President’s Report By Mike Fenger
The Annual General Meeting is the time to reflect on the year past, take the lessons offered, and set the course for the year ahead. This is the strategy used by Don Eastman, our past president, and I will continue in the same manner.
thanks for the effort and energy of all Board members and our two support staff,
Denise de Montreuil, Log Editor, and Tom Gillespie, our
office manager/bookkeeper. Sadly, Santiago Alverez, our office manager for a
good portion of last year, left. Thank you
We remain a Board with eleven directors whose commitment to monthly meetings has produced an amazing level of activity and steady progress. It amazes me how much we get accomplished. It is a truly great team with diversity and experience, a good group to spend some time with, living up to the name “Friends”. Thanks are due to our members whose financial support we truly appreciate and on whose support we depend. And the backbone of the organization is the wardens, to whom we also extend very warm thanks for keeping watch over the ecological reserve system.
The year in review
Supporting the Wardens… Thanks to a steady effort, the Friends, together with MOE staff, completed the up-dated version of the Wardens Handbook which is available at http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/ conserve/er_warden_handbook__24ma y2005.pdf . There are plans to produce hard copies for wardens so they can have something more durable that transports better than home printer versions.
Funding Research… First, thanks to Lynn Milnes for providing continuity with our major funding supporters, without whom we would be unable to support researchers and students. Thanks to Evelyn Hamilton for applying her research background and expertise to review research proposals and make recommendations to the Board on the technical merit of proposals received. In this last year we were able to direct $28,000.00 from our donors to support the following research:
We were also able to support four university students:
Thank you all for contributing to our understanding of natural systems and ecological reserves. We are pleased to have been able to support your work.
outreach… We produced three issues of The Log: Spring,
Autumn and Winter. Check the website for back issues. Thank
you Denise, this continues to be our face to the
world. We completed two successful field trips to Race Rocks
Adolf and Oluna Ceska, who ably provided botanical commentary. Thanks to Mary Rannie and Marilyn Lambert for organizing these trips.
Keeping Effective… We held two meeting with Nancy Wilkin, Assistant Deputy of Environmental Stewardship Division in the Ministry of Environment and we have been in regular contact with Parks staff. I was asked to make a presentation on behalf of FER at a forum on Criteria and Indicators, the abstract is included in this issue (Page 14) and a link to site with the power point presentation is on the Forrex website at www.forrex.org/publications/other/ filereports/C&IForum2006.pdf.
We have completed, or I should say Alison Nicholson has completed, our final draft of the “State of Ecological Reserves of British Columbia”. This report was started as a co-op student work term by Morgan MacCarl who was guided by Peggy Frank, Saila Hull and myself. We so appreciate Alison’s fresh energy and her generous time and considerable skill in bringing this chapter to fulfillment. We will finally be placing the report in that spot we’ve been holding for some time on the web site under current news and issues.
By directly participating in the assessment process last summer, we entered a new relationship with those closest to this largest of BC’s ERs: local guide outfitters the Collingwood Brothers and northern Parks Branch staff. As part of that new relationship a new ecological reserve, Grand Portage, is in the planning stages with field work scheduled this coming summer. BC Parks staff will complete a review of this area, undertake appropriate consultations, particularly with the Tahltan/Iskut First Nations, and advance a recommendation during the coming year. We owe real thanks to the northern Parks Branch staff who worked hard on this difficult long standing issue. Thank you to Janice Joseph and Larry Boudreau as well as to Reg and Ken Collingwood who collectively have brought this boundary issue to a successful conclusion. BC Parks staff will initiate a program to monitor the effects of grazing at the various sites identified that were removed from Gladys Lake Ecological Reserve and added to Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Park. Thanks is also owed to Roberta Reader who provided pro bono legal advice to FER. Thank you Roberta.
The year ahead
Supporting the Wardens: