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Volunteers Help to Restore Bald Range Grassland

 
The birds and beasts who rely on the Bald Range pocket grassland off Bear Main Forest Service Road in West Kelowna thank all the volunteers who turned out Oct. 25 to work on restoring that grassland and reduce the threat of wildfire there.
 
It was exhilarating to see members of the Central Okanagan Naturalists Club, the Peachland Sportsmen’s Association, Oceola Fish and Game Club and Okanagan Trail Riders’ Association, along with Bartlett Tree Services and grasslands ecologist Don Gayton working together for a common cause.
 
It is from such multi-layered cooperation that great things can be accomplished.
That little patch of native grassland is under considerable pressure from many sides, so any steps we can take will help it back on the road to a healthy recovery.
 Bald Range Workers
Sherrell Davidson and Lindy Digby from the Central Okanagan Naturalists’ Club remove dead needles from around a veteran old pine at the edge of the Bald Range grasslands to protect it from wildfire during a volunteer work party there Sat., Oct. 25.
 
It is believed that it was a stop on the historic Hudson’s Bay Fur Brigade Trail where they could graze the animals before continuing on through forestland along Okanagan Lake.
Since then, it has become infested with non-native invasive species such as St. John’s Wort and Sulphur Cinquefoil, against which there are few weapons.
The face of the sloped grassland features gullies carved down the hillside by dirt bikers’ trails which attracted runoff that eroded those trails into ditches.
Grazing range cows have brought in the seeds of other invasive species like thistle and some knapweed.
But today, the grassland has been fenced off, controlling its use by both dirt bikers and range cows, but not deterring native ungulates, small mammals and birds from continuing to make beneficial use of the habitat, which is particularly rich in biodiversity adjacent to forest.
 
For the last two years, aided by a small grant from the Public Conservative Assistance Fund of the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, made to the PSA, volunteers from around the region have worked to build check dams in those ditches and gullies to slow down the water and collect debris to begin to fill them in.
They have begun removing the small trees that are beginning to encroach on the grassland, and they have worked to remove the dead lower limbs of the few veteran pines that dot the area to protect them from wildfire should one occur.
 
As well, they have begun to rake away the decades of dead needles at the base of those trees as wildfire protection and used them to cover some of the worst infestations of invasives to try and smother them.
Gayton has identified a couple of plots of experimental ‘smothering’ so he can monitor its success at reducing the patches of weeds.
 
Anyone interested in being notified of future work parties in that area can contact me at: jsteeves@peachlandsportsmens.ca
—judie steeves
 

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Grasslands Work Party Planned for October 25th

 
Hi all,
Apologies if I have sent this to you twice in my attempt to be inclusive…
 
Thanx to all who came out Sept. 6 to continue restoration work on the Bald Range pocket grassland off Bear Main FSR. We got a lot done and it was a beautiful day to be out there with those fabulous views.
There’s been lots of interest in continuing our efforts, so we’re scheduling another work party for Sat., Oct. 25, beginning at 9 a.m. and likely concluding around noon.
 
We’ll concentrate on removing the small trees that are encroaching on what was historically a grassland and using them to fill in the gully created by runoff that gravitated toward the old dirt bike trails straight down the hillside, eroding everything in its path.
In the process of restoration, we will, of course, reduce the watershed damage that could impact downstream water quality, while we improve habitat for all sorts of wildlife.
 
We’ll also plan to remove some of the lower limbs of the few old veteran conifers and the blanket of needles below them, to help protect them from wildfire, scattering the needles over the invasive St. John’s Wort to try and smother it.
Grassland ecologist Don Gayton plans to GPS that work so he can document the success of that particular experiment…
 
Please bring gloves, water and/or coffee, a rake, shovel or hand saw if possible.
We’ll meet at the Upper Pits, which are to the right off Bear Main, at km 11. Watch for the sign.
It would be helpful if you could let us know ahead of time if you’re able to make it.
 
Please circulate this to any networks or organizations you’re part of, or anyone else you feel may be interested in joining us.
 
Thanx,
—judie
 

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Remember – No General Meeting in October

 
Just a reminder to our membership, there is no general meeting in October due to the fact many of us our away hunting.
 
Good Luck to all of you!
 

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Bald Range Grassland Report….. by Judie Steeves

 
Volunteers Darren Brezden and Andrew Walker remove the lower limbs from a venerable, century-old pine tree on the Bald Range grassland on the Westside Saturday as part of a long-term grassland restoration project spearheaded by the Peachland Sportsmens Association, with the Oceola Fish and Game Club, Central Okanagan Naturalists and Okanagan Trial Riders.
 
The work is aimed at helping to protectal the few old veteran trees that dot the grasslands from fire, while encroaching small trees are removed to keep it a grassland. As well, the volunteers worked on building check dams to help fill in a gully created from erosion to a fall-line trail that is no longer used now that sustainable off-road trails have been constructed in the area. A $4,500 grant from the Public Conservation Assistance Fund of the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation helped with the cost of the project.
 
Bald Range Workers
 
by…Judie Steeves
 


 

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Bald Range Grassland Work Party – Can You Help?

 
Hi all,
A work party to continue on restoration of the pocket grassland off Bear Main FSR has been set for Sat., Sept. 6 and it would be much appreciated if you could forward this information to everyone you feel might be interested in helping out, including the membership of your group, if appropriate.
 
This is a follow-up to our work there – June 8, 2013, which was aided by a small grant from the Public Conservation Assistance Fund of the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation—but we plan to do some different sorts of work this time.
At that time, we worked on restoration of a fall line trail created by dirt biking in the past, which runoff turned into a gully. We will continue to build check dams from small trees adjacent to the gully, which we’ll fall with Swede saws and cut to lengths to wedge into that cut, to slow the flow of water.
 
As well, we may remove lower dead limbs from some of the veteran trees that dot the grassland and the dead needles from underneath in order to protect them from wildfire. That will also be used to build check dams in the gully, and to try and smother some of the St. John’s Wort that’s infesting portions of the grassland.
 
We’ll meet at the Upper Pits, which are to the right off Bear Main, at km 11 after the gravel pit, about a kilometre up Bald Range Main.
Although the campfire ban has been lifted, it’s likely conditions will still be dry, so we must take every precaution against forest fire, including not using chainsaws, so please bring shovels, rakes, Swede or other hand saws, gloves and water.
I’ll make you some treats, but bring your own coffee if you wish.
 
We intend to organize another work party once the forest fire danger has passed, likely in early November, when chainsaws can be used to deal with larger pieces.
 
Please rsvp by Sept. 3 to give us an idea how many will be coming out.
 
Look forward to seeing you,
—judie

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Rubber Duck Race a Big Hit

Peachland’s 1st Rubber Ducky Race is a fundraiser in support of Peachland Bats Education & Conservation Program, and Legends of the Lake Interpretive Centre in Peachland Historic Primary School. The PSA was on hand to help retrieve the little yellow ducks as they crossed the finish line at the mouth of Trepanier Creek in Okanagan Lake.

Check out the pictures from the 1st annual Rubber Duck Race

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Wild Kidz Camp – Wetland Education Program

 
To All Members
Parents & Grandparents
 
As announced at our AGM earlier this month, we are partnering with the BC Wildlife Federation’s Wetland Education Program “Wild Kidz Camp”. This is a FREE week-long day camp where kids ages 9-12 are educated on the importance of fish and wildlife conservation.
 
Visit : http://www.eventbrite.ca/e/wild-kidz-day-camp-peachland-bc-registration-10424946295 (copy and paste the link into your browser) for more information or contact Jason Jobin, BCWF Wetlands Education Program Assistant at 1-888-881-2293 ext 225 or by email at wetlands_assistant@bcwf.bc.ca.
 
Cheers,
 
Bethany Froehlich

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Central Okanagan Youngsters Encouraged to ‘Go Fish’

 
For the eighth straight year Central Okanagan youngsters are encouraged to ‘Go Fish’.
 
This hugely popular Regional Parks urban fishery program gets underway this weekend with the grand opening kickoff Saturday, May 3rd at the Hall Road pond in Mission Creek Regional Park and on Sunday, May 4th at the special fishing area set up in Shannon Lake Regional Park. Regional Parks staff and volunteers from participating organizations will provide a barbeque and refreshments to satisfy the appetite and thirst of our young fishers and their families!
 
Each weekend through Sunday, June 15th from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, youngsters 15 years of age and under will be able to fish for rainbow trout and are allowed to keep one each day, without a fishing license. Each Saturday at the Hall Road pond, volunteers from the Kelowna and District Fish and Game Club and Lonely Loons Flyfishers Society will provide equipment and expert fishing guidance while members of the Peachland Sportsmen’s Association will lend their fishing expertise to ‘Go Fish’participants in the netted area at the south end of Shannon Lake in Shannon Lake Regional Park. Each Sunday, Regional Parks Services staff will provide equipment and will be available to help youngsters as they try their luck in the two fishing program locations.
 
With the support of the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. each fishing area will be stocked several times during the program with rainbow trout measuring 25 – 30 centimetres that have been reared at the Summerland Trout Hatchery. For some youngsters the ‘Go Fish’ program may be their first opportunity to experience the lifelong enjoyment of fishing.
 
Regional District Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “Since the first ‘Go Fish’ was held in 2007, this urban fishery program has seen thousands of youngsters tossing their hook into the water eagerly anticipating that first bite from a young rainbow. For many, ‘Go Fish’ has seen them hook their first fish! Along with our dedicated and passionate volunteers who enjoy passing on their love of the sport, we’ve been able to share the fun and excitement of fishing with a new generation.”
 
Smith adds, “If you plan to join us during any of the ‘Go Fish’ weekends, please respect our park neighbours by parking only in the designated areas or where directed by staff. While participants age 15 and under are not required to have a fishing license for this program we ask that they bring their own fishing equipment if possible, as there’s a limited number of rods and reels to borrow at each site.”
 
The ‘Go Fish’ recreational fishing program is put on by Regional District Parks Services and its volunteer partners, theKelowna and District Fish and Game Club, Lonely Loons Flyfishers Society and Peachland Sportsmen’s Association along with the support of the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, the Summerland Trout Hatchery and the Ministry of Environment.

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Gun Giveaway Contest from Winmar Property Restoration Specialists

 
The Gun Giveaway Contest from Winmar Property Restoration Specialists ends THIS FRIDAY (Feb 28). You could win a 7.mm Rem, Mag Tikka T3 Lite Stainless!
How to enter:
 
Step 1: Like the Winmar Property Restoration Specialists (Facebook.com/kelownarestoration)
Step 2: Take a picture of your Winmar magnet on your fridge or water heater (you got a magnet at the banquet!)
Step 3: Post your picture on the Winmar Restoration Specialists Facbeook page (Facebook.com/kelownarestoration)
Step 4: Share the Winmar Property Restoration Specialists Facebook page with your friends.
 
Complete steps 1-4 in this Facebook giveaway and you could win this 7mm Rem. Mag. Tikka T3 Lite in Stainless!!
 
TIKA

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Game Banquet News!!

 
Valued PSA Members and Friends,
 
We are in the final stretch of preparations for this year’s Game Dinner and Fund Raiser and I wanted to give you a short update on where things are at; Your PSA team has been pulling out all the stops to make sure this year’s event will be a great success. We have had an outpouring of support from sponsors and there have been many people who have stepped up to help shoulder the load. A big thanks to everyone!
 
The buffet menu is amazing, and the caterers have assured us the food will be over the top in quality and quantity. Stuntman Steve and the DJ are preparing to give us a great time, and there are many fantastic prizes including two fishing trips, FIVE RIFLES, a helicopter tour and much more!
 
We still have a some tickets available and are shooting for a sold out event. So, if you know anyone that might be interested in attending to support or work with hunting, fishing and conservation encourage them to join us for a great evening and for a great cause. Tickets can be purchased at Valley Glass in Westbank and Antler Creek in West Kelowna.
 
Respectfully,
 
Brenton Froehlich
President, Peachland Sportsmens Association
 

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