The Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Ecological Reserves was held at the Victoria Public Library on March 6, 2003.


This year has been an exciting and interesting one for Friends of Ecological

Reserves. We have a website, because we had the good fortune to connect with

GORDON HARRIS who built it for us. We have finalised and completed our

Alpine Placemat with wonderful artwork by a number of well known BC artists

and featuring the work of DONALD GUNN. JANE FRANCIS was kind enough

to provide expert assistance with layout. As in past years, FER have been able to

provide funding for some excellent research in the Province: the interactive

relation work of DR. TOM REIMCHEN and his student KATIE KRISTIE, sea

otter research by DR. JANE WATSON, Vancouver Island Marmot research by

DR. ANDREW BRANT and his team, PAM JENSEN on Saturna Island, and

JAMES MISKELLY’s butterfly research in endangered Gary Oak habitat. We

also helped support a UVic student through the Vicki Husband Scholarship. We

have supported wardens through involving them in the website (thanks for your

letters and photos…there is room for more). We created a space called “Field

Notes” especially for wardens, and others in the field. We have written many

letters to the Honourable Joyce Murray about troublesome things like clear-cutting

adjacent to ecological reserves, the need to protect and maintain our

provincial system of ERs, and the desire to expand ERs when opportunities

arise. We have taken FER members to Trial Island ER to experience the spring

wildflower bloom and learn about rare plants from ADOLF and ALUNA

CESKA. It has been a busy and very exciting year.


None of these things could have happened without the hard work of many

people and the financial contributions of our donors and supporters. We wish

to acknowledge all contributions made to Friends. As President, I would also like

to acknowledge the work done by our Board of Directors: Lynne Milnes, our

ear-to-the-ground vice-president, Nichola Walkden, our champion treasurer,

Marilyn Lambert, who not only organises beach clean-ups and boats for our Trial

Island trip but is also our recording secretary, Evelyn Hamilton, who helped

organise our AGM, Syd Cannings and Sue Carr, who brighten our meetings and

activities as they work around two delightful wee redheads, Don Eastman, our

connection to the university world, Alison Nicholson, who took up the chal-lenge

of webmaster, Bristol Foster, a rock of the organization, Mary Rannie, who

throws her heart into any task she can fit around her symphony schedule and

Pen Brown who keeps records of all memberships in Friends. We have members

who are exceptionally active. Cheryl Borris, a former FER President was very

helpful interacting with Gordon Harris as the website was being constructed.

Diane Wootton, our bookkeeper makes certain that bills are paid and everything

balances. Tom Gillespie helps us get the newsletters to everyone three times a

year. We have been blessed with the energetic work and constant good humour

of our Office Manager Daphne Munroe. Who would ever know that this was

the year she moved into a house of her own complete with a suite that needed

renovation? Finally, the wardens have been our eyes in the Reserves—letting

Friends know if something is amiss. Take a bow everyone who has helped make

the past year memorable and productive for Friends of Ecological Reserves.

This has been a year to say goodbye to some of our hardest workers. After

three years of timely production presenting interesting articles and fascinating

websites, Cheryl Borris has decided not to continue as editor of The LOG. We

hope she will continue to be an active and much valued Friend. After 10 years

of consistent and meticulous work, Pen Brown has retired from his responsibilities

as membership secretary. We have been able to fill both positions. Our new editor is Denise deMontreuil and this is her first LOG. We also said goodbye to

many dedicated and hard working civil servants in the Environment Ministry

and BC Parks. Those faithful friends of the environment that are left seem so

overworked we worry about them. It has also been a year when our families have

experienced death and disease. I would like to express my sympathy for those

experiencing losses and health challenges in 2002/03.


For those who are strong and healthy, I send out a plea. The present Liberal

government chooses not to consult directly with the public. If you have access to

a computer (try your library if you don’t have one at home), check out the

Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection’s website. Look for management

plans for your area. Often these plans are open for comment, but there are few

public meetings. One such draft Management Plan, for the Stikine Country,

included some reference to Gladys Lake Ecological Reserve and therefore it was

important that Friends review the information about continued protection of the

Reserve. If you are not able to access a computer, call the regional office and

locate the senior park planner. They will be able to tell you what planning

documents are being prepared for Ecological Reserves that concerns you. Please

contact FER if there is something that we should address with the Minister. It

is important that our voices be heard. Don’t hesitate to send your comments

directly to the Minister too—The Honourable Joyce Murray. She needs to know

that there are people throughout the province who value Ecological Reserves.

Likewise send comments on other government documents, such as the Working

Forests Paper. Here, comments should be sent to the Honourable Stanley Hagen,

Minister of Sustainable Resource Management. The Board tries to respond to

these papers, but it is the wardens and others in the regions who know what is

happening on the ground and who are aware of regional concerns. Please don’t

stop writing simply because government doesn’t respond to your queries.


Finally—with the help of Eva, Bev, and others from the BC Federation of

Naturalists, it looks like there will be an “Annual Warden’s Meeting” this

September. The plan is that the meeting will take place outside the lower

mainland (Kamloops) and that all wardens will have a chance to meet and

exchange information and ideas as they did about ten years ago. This meeting is

critically important because the wardens continue to be the eyes and ears of

Friends and the government, even though training has been reduced to nothing.

We want everyone to come to the meeting, learn lots, have a good time, and

drive home sober. We shall overcome.


Peggy Frank, President