Construction Update – Day 3

We had another successful day of construction in the community of Ryder Lake thanks to Lafarge. Our talented excavator driver, Jeff, carefully carved out the bank at the ends of the culvert to allow unimpeded access for the amphibians to the crossing structure.  We also added many more loads of road base on top of the culvert after placing concrete rings around the toad “windows”.   The road base was compacted to provide a solid foundation for paving.  More gravel was added into the culvert and Brandon painstakingly spread it out by hand.

Cleaning up the end of the culvert.

Cleaning up the end of the culvert.

Adding road base to stabilize bank at end of culvert.

Adding road base to stabilize bank at end of culvert.

Compacting road base over culvert to create solid foundation for paving.

Compacting road base over culvert to create solid foundation for paving.

Cementing in the concrete rings for the drain covers (toad "windows").

Cementing in the concrete rings for the drain covers (toad “windows”).

The culvert sections now ready for finishing touches.

The culvert sections now ready for finishing touches.

Crossing structure installation – Day 1 and 2

Installation of the amphibian tunnel in Ryder Lake is progressing well!  The fabulous team from Lafarge Canada Ltd. spent day 1 excavating out the road and prepping the site for the culvert installation.  Day 2 started with more site preparation before the very heavy concrete culvert sections started to arrive from Langley Concrete.  In order to span the road, 5 concrete culvert sections were required.  These culvert pieces are too heavy to be moved by an excavator therefore a crane truck was brought in to move the pieces.  An excavator was used to help piece the sections together.  After all 5 pieces were painstakingly pieced together, with some very creative maneuvering, then the excavator started to back-fill the culverts with gravel.  By back-filling part of the culvert with gravel we are reducing how far down the amphibians have to climb to use the crossing structure.  Day 3, tomorrow, will be spent installing the risers for the storm drain “windows” which will allow air movement and moisture into the crossing structure.  We will also be prepping the ends of the culvert for installation of amphibian fencing to help direct amphibians to the crossing structure.  Check back for more updates!

IMG_6904

Excavating the site.

Prepping site for culvert.

Prepping site for culvert.

 

Culvert sections arrive from Langley Concrete

Culvert sections arrive from Langley Concrete

Using the crane truck to move culvert sections into place.

Using the crane truck to move culvert sections into place.

Maneuvering culvert sections into place using crane and excavator.

Maneuvering culvert sections into place using crane and excavator.

Many loads of road base and gravel were trucked to the site.

Many loads of road base and gravel were trucked to the site.

Gravel was spread by hand in the culvert - thanks Dan!

Gravel was spread by hand in the culvert – thanks Dan!

Culvert sections in place and ready for day 3.

Culvert sections in place and ready for day 3.

Elk View Toad Tunnel Construction update

Unfortunately, construction challenges delayed the installation of the amphibian crossing structure on Elk View Road the week of May 19th.  Construction has been rescheduled for June 1 – June 5, 2015. A full road closure will be in effect starting at 7am on Monday June 1st.  Elk View road south of Ryder Lake road will be completely closed during construction (just south of the mailbox pullout).  A map of the suggested detour routes is shown below:

TrafficMgmtPlan2015

Construction update for Elk View road

We ran into a few construction challenges today while excavating for the toad tunnel installation.  Therefore, Elk View is open (temporarily) until we can proceed further with this project.  Please look for construction and detour signage as we will move forward with this project as soon as possible.

Installation of Amphibian Crossing Structure 2015

We have excellent news!  We are finally installing an amphibian crossing structure in Ryder Lake between May 19th and May 22nd, 2015.  Lafarge Canada is volunteering their services to complete the installation.

Artistic rendition of toad tunnel

The crossing structure installation requires a road closure due to heavy machinery therefore Elk View road will be closed south of its intersection with Ryder Lake road (see map).  Traffic will be detoured along Ryder Lake and Huston roads.  Updates on road closures will be available here.  If you have any questions please contact the Fraser Valley Conservancy at projects@fraservalleyconservancy.ca.

TrafficMgmtPlan2015

 

Summer Student Work Opportunities at FVC…

The FVC is looking for two curious, hard-working and keen Student Conservation Stewards to join our team for the summer of 2015!

 

The summer students will work as part of a crew, under the supervision of Fraser Valley Conservancy (FVC) biologists and alongside community volunteers. They will be assisting with:

  • managing FVC conservation properties including invasive species control, restoration work as well as baseline surveys (photo-point monitoring, vegetation, gastropod, and mammal surveys);
  • monitoring juvenile Western Toad migration and participating in the installation of an amphibian crossing structure;
  • working with partner organizations assisting with fish salvage and stream restoration (including bio-engineering); and,
  • organizing and hosting outreach events, engaging youth volunteers, and promoting conservation values to the community.

These positions are a great opportunity to gain experience in conservation field. While we do not require extensive previous work experience, we will be seeking candidates that have some experience (work, volunteer or academic) in the follow 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 the work will take place around the Fraser Valley (Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Mission). The students will be responsible for their own transportation to and from the daily meeting locations in each community
  • Must be willing to work a flexible schedule (which can include evenings and weekends) to coincide with toad migrations 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
  • GPS knowledge and basic mapping skills
  • Experience coordinating volunteers and hosting events
  • Experience with construction projects (such as temporary fence building)

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 2015)
  • Be between 15 and 30 years of age (as of May 25th, 2015)
  • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred and be legally entitled to work in Canada

Two student stewards will be hired (funding dependent) as term employees from May 25th 2015 to August 22, 2015. The rate of pay will be $13.50 per hour, 32 hours per week.

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

Resumes will be accepted until 8:00 am Monday April 20th, 2015. Applicants who meet the criteria for an interview will be contacted by April 24th and interviews will take place the week of April 27th.

Spring Break Employment for High School Students Interested in Conservation in Agassiz!

Are you a grade 11 or 12 student who likes spending time exploring the outdoors, learning new things and getting soaking wet and muddy? Are you fascinated by frogs and wetlands? If so our partners on the Spotted Frog Project have a couple of unique opportunities for the right people. Please note this work is in Agassiz in the Eastern Fraser Valley and is not accessible by public transit – due to this limitation all students must be either based in Agassiz or have the ability (i.e. a car) to get to the meeting site in Agassiz daily.

No phone calls please! Direct all inquiries and applications to applications@fraservalleyconservancy.ca

Student_position_2015

Looking for amphibian detectives!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The amphibians of Ryder Lake are on the move again!  We are currently looking for tough 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 an amphibian crossing structure 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 hunting for amphibians.  Surveys will start after dark and last until the survey is complete, generally 1-4 hours.  You will need warm gloves, waterproof jacket, waterproof pants and boots.  Surveys will be conducted starting in February.  Unfortunately, surveys cannot be planned far in advance as they are completely dependent on rainy weather.

If you are interested in volunteering for this project please e-mail Kendra (projects@fraservalleyconservancy.ca) and you will be added to a contact list.  I will send out a mass e-mail to the contact list with as much notice as possible before each survey.

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

One more work party at Windebank before Winter sets in!

The rains have come, the weirs are working and the salmon are spawning!

Now all we need to do is plant another round of 80 cedar and alder trees in the recently cleared area so they are all ready to grow come next spring. Come join us on Monday, November 10th from 10am to 2pm to help plant and we’ll likely be cutting back the blackberry – yet again!

Al Jonsson, our project partner from DFO will be stopping in at lunchtime to see how the weirs are functioning and will talk about what the fish are currently up to in the creek.

All our work for this planting will be taking place well away from the stream but the ground is still really soggy so gumboots are highly recommended. Please dress appropriately for the weather – its November who knows what it will do! We will have lots of shovels on hand, as well as some extra gloves and pruners.  We will be 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 that is on 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!