PenderBlog From The Pender Islands Of Canada

October 23, 2011

Watersheds critical

Filed under: Sustainable Living — Jocko @ 7:40 pm


waterfall on the Buck Lake trail (photo: Jocko)

From the CRD (Capital Regional District) and PICA (Pender Islands Conservancy Association):

Protecting watersheds on the Pender Islands is critical.  These are our major resources for recharging our reservoirs and aquifers.

What is a watershed?

This is a geographic area where rain and snow-melt flowing water is collected into common water bodies such as rivers, streams, wetlands or lakes.  During the collection process some of the water percolates through the soil and recharges the aquifers.

The Shingle Creek Watershed.

The Shingle Creek watershed must be protected as soon as possible.  The window of opportunity to purchase this property is limited.  This watershed is the largest catchment recharge area on North Pender Island.  It feeds the creeks and aquifers supplying Buck Lake, South Otter Bay Road, Browning Harbour and most areas in between.

Where is this critical watershed?

The 17.4 hectare (43 acre) watershed portion of the 37.3 hectare (92.1 acre) total property is a part of the Shingle Creek drainage which extends from the western portion of Lively Peak Park to Shingle Bay.  The western boundary of the property shares important wetlands with the Roe Lake portion of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve

Why is the protection of this watershed of major importance?

•  Watershed protection is the basic principle for incurring pure drinking water and security of its supply.

•  Shingle Creek is the major source of water for Buck Lake Reservoir from which Magic Lake Estates obtains its drinking water.

•  Sale of this sub-dividable property to a private developer could place the security of this water supply in jeopardy.  Preserving the tree canopy and ground cover slows the rate of precipitation run-off and filters out air-borne pollutants.

•  Permanent preservation of appropriate areas of the property by conservation covenants would secure the land in perpetuity.

•  An alternative emergency route from Magic Lake Estates through the property may also be possible.

How is the property to be purchased?

Various sources of funding are being explored such as grants and private donations.  However, no direct funding is available from neither the Federal Government nor the Provincial Government for the purchase of land specifically for watershed  protection.

It is proposed that a phased purchase of the total property take place over a two to three year period.

Now, we need your help, your ideas, and your support as individual members of this community.

This is our water supply; it needs our protection.

Get Involved


CRD Southern Gulf Islands Regional Director, Ken Hancock:  (250) 629-6610  Email: or

PICA (250) 629-3099  Email:

This project is supported by the following community groups:

•  Capital Regional District (CRD)

•  Pender Islands Conservancy Association (PICA)

•  Magic Lake Water and Sewer Committee

•  Pender Islands Parks and Recreation Commission

•  North Pender Island Local Trust Committee

Let’s seize this unique opportunity… to protect the Shingle Creek Watershed, the Buck Lake Reservoir for Magic Lake Estates and secure acres of parkland for the Pender Islands.

June 16, 2011

Community stewardship awards announced

Filed under: Sustainable Living — Jocko @ 12:14 pm


From the Islands Trust:


The Islands Trust Council selected the recipients of the tenth annual Community Stewardship Awards today, during its quarterly meeting on Denman Island.

“These awards recognize individuals and groups for significant contributions towards preserving the community, culture or environment of an island,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Chair of the Islands Trust Council. “The award program is designed to promote the mandate of the Islands Trust by celebrating the dedicated people who have donated countless hours to enhancing the quality of life in the Trust Area.”

“Every year I am so impressed with the diverse nature of the work of the nominees and the quality of the projects in which they have been involved was outstanding,” said Malcolmson. “This year we had the pleasure of giving a special award for enduring achievement as well as one for work on climate change.”

In 2009, the Islands Trust added a new category to the Community Stewardship Award Program to recognize and encourage the actions of individuals and organizations that are working in the area of climate change.

The individual awards go to:

Sue Ellen Fast, Bowen Island, for community and conservation work; and Jane Wolverton, Galiano Island, for her work with the Galiano Food Program.

The group awards go to:

Hornby New Clinic Committee for planning, coordinating and building a new community medical clinic; and, Pender Island Fire Rescue Department for serving and protecting the Pender Islands.

The climate change award goes to Barry Mathias, Pender Islands, for the Car Stops Program.

A special enduring achievement award goes to Sara Steil, Pender Islands, for her community and conservation work.

The Community Stewardship Awards will be presented at local trust committee meetings later this year on the islands where the recipients live. Next year’s award nominations will open in March 2012.

To view the news release as a pdf file go here:  newsjun152011.pdf

November 13, 2010

Dogs running at large

Filed under: Sustainable Living — Jocko @ 6:03 pm



In case you didn’t get the mailout, here it is.

In the past few weeks 5 ewes on a Pender farm were mutilated and killed, one is missing and presumed dead, and three were badly injured and are currently being treated.  The culprit(s) is someone who is allowing his/her dog(s) to run at large in the late evening.  Not only is this a horrible situation for the livestock, it impacts the farmer’s right to security and income.

Here is the law:

BC Livestock Act, RSBC Chapter 270, Section 11.1-2-a,b  Dogs causing injury or damage

11.1 (1) For the purposes of this section, “running at large” does not apply to a dog that is under control by being

(a) on the property of its owner or of another person who has the care and control of the dog.

(b) in the direct and continuous charge of a person who is competent to control it,

(c) securely confined within an enclosure, or

(d) securely fastened so that it is unable to roam.

(2) A person may kill a dog if the person finds the dog

     (a) running at large, and

     (b) attacking or viciously pursuing livestock.

Here are the facts:

1)  There are NO good dogs when the situation involves a dog at large and livestock or wildlife.  The predatory hunt and kill instinct is a natural part of EVERY dog’s psychological make-up, no matter how well trained the dog is.

2)  A farmer may kill a dog that is endangering livestock.

3)  A dog attacking a farm animal is a cruel and painful death for the animal.

4)  It is everyone’s responsibility to immediately report a dog running at large.

CRD Animal Control:  250-629-3398 or 1-250-537-9414

We live in a rural area that is peaceful and beautiful.  Most dog owners are responsible.  Help keep Pender Island Farms safe.  KEEP ALL DOGS UNDER CONTROL.  Thank you from Pender Farms:  Grimmers, Fir Hill, McMullen/McBain/Southey, Whalewych; Hamson, Waitara; McMahon, Inish Eile; and other island farms.  Sponsored by PAWS and The Farmers Institute.

March 16, 2010

Last chance to register…

Filed under: Sustainable Living — Jocko @ 1:13 pm


From Janice Oakley on Galiano Island:

Hello friends near and far!

Well, the long-anticipated time has come! The Inter-island conference on Agriculture, Community and the Environment is upon us (This Sunday, March 21, 2010, Galiano Island), preceded by Nettlefest on Saturday.
We would like to emphasize how lucky and privileged we are to be able to host such a conference on our island (Galiano)! The line-up of speakers is very impressive indeed! This truly is the culminating point of the past few years for us and we hope you can join us.
If you have not registered for the conference yet and wish to attend, please do not delay and register right away via our website (please note that this applies to presenters as well- except our four main speakers):
Seating is limited and filling up fast! The $30 admission fee includes breakfast and a delicious lunch, and full access to the conference. We will provide transportation to and from the ferry to all registrants who require it- please let us know ahead of time, in order to ensure we have enough vehicles!!
**If you can provide accomodation for some of our guests, please let us know, we still require billetting for a few of them. Also, if you wish to volunteer for the event, we still require a few drivers, cooks and set-up/clean-up crew. Admission fee will be waived for volunteers.

We will be e-mailing the final information packages to all registered conference participants on Thursday.

Hope to see you all there!
All the best,

Martine Paulin
Janice Oakley
Galiano Food Program Coordinators

250-539-2175 option 2 (Food program)

October 22, 2009

Climate Change Learn-In

Filed under: Sustainable Living — Jocko @ 5:15 pm

From Peter Carter and Julie Johnston (pictured above):

International Day of Climate Action is October 24

We’re having a Pender Island Climate Change Learn-In

October 24, 2009 is a global day of action, with thousands of climate change events taking place all over the world.  Here on Pender, we will hold a learn-in so that we can all understand, with compassion, why climate change has become a planetary emergency for all of us (despite what our eyes tell us here in our beautiful community), and how we can all have some impact on the upcoming Copenhagen climate talks in December – the most important meetings in human history.

All are welcome,  Saturday, October 24,  2 to 4 pm,  Fairway Restaurant at the golf course

(Best suited to adults.  Please bring quiet activities for young children.)

Free admission.  Refreshments will be provided.

For more information, contact Julie Johnston or Peter Carter at 250 629-3811.  If you can’t attend, please visit or

October 21, 2009

Bees that work

Filed under: Sustainable Living — Jocko @ 1:37 am

 beehouse.jpg  Mason Bee house

From Trish MacKinnon:

Mason Bee Workshop…

Sunday Oct 25 th, 2009:  10:00am – 12:00noon

at Lester Quitzau’s home on Port Washington Rd.
(call 250-629-6028 for details)

Learn how to take care of Mason Bees and collect the eggs for next years bees.  Mason Bees pollinate more fruit, vegetables and flowers than honey bees and are not aggressive like yellowjacket wasps can often be.

For more information about Mason Bees, visit Mason Bees

October 15, 2009

Climate Smart Islands

Filed under: Sustainable Living — Jocko @ 1:44 pm



The Islands Trust will take another step towards its long-standing goal of reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) as island communities amend 19 Official Community Plans over the next eight months. Trustees will engage islanders in discussions as they identify GHG reduction targets and strategies to meet those targets.

Current Community Climate Actions on the Pender Islands:


Moving Around Pender (MAP) Alternative Transportation Society, Pender Islands. Goal to make cycling and walking safer and more accessible, including the car stop program and a partnership with Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to develop and designate cycling paths on the highways network.

Car Stop Program, Pender, Mayne, Hornby, and Gabriola Islands. Initially launched by Moving Around Pender on North and South Pender Islands where 29 car stop locations now exist, the Car Stop Program is rapidly expanding to other Gulf Islands: 25 car stops are planned for implementation on Mayne Island in September 2009, and Hornby and Gabriola are well along in the planning process. Contact: Barry Mathias

Transportation Advisory Committee (through LTC), Pender Islands. Working with Paths on Pender; bike path designated, working with MoT to create pullouts for community shuttle.

Food Security

Pender Organic Community Garden Society, Pender Island. Building community garden space through individual plots, shared plots, and community supported agriculture. The project aims to enhance food security, reduce climate change impact, provide affordable and nutritious food, and foster sense of community.

Natural Areas

Pender Islands Conservancy Association, Pender Islands. Promotes NAPTEP program and administers the fund that pays fees associated with qualifying NAPTEP applications.

Detailed information on this initiative is available on a new climate change section of the Islands Trust website at The webpage includes key decisions and other resources about climate change relevant to island communities.

September 4, 2009

BC is in the Pink!

Filed under: Sustainable Living — Jocko @ 1:50 pm

From Alexandra Morton through Carol Budnyk (abridged):


Coho photo courtesy Alexandra Morton

As I cruise the waters of northern Vancouver Island, near Sointula, Port McNeill, Alert Bay and the Broughton, fat and sassy little pink salmon are leaping and wriggling everywhere. I thought I would never see this again. These fish are a powerhouse – feeding watersheds throughout the south coast, growing trees, wildlife, tourism and people. I want to give thanks to everyone who made fish farms reduce their sea lice. If the lice levels I discovered in Broughton in 2001 and off Campbell River in 2005 had persisted these salmon would not be here.  I would be happy to debate any person, government, company or organization on this anytime, anywhere!

I want to caution you that this is temporary.  The scientists I met in Norway warned me: DO NOT RELY ON DRUGS. All parasites whether boll weevils, head lice or sea lice become resistant to drugs. Using chemicals against pests is an arms race we humans lose every time. These fish farms must be removed from the Fraser River migration route before the few sockeye eggs being laid this fall hatch and go to sea. However, we have bought time.

One salmon farm company began de-lousing their fish to protect the pink salmon. Unfortunately the drug of choice, SLICE, only works for about 6 weeks and so the later runs of sockeye were not thus protected.  Earlier this week the Provincial government quietly announced they are pulling out of fish farm regulation. That leaves the federal government holding the now red-hot potato. The federal government managed our cod to commercial extinction and so our work is cut out for us to save the salmon, but at least now the DFO is solely responsible. No more passing the buck. That the Province bailed so soon after the sockeye collapse does make me wonder what they know about this.

If we want our wild sockeye there must be full accounting of disease on every fish farm from Campbell River to Port Hardy in 2007 when these fish went to sea.  Only the sockeye that migrated past these farms are in collapse.  While there are indeed many impacts, Norwegian fish farm companies have become gatekeepers to our salmon runs.  Whether we get our wild salmon home hinges on what the fish farmers do. DFO MUST now apply the Fisheries Act to fish farms.

In my successful legal challenge Judge Hinkson ruled fish farms are a fishery.  All the other fisheries; commercial, sport and First Nation, have been told by DFO to reduce their fisheries on sockeye and the salmon farm fishery must do the same.  Salmon farms do not belong on BC’s most valuable and important wild salmon migration route – the Fraser sockeye.  Halfway measures will not work.

Thank you to all who have brought us the miracle of the life-sustaining runs of beautiful pink salmon home to British Columbia. Clearly we can bring our wild salmon back, lets get on with it!

Joyfully,  Alexandra Morton

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