tamahi Bridge) and we will be done by noon.
  • Please ensure you dress appropriately for the weather!
  • Clean up tools and bags will be provided.

If anyone needs a ride from Abbotsford let us know so we can arrange a carpool. If you have any questions feel free to call 604-625-0066 or email.