One of our SWAMP Biologists, Ryan Durand, of EcoLogic Environmental Consultants, participated as a presenter in a BC Wildlife Federation workshop including 16 participants from the Lillooet region. Participants were lead through wetland classification, soil analysis, plant identification, and assessment forms. See BCWF blog for more info and quote below from the article.
This workshop was in partnership with Splitrock Environmental, an Aboriginal-owned business specializing in environmental services, ecological restoration, and native plant propagation. Many participants were from the Xaxli’p (Fountain) and Xwisten (Bridge River) First Nations, which are two of the eleven self-governing communities that make up the larger St’át’imc Nation. This course was requested to provide an introduction into wetland inventory and assessment for participants to use in their work for Splitrock Environmental and the Xaxli’p Community Forest, among other organizations.
Map our Marshes courses are typically only 8 hours long, this extended workshop allowed for more time to discuss wetland assessment, and much more time spent in the field! This workshop was made unique through both the format and the opportunity to collaborate with several First Nations groups. Participants were all involved within the environmental field, and as such there was the opportunity to learn from both instructors and participants alike. Most participants were or will soon be involved in wetland assessment projects, and used this workshop as an introduction.
We began in the classroom of the Xaxli’p Band Office, located in the Fountain Valley. It is always interesting to have a different instructor lead the course, as it allows for new information to be brought forward. The value of classification, for example, was discussed by Ryan and is three-fold: it 1) raises awareness of wetland types, 2) allows for ecosystem services and functions to be recognized, and 3) allows for cross-referencing against the provincial database (Conservation Data Centre) to communicate the value and rarity of certain wetland types. However as we began to attempt to identify wetlands in the field, participants were quick to discover that many wetlands don’t fit well into a single classification.