SEHAB Roundtable Report – J. Jarvis Lower Fraser Regional Stewardship
Greater Vancouver Invasive Plant Committee
Based on initial workshops and meetings in the past year, the Greater Vancouver Invasive Plant
Committee was created to more effectively manage invasive plants in Greater Vancouver. Previously, the management of invasive plants in parks, natural areas, and the rural/agricultural fringe was neglected because of the historic emphasis on agricultural weeds. Increased recognition of the scale and cost of invasive plants in Greater Vancouver has heightened interest from regional governments, municipalities, industry, stewardship groups, and the broader community to improve collaborative management of invasive plants.
As part of this a committee and coordination structure has been set up to facilitate partner interests.  Over the next three months the GVIPC will be strategically planning to formalize its structure and consultation network, set long-term objectives and highlight relevant activities of its various partners. Though the present focus is on plants, the need to integrate issues surrounding introduced fauna, species at risk and biodiversity conservation will be part of the long-term goals of the committee.
A workshop is planned for April/06 in the Lower Mainland to bring potential partners together for information sharing.
Wildlife Tree Stewardship Program (WiTS)
WiTS is moving to the Lower Mainland. The goal of WiTS is to create, coordinate, and assist a network of community stewards committed to conserving coastal wildlife tree habitats through volunteer monitoring, landowner agreements and community education.  Several information sessions were held in January in order to draw in potential volunteers.  Field naturalists, municipal staff, educators, students and other NGOs have all shown interest.  Lisa Dreves at (LEPS) is now the Lower Mainland Coordinator for WiTS.  If interested call Lisa at
604-514-4554  Additional info sessions and training sessions are being planned for the near futre.  For further information on the program see:
Lower Mainland Conservation Land Forum
GVRD Parks is currently conducting a scoping study for the establishment of a Regional Conservation Land Forum.  The need for this sort of forum has evolved from the work of three key initiatives focused on enhancing conservation and biodiversity protection in the GVRD and the Province of BC.  The goal of the Land Forum is to increase the efficiencies and effectiveness in coordinating the securement and management of lands and waters for biodiversity conservation through out the Lower Fraser area.  The project will examine the concept of a Regional Land Forum and provide options and recommendations for its establishment with respect to potential membership, structure and function.  Several workshops involving stewards, government staff, industry, funding agency and NGO representatives were held in November.  A summary document and suggested recommendations for next steps will be circulated shortly.
Local Habitat Degradation
Habitat violations continue to be a problem in Maple Ridge.  We have a number of stewards watching and recording siltation events.  We are concerned as always that DFO doesn’t have enough resources to respond to these local issues and that habitat is being lost, degraded or both.  This has been on the table at every SEHAB meeting and I want to make sure it stays there as an ongoing concern.
Kanaka Education and Environmental Partnership Society (KEEPS)
KEEPS will be holding its General Meeting on March 8th at 7:00-9:00 PM in the Fraser Room of Maple Ridge Library. The focus of this meeting will be silt runoff issues in local waterways. An Agenda is attached.
Education Program, Nov 1/05 - Feb 17/06
- 38 sessions involving 850 participants
- programs included Watershed Road Shows, and Fish Reaching Youth (Coho enumeration; habitat assessment; water quality monitoring)
- GVRD purchased new educational props (bears, otter, raccoon, eagle, owl, wolf) that were immediate hits
- Education Committee meeting
November highlights
- Doc Quack visit / Ideas Fair
- Inaugural meeting of Maple Ridge / Pitt Meadows Environmental Council
- Hatchery coho broodstock collection stopped due to low escapement concerns
December highlights
- record low escapement (zero) recorded at Thornvale Creek
- pink salmon eggs (Chehalis stock) incubating at Bell-Irving Hatchery
January highlights
- Spencer Creek monitoring with Samuel Robertson Technical School commences (view results here)
- Ongoing siltation of Spencer Creek generates considerable media attention, and outrage from the Mayor of Maple Ridge.
- DFO officials quoted in media as questioning District's allowable levels of silt releases over background, also note that volunteers / NGO's can initiate Fisheries Act charges by appearing before a judge.
- Wettest ever January; over 500mm rain at Bell-Irving Hatchery
- Site meeting re: Riverfront location of donation station
February 1-17 highlights
- Spencer monitoring continues
- KEEPS and Stream of Dreams form partnership with intent to complete mural(s) at Bell-Irving in late spring / summer 2006
- KEEPS organizing silt runoff information session for its March General Meeting
- Site plan meeting at Kanaka Elementary regarding Community Ecosystem Restoration Initiative tree planting project
- Presentation at Kanaka Elementary school assembly re: above
- Workshop at District 42 professional development forum at Thomas Haney