Webinar Series Fall 2023

Webinar 1: Caring for Land and Water

Tuesday, November 7, 2023 @ 10am – 11am (PST)

Becky Millar from Parks Canada will share information about a collaborative project called the Sidney Island Ecological Restoration Project (SIERP), which is being conducted in partnership with W̱SÁNEĆ First Nations, the province of BC, private landowners, and Islands Trust Conservancy, with additional participation from Cowichan Tribes and Penelakut Tribe. Deer management and other restoration activities are being implemented with the goal of improving forest health on Sidney Island. Key outcomes of the project include increased abundance and access to culturally important foods and medicines, improved resilience in the face of climate change, increased First Nation hunting and stewardship opportunities, and supporting the hunting mentorship of First Nations youths by Elders and experienced community hunters. 

Erich Kelch from Parks Canada has been working with W̱SÁNEĆ Nation and member bands of the Cowichan Nation on a Sea Garden Restoration project. The restoration works have been guided by Coast Salish knowledge holders and complemented by modern scientific methods. This work highlighted how First Nations responded to changing sea levels and the potential cooling effect the gardens can have on the intertidal zone during our changing climate.

Webinar 2: Living with Wildfire

Friday, November 17, 2023 @ 10 am – 11 am (PST)

Neal Mcloughlin works for BC Wildfire Services in their Predictive Services Unit and will share information on how the condition of the forest can influence how fire behaves and how BC Wildfire Service using maps of fuel type to predict how a fire may move across the landscape under certain environmental conditions.

Jason Hutchinson is a Forest Carbon Specialist who works for the Ministry of Forest. The Ministry has been working on projects to increase carbon stored within our forest which includes planting post fire, pest and landslides. Jason will share information about this project including the lessons they have learned relating to when to plant and when not to.

Webinar 3: What could our forests look like in 2050?

Thursday, November 30, 2023 @ 10 am – 11 am (PST)

Jonathon Degner is a Forest Genetics Research Scientist with the Ministry of Forests who has been working with Douglas-fir, western red cedar and Garry oak to understand the genetics of these species. To ensure our commercial forests retain diversity so that they will be resilient to new pest species.

Cheyenne Williams and Heather Pritchard from Quw’utsun’ Cultural Connections Society have been working on a project led by Cowichan Tribes elders to protect and restore Xpey’ (western red cedar) stands in memory of the children that did not come home, so that in 500 years generations will continue to know and love this beloved tree.

Webinar Series Spring 2023

Webinar 1

Climate Resilience in the Freshwater and Marine Environment

Wednesday, March 8 2023 @ 10-11.30am. (PST)

To be climate resilient we need to consider how we will protect and restore our freshwater and marine carbon stores and how we will respond to the increasing frequency of extreme climatic events such as coastal storm surges and terrestrial flooding. Adam Huggins from Galiano Conservancy Association will discuss their approach to wetland forest restoration to increase carbon storage and biodiversity, Marlow Pellatt from Parks Canada will discuss how our coastal wetlands and marshes store carbon and how we might identify our priority areas for protection during landscape planning and Eric Balke from Ducks Unlimited Canada will talk about an innovative pilot project restoring tidal marsh resilience to support coastal flood protection.

Webinar 2

Communities Storing Carbon to Ensure Long-term Wellbeing

Wednesday, March 15 2023 @ 10-11 am. (PST)

Local governments and First Nations in BC have committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions produced by their activities and those of the wider community, with the aim of being either carbon neutral or carbon zero. Therefore, as a community we need to consider the full carbon cycle; how greenhouse gases are released and how they are stored. Meaghan Cursons from Cumberland Community Forest will provide examples of how local governments investing in local land acquisition have met their objectives for carbon, hydrology and biodiversity, outside of the formal carbon market. Kathleen Farley Wolf will talk about how King County, a local government in the US, established an urban and rural carbon project producing certified carbon credits that local companies can buy with the objective of offsetting their carbon emissions by keeping forests intact in the region and providing recreational space for the community.

Webinar 3

Ecosystem Connectivity to Ensure Nature can Respond to Climate Change

Tuesday, April 4 2023 @ 10-11 am. (PST)

As climate change occurs the natural environment needs to adapt through the natural movement of species. This can only occur if we maintain ecosystem connectivity and identify refugia for species that have very specific environmental requirements. This is becoming increasingly difficult as our world becomes divided by roads, power lines and urban centres. Scott Boswell from the Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program will talk about their work to protect the Okanagan Mountain – k’nmalka Corridor. Jessica Stolar from the University of Alberta will talk about using climate change refugia and corridors to inform conservation planning.

Please not this video does not include the presentation by Jessica Stolar as she requested that her presentation was not recorded as she hasn’t finished the work that was shared. 

Webinar 4

The Role of Fire in Forested Communities

Tuesday, April 18 2023 @ 10-11:30 am. (PST)

BC is experiencing longer hot seasons with more drought which makes it easier for wildfires to start and spread. However, fire is part of the natural cycle of our forests and can be used as an effective habitat management tool. Steven Godfrey from the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) will share with us information on the controlled burns that have been undertaken within the Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve to encourage regrowth of species considered to be at risk or of cultural value. Dimitri Vaisius who is the Wildfire Officer for the South Island Fire Zone will talk about the nature of fire in the Coastal Douglas-fir forest, how the science is evolving around the management of fire and some of the approaches currently being delivered in local forests taking into consideration the changing climate. James Miskelly of Natural Resources Canada will present observations on the response of the plant community over six years of prescribed burning at CFB Esquimalt’s Rocky Point property.

Webinar Series 2022

Webinar 1

Nisqually Community Forest Improved Forest Management, Watershed Protection and Carbon Offsetting

Tuesday 1 February 2022 @ 10-11.30am. (PST) – Delivered

Kirk Hanson and Joe Kane will talk about how a diverse range of stakeholders came together to form the Nisqually Community Forest with the objective of managing the forest so that it improves and protects fish and wildlife habitat, promotes local jobs through sustainable timber management, and provides recreational and educational opportunities. Carbon offsetting is one tool used by the Community Forest to generate income and Joe will talk about lessons they have learnt. Bluesource supported the Community Forest with offsetting and Martin Baker will provide context as to how similar projects could be delivered in Canada.

Please note that this is a partial recording. Introduction by the Nisqually Community Forest is missing. 

Webinar 2

Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii Coast Funds and Great Bear Forest Carbon Project

Tuesday 8 February 2022 @ 10-11.30am (PST) – Delivered

Brodie Guy will talk about Coast Funds which are dedicated to empowering First Nations in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii to achieve healthy and vibrant economies and communities in tandem with the conservation of their homelands for the benefit of future generations. Brodie will explain their model and will provide examples of how the fund has supported the community and protected the natural environment. In 2009, Coastal First Nations and the Province of British Columbia agreed to one of the largest carbon offset projects in existence. The Atmospheric Benefit Sharing Agreements give First Nations on the coast the ownership and right to sell carbon offsets in our Territories. Paul Kariya will introduce us to this innovative project which enables improved forestry practice, protects biodiversity and the environment, and generates revenue for economic self-sufficiency.

Webinar 3

Reverse Auctions to Achieve Conservation Outcomes

Tuesday 15 February 2022 @ 10-11.30am (PST) – Delivered

In a ‘reverse auction’ landowners bid for contracts to avoid land conversion, restore natural habitats, or provide seasonal habitats. The resulting bids are a means of discovering landowners’ costs for achieving a specified menu of conservation results and to provide a high return on investment for conservation dollars spent. The Government of Canada is currently investigating the potential for a reverse auction pilot as part of its Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund. Marion Webber from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy will introduce us to the Reverse Auction Process. Armand Belanger from East InterLake Watershed District in the Province of Manitoba will share his experience of establishing and running a reverse auction for wetlands. Rodd Kelsey from The Nature Conservancy in California will discuss how reverse auctions have been used as part of their BirdReturns program to pay farmers for creating seasonal habitat at key times for birds during migration and overwintering.

Webinar 4

A Bioregional Framework for the Saanich Peninsula and Vancouver Parks Maximize Biodiversity by Converting Turf to Wildflower Meadows

Tuesday 22nd February 10-11 am – Delivered

Bob Peart and Tiffany Joseph will introduce the Saanich Peninsula Environmental Coalition and provide an overview of the Bioregional Framework. Bob, the Coalition’s Coordinator, will outline the Coalition’s vision for ecological sustainability on the Saanich Peninsula, and why incorporating a collaborative framework into the Official Community Plans of each of the three municipalities is important. Tiffany Joseph, a member of the Coalition and representative from the W̱SÁNEĆ Nation, will provide an indigenous perspective on the Bioregional Framework and why it is important to their future and the future of the Saanich Peninsula.

Krista Voth from Vancouver Parks will present learnings, research findings, and best management practices from their two-year meadow pilot where 37 hectares of passive-use turf was converted to pollinator meadows through changes in their land management approach.

Webinar 5

Taking Account of Municipal Natural Assets

Tuesday 1st March 10-11.30 am

Roy Brooke Executive Director of Municipal Natural Asset Initiative (MNAI) will present how they are supporting municipalities to incorporate natural assets into their asset registers. Heather Beresford Environmental Stewardship Manager at Resort Municipality of Whistler will discuss the process that they have followed to develop their inventory of natural assets and to produce a road map for monitoring and management of those assets. Matthew MacKinnon Parks Environment and Ecosystems Manager from the Municipality of West Vancouver will talk about how their Natural Assets Inventory is influencing decision making, the pressures that their natural assets have been facing and about the Environmental Levy that West Vancouver is considering establishing to pay for repairs to their Natural Assets.

Webinar 6

Integrating Habitat Connectivity and Traditional Ecological Knowledge into Planning Documentation

Tuesday 8 March 10-11.30 am

The Green Bylaws Toolkit highlights the importance of habitat connectivity when conserving biodiversity and that mapping is a useful tool to present connectivity. However, mapping connectivity can be challenging, therefore, we will hear about several different approaches that have been taken in western Canada. Danah Duke, Executive Director of the Miistakis Institute (Calgary) will talk about how they have used citizen science to support Local Governments interpret habitat connectivity for small amphibians to large mammals. Christopher Morgan (Master’s student at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC)) will present a tool he developed with the Tsay Keh Dene Nation to help identify priority areas for conservation within their Territory, which takes into consideration habitat connectivity and their traditional ecological knowledge. Lynda Fyfe and Karin Albert will discuss how The Village of Cumberland mapped habitat connectivity in their 2014 OCP and the subsequent challenge of implementing an Environmental Development Permit requirement within the mapped area.