Guest Speaker: BC Parks History, Sun. Sept. 21, 2014

With recent mining accidents affecting BC’s wilderness and nature reserves, and Kinder Morgan proposing to re-set the boundaries of four provincial parks in order to expand its pipeline system BC Parks are increasingly the subject of public interest and scrutiny. Although most British Columbians take pride in and use their parks, few know their history and fewer still know the development of the policies that have guided the establishment of over 1,000 parks and reserves throughout the province. One of the few individuals who can claim to know and understand our parks is James D. Anderson.

As part of its educational mandate Comox Valley Nature will host a one-hour illustrated lecture on BC Park history and policy by James D. Anderson. He is a retired planner and member of the Council of BC Parks Elders. At a time when BC Parks are increasingly the subject of public debate and concern, as a park planner and author of two histories of BC Parks, James Anderson brings a wealth of experience in the development of BC parks and the policies that have guided their development.

James Anderson is the author of British Columbia’s Magnificent Parks: The First 100 Years (Harbour Publishing, 2011) and a more comprehensive and detailed BC Parks 1911 to 2011: A Centennial, Provincial Parks as Reflective of the Times (2010). Anyone wanting to understand the changes that BC Parks are experiencing today will find this lecture of interest.

This lecture will take place at the Florence Filberg Seniors Centre at 7pm September, Sunday 21 2014.

Comox Valley Nature is a non-profit society affiliated to BC Nature consisting only of unpaid volunteers. CVN fulfills its educational mandate by hosting monthly lectures, organizing free weekly guided hikes for members, and a free monthly walk open to the public. The society also undertakes a variety of environmental projects. Aside from its main activity as a non-profit, Comox Valley Nature also supports specialized groups ( Birding, Botany, Conservation, Garry Oak Restoration, Wetland Restoration, Photography and Young Naturalists Club) all of which have separate monthly activities. Membership in BC Nature and Comox Valley Nature is $30 per adult and $40 for a family.

Founded in 1966, it is one of the oldest environmental societies on the North Island. Meetings and lectures of the Comox Valley Naturalists Society are held on the third Sunday of most months at the Florence Filberg Centre, 411 Anderton, Courtenay. Meetings and guided walks are open to the public, including children and youth. Lecture is free, though a $4 contribution from non-members is appreciated. New memberships are always welcomed.

Anyone interested in this lecture or participating in CVNS activities can also contact Loys Maingon (CVN President) at 250-331-0143.

In the News: Mack Laing House Report

The Mack Laing House Conservation Committee Team was formed in early June 2013 in response to the emergency discovery that the Town of Comox was proposing to demolish Baybrook, at the mouth of Brooklyn Creek in Comox.

Baybrook is Hamilton Mack Laing’s first house in Comox. It was built in 1922. He resided in it until 1949. Mack Laing’s scientific collecting activities for the Canadian National Museum, and his most important and prolific writing coincide with that period of his life. During this period, Mack Laing was at his creative height as a nature writer, producing some 22 scientific articles in major ornithological journals, some 1000 articles in major North American journals and magazines and 14 books, 2 of which were published. This helped Mack Laing establish a large network of colleagues and friends who became associated with Baybrook.

The importance of Baybrook to the cultural history of British Columbia and the Comox Valley gives Baybrook its particular value for Canadian heritage. The conservation of Baybrook is a truly unique opportunity to preserve Mack Laing’s legacy, as entrusted in his will with regards to Shakesides, within a contemporary context.

The Committee consists of environmental, engineering, architectural, heritage conservation, logistics and history professionals, as well as residents of Comox. The response was originally spearheaded by Project Watershed (PW) and Comox Valley Nature (CVN), who have a special stake in the natural history of the Comox Valley and the Comox Estuary. It was subsequently expanded to include a broad range of stakeholders and experts.

The final Mack Laing house report is here. (3 MB pdf file)

The 2013 Mack Laing house report is here. (4 MB pdf file)

BC Nature eNews Sept. 2014


Upcoming Events
  • BC Nature FGM (Fall General Meeting) & Conference – come join us in Beautiful Salmon Arm for great speakers, presentations and outings! Its the 4th year Cycle for the Sockeye at Adams River, a spectacle not to be missed! Information in your Summer Magazine or registration link here Hosted by Shuswap Naturalists
  • Deadline for Club Applications for “Club Support” Grants – January 31, 2015
  • AGM 2015 – Salt Spring Island – May 7 – 10, 2015. Registration information in Winter BCnature issue.
Roberts Bank Terminal 2
Here’s your chance to make a difference! The draft terms of reference for the review panel that will be assessing the environmental impact of this proposed project under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency were released to the public on August 22, 2014. These terms of reference are a very important document in the environmental assessment process. Here’s where you come in. BC Nature members and clubs (and the general public) have until September 22, 2014 to submit comments on the draft terms of reference to CEAA. The document is at link
The terms of reference will establish the mandate of the review panel, its composition, as well as the process and timelines for the assessment. Roberts Bank Terminal 2 is a proposed new multi-berth container shipping terminal to be constructed at the end of the Deltaport causeway, adjacent to the existing coal and container terminals. It would be large, comparable in size to both those terminals combined. Expansion of the causeway, and ancillary structures, would also be required. Roberts Bank is part of the Fraser River Estuary Important Bird Area. The proposed project could have a highly detrimental effect on the natural values of Roberts Bank and could put at risk the ongoing viability of the Pacific Flyway. And the large increase in the marine shipping from Georgia Strait though the Gulf Islands and Strait of Juan de Fuca would also entail significant risks.
We encourage members and clubs to submit written comments. Send your comments to:
Debra Myles, Panel Manager Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency 160 Elgin Street, 22nd Floor Ottawa ON K1A 0H3 Email:
Please send blind copies (bcc) to Trevor Jones ( and the BCN office ( Trevor is gathering members’ input to assist in producing BC Nature’s input to CEAA. Thank you. The draft terms of reference are quite comprehensive, however a couple of items pop out at us as requiring clarification, plus the astonishing omission of any consideration of the environmental risks along the marine shipping route by the review panel. See following: • It is unclear to what extent the environmental effects of the past construction and operating activities at Roberts Bank/Deltaport must be considered by the review panel, in combination with the proposed new terminal. The terms of reference should clarify that the review panel is to consider all environmental effects of the previous activities, right back to the construction of the original Roberts Bank causeway. •The terms of reference should include consideration by the review panel of the significant environmental risks along the marine shipping route due to the more than 1,000 additional annual transits of the route due to this project. The route runs from the Strait of Georgia, through the Gulf Islands and San Juan Islands and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Concerns include increased adverse impacts on the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale population; the route is within their designated critical habitat. Among other things, these animals are sensitive to acoustic disturbance. Another overall concern is the increased risk of shipping accidents with oil spills.
Issue 46
Date September 2014
FGM 2015 and AGM 2016
BC Nature is actively looking for one of our clubs to host FGM 2015 - Late September 2015 and AGM 2016 - early May 2016. Please email if your club has any interest and we can supply all the information you need to present to your board.
Calling all Shutterbugs
HCTF is currently running a photo contest that I thought might be of interest to your members. We are looking for photos of BC wildlife, fish, habitats and people enjoying these resources: you can visit for full contest details.Check out this amazing montage of photographs – Link
Kinder Morgan
Trans Mountain (Kinder Morgan) Burnaby tells Kinder Morgan conservation area is off limits Brian Morton/Vancouver Sun. The City of Burnaby has told Kinder Morgan to stop doing work in the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area after staff discovered the transmission company’s crews with chainsaws and other tree-cutting equipment Tuesday. However, Kinder Morgan spokeswoman Lizette Parsons Bell said in an interview that they are legally within their rights after being granted a permit under Section 73 of the National Energy Board (NEB) Act to conduct engineering and environmental studies for the proposed pipeline route in Burnaby. Burnaby, which opposes the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion proposal, said the trees were being marked by survey crews for removal for the pipeline the company wants to construct between the Alberta oilsands and Burnaby. Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan said the city does not believe Kinder Morgan has a legal right to cut trees in the area. “We think that (NEB) section does n’t overrule city bylaws. Our staff will be back there (Wednesday) too.” Corrigan said “We were prepared to allow them to access this conservation land for non-invasive work that could be repaired over time, but absolutely not to do what they arrived this morning to do — to cut down trees to create helicopter landing pads and sites for drilling bore holes on this protected land.” Burnaby’s legal counsel Greg McDade said in a statement that Burnaby will seek a court order ruling. “Kinder Morgan has not only damaged the Conservation Area in contravention of the law, they have also attempted to interfere with traffic on public roads and to obstruct park staff in their duties. The actions of the company are unprecedented, and they appear to believe they can act as if the rule of law doesn’t apply to them.” Parsons Bell denied that a helicopter pad was being built. “At no time will a helicopter land in the Burnaby conservation area.”Keystone Redux Haunts Trans Mountain as Fight Shifts to Climate Jeremy van Loon and Rebecca Penty/Bloomberg News, Calgary Herald. Kinder Morgan’s expansion of the Trans Mountain conduit linking the oil sands to the Pacific is facing the same kind of backlash that turned TransCanada’s proposed line to the Gulf Coast into a proxy battle against climate change. As with Keystone, Trans Mountain’s opponents argue it would boost development of the oil sands, Canada’s fastest-growing source of carbon emissions. The mounting opposition threatens Kinder Morgan’s largest project, which represents 30 percent of its investment plan. While an existing pipe offers a right of way along most of the expansion, that’s no guarantee the project will get off the ground. “The environmental movement has realized that one front in the climate change battle is trying to delay or deny pipelines,” said Jason Stevens, a Chicago-based analyst at Morningstar Inc. who rates the stock a hold. “If it gets s tymied out for a long, long time, it’s a big chunk of cash flow five years out that won’t materialize.” Bolstered by a recent Supreme Court ruling that native groups can be granted legal title to traditional lands no matter how intensively they use them, Burnaby’s Tsleil-Waututh argue the National Energy Board doesn’t have the right to review the project without their input, and that it poses risks including oil spills. “We are still at the beginning of a long fight, but we are deeply committed to defending our territory,” Chief Maureen Thomas of the Tsleil-Waututh people said in July after a court agreed to hear the group’s challenge of the Trans Mountain review.
Financial Post Article – PetroChina bids to help build Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline Link
Conservation News
Been to Hell – Alexandra Morton – link to Mt. Polley Disaster.
Swapping red tape with caution Tape – Mt. Polley – Link Apache Corp., under investor pressure, exiting Kitimat LNG project Vancouver Sun, Lauren Krugel/Canadian Press. A liquefied natural gas project planned for Kitimat, B.C., faces an uncertain future after one of its U.S. partners announced plans to get out of the LNG business. Apache Corp. said Thursday it plans to ditch the Kitimat LNG project, which it was developing alongside Chevron Corp. Apache and Chevron’s Canadian divisions declined to provide further comment on the project’s future. The Kitimat LNG project is furthest along in the development process of any of the proposed natural gas export facilities planned for Canada’s West Coast. [Note: This missed news story from July 31 is known as the Pacific Trails Project. It has relevance to the Northern Gateway as major portions of its pipeline route was expected to be shared with Pacific Trails'. This setback for Pacific Trails was celebrated by the Unistoten at their recently constructed bunkhouse and camp, which is loca ted at a crucial junction on the pipeline route.]
Interesting Sites and Articles
Humpback whale’s hour-long visit with B.C. boat caught on camera Link ROM’s new Passenger Pigeon Exhibition Examines De-extinction and Conservation Issues Link BC IBA – Says good bye to Krista and Hello to James – Link

Heavy metal songs: Contaminated songbirds sing the wrong tunes Link

If We Really Want to Save Elephants, We Need to Shut Down Every Ivory Market – Link

What A Wonderful Life – This will lighten up your day Link

Canadian Nature Survey Link

Now on Twitter and Facebook
Follow @BCNature – for latest conservation and environmental news updatesFacebook
We have updated our BC Nature Facebook page. “Like” and “Share” our news, events, and photos to spread awareness. We are actively looking to promote all of our clubs via Facebook. If any clubs have events, activities, news, or photos they would like posted to BC Nature Facebook page please contact manager@bcnature.caLinks to both of our accounts can be found on the top right corner of our Home page

Robert Bateman Centre Link

Westcoast Environmental Law Facebook – Link

BC Hydro’s Community Champions Program
Will you be this year’s Community Champion? Your non-profit could win $10,000 toward you conservation initiative. Is your not-for-profit group engaging your community and helping make British Columbia more sustainable? BC Hydro is looking for non-profits focused on sustainability and the environment. By showing British Columbians how you’re making a difference, your group could earn a $10,000 conservation award. Non-profit submissions are open from August 15 to September 30, 2014. Voting is open to the public and participating schools. #BCHCommunityChampions Winners announced December 8, 2014. Get all the information you need to answer questions and get started. See past Community Champion winners. For more information visit Link
Around Town
Celebrate Tree Day and Grandparents’ Day with a Forest Adventure
Date: Sept 20, 2014 Time: 12:45-3 pm
Location: BC Parks Heritage Centre 1620 Mt. Seymour Road, North Vancouver This family program is suitable for parents, grandparents, guardians along with children ages 5-12 * note children must be accompanied by an adult
Cost: free but pre-registration required, Please pre-register here by September 14, first come first served.
Did you know that the bark of a Douglas fir can be home to many different types of animals? Come out with your family and learn about the trees in our coastal rainforest! Join nature interpreter Lauren Krakau under the canopy of evergreens and learn why these giants are so important to our ecosystems. We will be using the “Meet Your Coastal Rainforest Friends”flipcard deck during the program and each family will get their own copy to keep! For more information please contact info@ync.caCammidge House will be 100 years old in 2014
The Boundary Bay Park Association/Cambridge House Committee and Metro Vancouver Parks are planning an anniversary celebration to be held September 21st from 11:00 to 4:00. Your Delta Naturalists Society, along with several other local organizations, will have a display at this event. As the theme of the day is the history of Cammidge House and, more broadly, the Boundary Bay area, we would like the Delta Nats display to tie in with some aspect of the Bay’s history. Birding would seem a logical choice. One of the ideas proposed is to include a display of old birding equipment, e.g. binoculars, cameras, scopes etc. If any Delta Nats members have old equipment they would be willing to lend for the day, could they please contact me at or Terry Carr at express nature’s complexity in forms from the microscopic to the spectacular
Surrey Art Gallery presents: Flora and Fauna: 400 Years of Artists Inspired by Nature Cascadia: A Juried Exhibition of West Coast Flora and Fauna Open Sound 2014: Sonorous Kingdom
Opening Reception: September 20, 7:30-9:30pm Tour of Flora and Fauna exhibition: September 20, 6:30pm
You’ll find more about the exhibitions at Surrey Art Gallery Exhibitions. Over the course of the exhibitions, events are enjoyable and engaging opportunities to connect with the artworks and the ideas behind them – see Surrey Art Gallery – Events List.
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Featured News

Guest Speaker: BC Parks History, Sun. Sept. 21, 2014

With recent mining accidents affecting BC’s wilderness and nature reserves, and Kinder Morgan proposing to re-set the boundaries of four provincial parks in order to expand its pipeline system BC Parks are increasingly the subject of public interest and scrutiny. Although most British Columbians take pride in and use their parks, few know their history […]

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