Post Secondary Students – Apply Now to Join Our Conservation Team For Summer 2018!


The Fraser Valley Conservancy is looking for TWO exceptional Post-Secondary
Student Conservation 
Technicians to join our team for the summer!



How to Apply:

To apply for this position, please email a resume along with a cover letter that clearly explains how you meet the above requirements, to

Resumes will be accepted until midnight on Sunday, April 1st. Applicants who meet the criteria for an interview will be contacted for interviews the following week.


Save the Date for our 2018 AGM!

Mark your calendars folks, the Fraser Valley Conservancy’s AGM is happening on Wednesday, May 16th, 2018!

We’ll be updating this post with information about the venue, guest speaker and exciting door prizes!

Members, supporters and newcomers welcome.

See you there!

Looking for volunteers who like working on dark rainy nights, looking for toads – Dead or Alive!

With the weather warming up the amphibians of Ryder Lake will soon emerge from their winter hibernation and start their trek to the  breeding pond. We are currently updating our amphibian road survey volunteer list to help us monitor their migration. So if you enjoy cold walks on rainy nights and you would like to learn how to identify the different amphibians as they cross the road we could use your help!

We are looking for volunteers to help with night time amphibian surveys as a component of our Ryder Lake Amphibian Protection Project. The objective of this survey is to determine the effectiveness of our toad tunnel and associated fencing at reducing road mortality. We will be counting live and dead amphibians along a stretch of Ryder Lake and Elk View roads in Chilliwack, BC.

Volunteers must be prepared to walk 6 km in cold, dark and wet conditions while searching for amphibians along the road. Surveys will start after dark generally take 2-3 hours to complete, depending on how many amphibians are out. You will need weather appropriate gear (rain jacket, rain pants, boots or waterproof shoes, gloves).

Unfortunately, surveys cannot be scheduled in advance as they are dependent on rainy weather conditions – the adult amphibians only migrate in the rain! We manage for this by compiling a list of interested volunteers for the season. When it looks like the conditions will be good for a survey (i.e. wet) Sofi will email everyone on her registered volunteer list, requesting help for a specific date and time. The first volunteers who respond will be her helpers for that survey. Usually this e-mail is sent the day before or sometimes even the day of, a survey night.

If you are would like to sign up for this interesting and challenging experience please e-mail Sofi to be added to this year’s volunteer contact list.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to e-mail or call 604-625-0066.

The 2017 Toadlet Tally is in…

As we previously posted, 2017 was an unusual migration year in terms of the routes the toadlets followed to cross the roads to get to the forest. However, nothing like a challenge to keep us learning and ready for anything!

It all started at the end of June…

We were closely monitoring the tadpoles in the wetland so we could anticipate when they would morph into young toads and start their annual migration across the fields and roads. However, at the beginning of July they seemed to disappear and we were unable to locate the tadpoles in the wetland anymore, even though we knew they hadn’t migrated yet. We looked for them along the shoreline and paddled around the accessible parts of the wetland, but no tadpoles were seen. Our resident volunteer toadlet monitor hadn’t seen them in their usual spots either. Then on July 14th we were contacted by surprised landowners who were seeing toadlets on the road on Elk View Road well above (south of) the safe passage area of the toad tunnel.

We are guessing that they had amassed in the shallow south end of the wetland where the heavy aquatic vegetation would have kept them hidden from view. So instead of crossing the hay field at the northern end, where we were waiting for them with the directional fencing and safe passage, they were on the road at the southern end of the wetland, where they were too far from the tunnel to benefit from its safe passage. This made the voluntary detour route more important than ever this year to mitigate the impact of vehicle traffic.

As the migration progressed the toadlets started using other routes as well. There were even toadlets crossing the detour route on Houston Road for several days. They also started using the tunnel and the culvert at the Elk View and Ryder Lake Road intersection; so, some of them were able to benefit from the fencing and tunnel after all. The only road they were not observed on this year was the small section of Ryder Lake Road along the northwestern edge of the breeding pond. There have been records of the toadlets using these other routes in the past, but not on a regular basis.

During the toadlet migration, our summer students helped us collect our road monitoring data, where they counted the live and dead toadlets within predetermined plots along the survey route.

The figure below summarizes the results.

This graph shows that there were similar numbers on Huston Road, where there is no safe crossing in place at this time. You can see that the plots along Ryder Lake Road support the observation that no toadlets were seen migrating across this section of road, unlike 2014 and 2015. Along the length of the green line, which indicates plots within the fencing and tunnel area on Elk View, there continues to be a reduction in numbers from the pre-tunnel hot-spot spikes observed in 2014. We continue to see spikes in the usual areas past the tunnel on Elk View: one right at the southern end of our fencing (which warrants further investigation); and, another one further south in an area that we know attracts the toadlets but the topography prevents us with coming up with a viable safe-crossing solution for this location. The large migration out the south end of the wetland was not captured as part of this graph as it was outside our survey area. This graph gives an idea of the migration trends over the years, however it is only a snapshot of road usage at any given time, absolute numbers require a different analysis.

That brings us to our toad tunnel camera data…

We use a wildlife camera to take pictures at set time intervals during the migration to try and get a better count of the numbers of toadlets that use the tunnel. This results in over 20,000 photos, of which each one is reviewed and all toadlets, and other creatures that crawled and scampered through the tunnel, are counted in each photo.

This is where our small army of volunteers help us sort through thousands of photos to diligently document tunnel usage. We want to send out a big “thank you!” to all these volunteers that make this data collection possible. In total, they counted 7,425 toadlets going through the tunnel, 54 frogs (red-legged and northern pacific tree frogs), and interestingly seven adult toads during the summer 2017 migration.

Given the circumstances, we are pleased that the tunnel was used by at least some of the toadlets. By comparison, in 2016 we counted more than 30,000 toadlets using the tunnel. The observation of the adult toads using the tunnel during the summer was new for 2017, which is encouraging and hopefully a trend that will continue.

This project is truly an example of a community pulling together to steward a species at risk. We are so grateful to our funders, partners, volunteers and Ryder Lake residents who help us save the toads!


Amphibian Fencing Volunteers Needed!


Spring is just around the corner, so once again we are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help install directional fencing for our Ryder Lake Amphibian Protection Project, aka the Toad Tunnel. In the next few weeks the adult frogs, toads, and salamanders will start migrating to the wetland for breeding. We install fencing at this time of year on the forest-side of the road to help direct the adult amphibians towards the safe passage of the tunnel.

The fencing will be constructed from silt fencing material attached to wooden stakes using staples and screws. The most challenging part of this project will likely be working in wet or muddy conditions on a steep slope. Volunteers must be prepared to work in cold or wet conditions and will need work gloves.

We will be onsite at the Toad Tunnel on Saturday March 3rd at 11 am. If you are interested in volunteering for this project to protect some frogs and toads please send Joanne an e-mail or call 604-625-0066 so she can send you further instructions!

Do you have what it takes to be a frog finder?

This positon has been filled. Thank you for your applications. If you are interested in volunteering with the Precious Frog project, follow this Facebook page for the most recent opportunities.

How do you know that spring is almost here? You start to hear the chorus of frogs and you know that amphibian breeding has begun!!!

We are gearing up for the always busy breeding season and looking to add one more member the team to help the Precious Frog project for 5 weeks. To be considered, you must have a positive and eager attitude that won’t get squashed by spending cold wet days tromping around wetlands. You also must have excellent eyesight, observational skills and attention to detail. If this sounds like you read on…

And use this link to submit your application.

Un’frog’ettable spring break opportunity!

Calling all nature lovers and future biologists! It’s just about that time of year again – amphibian breeding season! The Fraser Valley Conservancy is looking for two Grade 11 – 12 students to spend their spring break wading through wetlands to help recover the Oregon Spotted Frog. See the job posting below for details. Send your resume and cover letter to by midnight Sunday, February 11th.


We are looking to expand our team, yet again!

This time we are looking for something a little different…

Are you a people-person who likes things to be well organized, fun and educational? If so, we are on the search for a Communications Assistant who is looking to support our conservation goals and assist in in all aspects of our work in an enthusiastic manner. There are two main components to the job description:

First and foremost is working in our office, supporting the Executive Director as an administrative assistant, helping with the customer service aspects of our organization. This will include responding to general inquiries, corresponding with donors and members, writing fun and informative quarterly newsletters, managing databases, writing grants and assisting with fundraising initiatives. This is a key role to help build our organization and it will be the primary focus of this person’s work.

Second, will be working on various FVC projects, helping out “on the ground” with our field crews. This work will include controlling invasive plants on our properties (physically strenuous work in all kinds of weather), helping with planting  and volunteer events, assisting with field surveys and supporting our project staff where needed.

This will be a one-year term employment (with the intent to be renewed annually), based on a 32-hour per week schedule (additional hours may be available based on other work secured). The initial pay range ($16-$20/hour) based on experience and skills.

We are looking for someone to grow with us and ideally to continue long-term, based on their skills and our needs. This will be an ideal position for someone who has some experience or transferable skills looking to pursue their passion for conservation.

Required Skills:
  • Excellent communication skills (applicants will be tested on this). The successful candidate must be able to write quickly and effectively, be familiar with social media and comfortable with all aspects of Microsoft Office.
  • Experience coordinating volunteers and hosting public events.
  • Familiar with the Fraser Valley and local conservation issues.
  • Physically fit and comfortable working outside in all weather conditions.
  • Must be available to work evenings and weekends (for survey work and the occasional weekend event) when needed.
  • 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.
Asset Skills:
  • Post-secondary education in a related field of study.
  • Customer service and/or fundraising background preferred.
  • Project management experience including grant writing, budget management, due diligence and risk assessment.
  • Native flora and fauna identification knowledge.

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. 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 by providing a positive work environment.

If you think you have the skills and dedication to be considered for this position, please email a cover letter outlining how the experience listed in your attached resume demonstrates your suitability for this position. Applications will be accepted until midnight February 4th, and interviews will occur that week. Ideally, we would like to fill this position by mid-February.




Did you know…our latest ID sheet for Owls is out and ready to be put to use!

As part of our continuing series to highlight both common and rare species that live in our valley, our latest ID sheet is here. Winter is a great time to be on the lookout for the beautiful and fascinating owls. They provide a valuable contribution to our ecosystem by being a safe and natural form of rodent control. Download your own copy of the ID sheet here.

As most of these owls are only out and about in the evenings it is helpful to know what they sound like. Below are the corresponding links to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology audio files:


We are looking for a contractor to help us with habitat evaluation work for the Oregon Spotted Frog


We are on the hunt again…this time we are looking for a new contractor to assist with the Precious Frog Project. Due to staff and contractor changes over the past year, we now have opportunities for someone with the right experience to assist with some components of this project. To be eligible to work for the FVC as a contractor you must be self-employed, possess appropriate insurance, and provide all necessary tools to complete the work.

Currently, we are looking for someone with experience assessing habitat, primarily from a desktop perspective (GIS/orthophoto and other landscape data), to provide an analysis that will help guide population assessment and recovery work of the Oregon Spotted Frog. This document will be created in collaboration with the Oregon Spotted Frog Recovery Team (OSFRT); throughout the process there will be meetings to guide the work. Details are as follows:

Oregon Spotted Frog Habitat Evaluation of Semmihault and Elk Creeks, Chilliwack BC

  • Describe the landscape around new Oregon Spotted Frog (OSF) populations through mapping and summaries;
  • Assess habitat available to support OSF;
  • Identify and classify threats to the OSF population; and
  • Describe and evaluate feasible options to mitigate threats.
  • Complete desktop analysis using GIS and available online resources;
  • Create maps as appropriate;
  • Conduct literature search/review;
  • Interview local governments, community groups (streamkeepers, restoration groups, naturalists), biologists, etc.; and
  • Conduct field visits, as appropriate, to get lay of the land.
Report Topics:

Part 1: Habitat assessment and maps (at watershed scale – all named watersheds containing OSF Critical Habitat in Chilliwack)

  • Water feature types (percentages)
  • Soil profile
  • Water quality (if available)
  • Hydrodynamics (historic profile and identify/describe what influences current modified regime)
  • Vegetation (assessment and classification of riparian area, general context of instream vegetation)
  • Land use type (current and historic; classify to agricultural type, residential, industrial, etc.)
  • History of habitat disturbance, enhancement and restoration

Part 2: Assess habitat available to support OSF based on land use and biological context (at Critical Habitat scale)

  • Oviposition
  • Summer rearing/foraging habitat
  • Overwintering

Part 3: Identify and classify threats to the OSF population (watershed and Critical Habitat scale)

  • Use established threat matrix to identify, classify and describe threats to OSF

Part 4: Describe and evaluate feasible options to mitigate threats

  • Use habitat limitations and threats identified in parts 2 and 3 to propose feasible mitigation opportunities.
  • Successful contractor notified and participates in planning meeting week of November 27th, 2017
  • First draft due February 23rd, 2018Final draft due March 31st, 2018
  • Total maximum budget is $9,760.00 plus applicable taxes

The Technical Advisor for this project is Kendra Morgan, Aquatic Environmental Biologist, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development (South Coast)

The Contract Administrator is Joanne Neilson, Executive Director, Fraser Valley Conservancy,

Interested contractors are invited to submit a concise proposal to Joanne outlining how you would address the above topics and requirements, plus your curriculum vitae, by midnight November 26th, 2017.