A BioBlitz is when ordinary folks wander out into the local woods and wetlands, looking for as many different species of plant, animal, bird and fungus as we can, and take a photo, using the iNaturalist app. When lots of us to it over a short period, it gives us a snap-shot of how Nature is doing.
Please encourage people to participate! There’s a poster here that you can print, and put up in your local area. Keep on reading, below!
Friday April 28th – Monday May 1st – take pictures of wild fungi, plants and animals
Tuesday May 2nd – Sunday May 7th – upload and identify the species in iNaturalist
Results will be announced by May 14th and prizes chosen by the end of May.
To participate in the BioBlitz, you need:
A free I-Naturalist account or app;
A smart phone or camera to capture images or sounds;
A smart phone or computer to upload images or sounds
4. Go to YES BioBlitz 2023 (it does not work using Safari). Create an account, or log in if you have one.
5. Top right, click “Join”
6. If you still have questions, message us in iNaturalist or email us at email@example.com. If you want to chat, leave your number and we will call back.
The area for the Bioblitz includes Ladysmith, South Nanaimo, Cassidy, and our coastal waters to the east as shown on the map below. We are looking at adding more area south of this and will update the site if successful. Note there are many public parks where you can explore and there are reserves and private lands, where you need permission.
All photos and recordings taken during the designated dates and times (6 AM on April 28th to 8 PM on May 1st) in our geographical location will count towards our YES BioBlitz. Of course everything entered in I-Naturalist outside this time-frame is also valuable!
This year’s prizes will be sets of 10 nature cards by the Salt Spring naturalist and artist Briony Penn.
There are great resources on iNaturalist on how to participate as a school group, how to take photos which can be identified, and how to use iNaturalist.
There is a lot of local interest in finding land where we could establish a natural/green burial site in the Yellow Point and Cedar area.
This would satisfy a spiritual need for people who wanted their remains to to rest in the arms of a forest, and an ecological need by protecting an area of forest that might otherwise have been cut down.
To learn more, we invited Cathy Valentine from the Salt Spring Island Natural Cemetery to make an evening presentation, and help us to learn how we could remember a loved-one in a forest that would over time become a towering old-growth forest.
If you are interested, and if you know land that might be suitable, please contact Pamela Walker, 250-245-9155
We invite you to join us for our YES AGM and Potluck Supper. In person, not by Zoom!
We will look back at the past year, and consider our plans for the future. And oh yes, we’ll do the normal AGM things (at 6pm), including inviting new people to join our Board/Team.
It’s at the home of Carolyn Herriot and Guy Dauncey, 13561 Barney Road, off Yellow Point Road – the white house at the bottom of Barney Road. After you go up and down the hill, turn left, park on the road, and walk in! Bring something yummy to share.
Wednesday April 12 , 7pm Sharp-tailed Snakes and other Reptiles of Vancouver Island & Gulf Islands
Join us as the Yellow Point Ecological Society and the Nanaimo & Area Land Trust host biologists Carrina Maslovat and Laura Matthias for a presentation on Sharp-tailed Snake conservation efforts in our region.
Sharp-tailed snakes are a Species at Risk threatened primarily due to habitat loss and habitat fragmentation. Previously thought to be found only in the Gulf Islands, the southern tip of Vancouver Island and one small area of the mainland in Pemberton, sharp-tailed snakes were recently found in the Cedar area.
Find out more about this interesting species, the conservation efforts to protect them, and what you can do to help. They will also talk about other reptiles with whom we share our local habitat.
This is a big project that we have been working on for two years. Our goal is to complete and print a super-useful resourceful guide for all local land-owners and stewards of the land, to guide us as we manage the land and all the co-inhabitants with whom we share it.
This is our Table of Contents. We will gradually add links to pages as we complete them.
The Salt Spring author, naturalist and artist Briony Penn has kindly allowed us to convert some of her beautiful illustrations into greetings cards, which we are selling as a fundraiser for YES. $6 each. Buy 3 or more $5 each. Add $5 for postage if you would like us to mail them to you.
We are not set up for an on-line shop, so please bear with us! The cards shown below are available by all five methods. Various other designs are also available if you visit the three outlets listed in method 1.
Let’s start with a test: what does OCP stand for? Old Cobbler Pudding? Off-duty Celibates Party? No, it stands for Official Community Plan, the draft of which concerns everyone who lives in the Cowichan Valley outside of North Cowichan, Duncan, Lake Cowichan and Ladysmith.
A good OCP is an inspiring vision of a community’s future. A bad OCP is a book of waffle that make your brain weary and includes no commitments to act. We want the good one, not the other kind.
The CVRD planners have written the first draft of CVRD Bylaw 4373, which you can print and read. During April they are offering 14 opportunities to participate in on-line workshops, two for each of seven of the OCP’s eight Goals. You can sign in and register for a workshop here.
It opens with a Vision Statement: “Surrounded by thriving natural environments and farmlands, the Cowichan Valley is a collective of vibrant and distinct communities.” That’s pretty good. It continues: “Our connection to nature is at the heart of our identity … growth is incremental and managed … resilience to emerging trends will define our community’s future.”
So let’s dive in! Goal #1 is ‘Mitigate and Adapt to the Climate Crisis’, and the workshops are on Wednesdays April 13th and 27th, 6pm-7:30pm. Are the actions and policies proposed sufficient to reduce our climate pollution from transportation and natural gas by 40% by 2030, within 8 years? What more is needed? That’s for you to decide.
Goal #2 is ‘Manage Infrastructure Responsibly’, and the workshops are on Tuesdays April 5th and 19th, 6pm-7:30pm. This is about solid waste, recycling, sewage, energy, drinking water, and stormwater. It’s also about our aquifers and watersheds, and ecologically destructive logging practices that cause flooding, harm fish habitat, and wash forest topsoil into the ocean. Go to Cowichan Bay after a massive rainstorm and you’ll see what I mean, as the topsoil from forest clearcuts is washed down the Koksilah River, driving the sealions away and turning the ocean brown.
Goal #3 is ‘Make Distinct, Complete Communities’, which addresses – among other things – the affordable housing crisis. The text reads “Compared to the rest of BC, housing is generally more affordable for owners, but somewhat worse for renters,” which might be true if this was the 1980s. Are the policies sufficient to end the crisis? The workshops are on Wednesdays April 6th and 20th, 6pm-7:30pm
Goal #4 is Expand Mobility Options. This addresses the reality that 90% of our trips are by private vehicle, producing 79% of our dangerous greenhouse gases; that transit is minimal; that safe separated bike paths are few and far between; and that the CVRD has almost no jurisdiction in this area. The OCP also includes measures the CVRD can advocate for, however. How can we make it easier for people travel by bus and bike? The workshops are on Thursdays April 7th and 21st, 6pm-7:30pm.
Goal #5 is Protect and Restore Natural Assets – our forests and rivers, creeks and wetlands. What must we do to protect our watersheds, and the ecological integrity of the forest? How can we protect the frogs, the bees, and the native plants the birds depend on? The workshops are on Saturdays April 9th and 23rd, 10am–11:30am.
Goal #6 is Strengthen Local Food and Agricultural Systems. We all love our farmers, yet we import 95% of our food. What changes are needed so that they can grow much more local food? What would it take for farm workers to be able to live on the farms where they work? The workshops are on Saturdays April 9th and 23rd, 1pm-2:30pm.
Goal #7 is Enhance Regional Prosperity, which is about business, and the supposed need for more industrial land to build warehouses to store all the things we buy from Amazon. How can we make our economy green and circular, with zero waste? The workshops are on Tuesdays April 12th and 26th, 6pm-7:30pm.
Goal #8 is Improve Governance and Implementation, which is how the goals and policies will be implemented and progress will be measured. There are no workshops for this.
If you read the draft OCP you’ll be better equipped to participate. If you have ideas for change, bring them with you. The OCP lays the foundation for our region’s zoning bylaws, local area plans, and development permit areas, so it matters. Ideally, it stands for Obtainable Community Progress. Let’s make it so! See www.planyourcowichan.ca .