Press Release: Bats are on the move!
- Created: Thursday, 20 August 2020 15:06
Starting August 7, the Stewardship Team will be operating Fieldwork Fridays for the month of August and looking for independent volunteers with some invasive plant removal experience to join us. The work will be supporting Habitat Stewards in the western communities (Metchosin, Langford, Sooke, East Sooke) to conduct habitat restoration activities on private lands. This will be primarily removing invasive plant material, but also site visits to assess properties for wildlife habitat potential and identify native plants/ecosystems.
Have you heard of Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas?
by Katie Blake
HAT Executive Director
In Canadian culture, we have largely come to know protected landscapes in the form of parks, ecological reserves, wildlife protected areas, and world heritage sites . Land trust and non-profit owned conservation areas, as well as conservation covenants (better known as easements outside of BC) have been more recent additions to the list of lands that Canadians count as conserved. This collective conservation work has surely prevented the loss of many species and ecosystems that may otherwise have succumbed to resource development, housing, and other land conversion. Protected areas are considered by many as the cornerstones of conservation that will safeguard biodiversity, provide clean air, fresh water, and food, buffer us from floods and droughts, and provide us with outdoor recreational opportunities.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of these protected areas were created without the involvement of Indigenous communities. These protected areas often restrict or outright exclude Indigenous communities from traditional use of large portions of their territories. We are now living in an age in which improving relationships between Canadian society and Indigenous communities has been embraced as a collective priority, and Indigenous rights and sovereignty are increasingly understood. How can the practice of land conservation be reconciled with supporting Indigenous communities and their long-standing relationship with the land?
"This summer I was fortunate enough to work as HAT’s Land Protection Intern for the second summer in a row. My first summer with HAT, in 2019, didn’t go quite as planned. I tore my MCL in a horseback riding accident within the first week of my work term which meant that, unfortunately, I had to miss out on many of the perks of being a Land Protection Intern. Although I was office-bound for most of that summer, I still had a fun and memorable experience working with HAT and I was thrilled to have the opportunity this year of another summer as an intern (this time, uninjured)!
Every spring and summer, HAT monitors approximately 16 of the conservation covenants that make up our Land Protection program. These covenant areas are spread across the CRD from North Saanich to Sooke and cover a variety of ecosystems such as Garry oak meadows, Douglas fir forests, wetlands and coastlines. As an intern, my job is to assist HAT’s Land Protection Coordinator, Barb von Sacken, on these monitoring trips, and back at the office while writing reports for each covenant.
Meet our Conservation Intern, Rachael Tancock! She was born and raised on the unceded lands of the W̱SÁNEĆ and Lekwungen peoples. Rachael is very passionate about the natural environment, which stems from spending most of her childhood outdoors, exploring southern Vancouver Island and sailing throughout the Salish Sea. After graduating from the University of Victoria with a BSc Major in Geography and Minor in Environmental Studies, she has worked as a Research Intern at the Pacific Whale Foundation in Maui and as a Park Naturalist with the Capital Regional District. Rachael enjoys spending time in nature, exploring natural areas, identifying native species, and snorkeling/freediving along Vancouver Island’s coastline. She will be returning to post-secondary education in the fall to further her passion for environmental education.