BC Nature Annual General Meeting and Conference
"Canyon to Alpine" Lillooet, BC - May 4-6, 2017
Registration for the BC Nature events is now closed. Check Drive BC before traveling to Lillooet.
List of Local Accommodations courtesy of Lillooet Museum & Visitor Centre (PDF)
See www.lovelillooet.com for local information.
Field Trips - View Full Descriptions
#1 Xax’li’p Community Forest & Birding with Ken Wright (provide own lunch) (FULL)
#2 Hike Camelsfoot Fire Lookout (provide own lunch) (FULL)
#3 Hike Fountain Ridge (provide own lunch) (FULL)
#4 Red Rock Hike, Jade and S7istken (pithouse) (provide own lunch) (FULL)
#5 Restoration Site, Splitrock, Reptiles and S7istken (pithouse) (provide own lunch) (FULL)
#6 Backcountry Birding with Ian Routley (provide own lunch) (FULL)
#7 Wildflowers/Butterflies/St’at’imc Plants Drive and Walk (provide own lunch) (FULL)
#8 Xwísten Fraser River Fishing Rocks & Archeology - $55.00 and lunch provided (FULL)
#9 Lillooet Invasive Species and Ethnobotany (lunch provided) (FULL)
#10 Lillooet area geology with Pierre Friele (provide own lunch) (FULL)
#11 Spray Creek Ranch Organic Tour and Lunch - $20.00 and organic lunch provided (FULL)
#12 Koaham Train Shuttle to Seton Portage and Tsal’alh - $50.00 & bag lunch provided (FULL)
#13 Species at Risk Nature walk with Francis Iredale (provide own lunch) (FULL)
Thursday, May 4th
2:00 – 4:00 PM BC Nature Executive meeting, REC Centre, Room 201, 930 Main Street
5:00 – 7:00 PM Director’s meeting at REC Centre, Room 201, 930 Main Street – light dinner provided
4:00 – 6:00 PM Reception / registration at winery, 1881 Highway 99 north – all BC Nature arrivals (FULL)
5:00 – 5:30 PM Free winery tour Raffle starts at reception and runs throughout events – draw 8 PM Saturday evening
Dinner on your own
7:15 – 8:15 PM Presentation on Butterflies by Bob Scafe, Nicola Naturalists Society, REC Centre gym, 930 Main Street
8:30 - 9:30 PM Bats with local naturalists - leave from REC Centre for Lower Spawning Channel (pre-registration required (FULL) – funds from this outing will go towards bat acoustic equipment for Lillooet)
Committee meetings: Conservation Committee 1 – 2 PM, Thursday at REC Centre, Room 201, 930 Main Street
Education Committee 4 – 6 PM, Friday, at D'Oro café, 639 Main Street
Foundation Committee 5 – 6:30 PM, Friday, at 4Pines Motel, 108 8th Ave
Friday, May 5th
6:00 – 8:00 AM Early Morning Birding (pre-registration required) (FULL)
5:30 - 8:30 AM Registration at Reynolds Hotel lobby, 1237 Main Street
Breakfast on your own and please note that many field trips require you bring your own lunch
Farmer’s Market (across from Post Office downtown) Friday 8:30 AM to 1 PM
7:30 - 8:30 AM Yoga with Kathryn Young - $6.50 drop in, bring own mat / Mezzanine at REC Centre, 639 Main Street
9:15 - 9:30 AM Convene for various field trips, hikes and outings (details will be in participants’ packages)
Birding, Xaxlip Community Forest, Hikes and Walks, Xwisten Fishing Rocks, Organic Farm tour,
train to Seton, ethnobotany and invasive species, geology, reptiles, restoration and more.
See www.lovelillooet.com for accommodation and local information
3:30 - 5:00 PM Return to town from various field trips
4:00 – 6:00 PM Reception / registration at winery, 1881 Highway 99 north (FULL)
5:00 – 5:30 PM Free winery tour
Dinner on your own
7:15 - 8:15 PM Presentation ‘Grasslands – Whispers in the Wind’ Jared Hobbs, M.Sc., R.P. Bio., REC Centre gym, 930 Main Street
Saturday, May 6th
6:00 – 8:00 AM Early Morning Birding (pre-registration required) (FULL)
Breakfast on your own
9:00 AM - noon Welcome and presentations, Xwisten, Bridge River Indian Band, Highway 40, 15 minutes north of town.
Presentations: Gerald Michel, Lands and Resources Coordinator Xwisten,
Fishers by Larry Davis M.Sc., R.P. Bio., Wolverines by Richard Weir, M.Sc., R.P.Bio.
12 noon Lunch catered by Debbie Jack at Xwisten
1:00 – 4:30 PM BC Nature AGM @ Bridge River Indian Band
5:00 – 9:00 PM Dinner catered by Delicious Dishes at Curling Rink Lillooet, 178 Mountainview, Lillooet
Happy hour 5 – 6 PM (Curling Club providing bar), dinner 6 – 7:30 PM, Raffle draws at 8 PM.
7:30 PM BC Nature awards and presentations – all welcome to join after dinner! 178 Mountainview, Lillooet
8:00 – 9:00 PM Lillooet Flora and Fauna – presented by Lillooet naturalists Ken Wright and Ian Routley
Sunday – travel home – bon voyage (~Kelowna Camp May 7 & Mitlenatch Camp May 8~)
Field Trip Descriptions (View as PDF with Images) (Print without images)
Note – all registrants will receive a copy of the Lillooet Hiking Guide ‘Canyon to Alpine’ in their welcome / information packages – some of the hikes are referenced in the descriptions that follow
Note – binoculars recommended on all field trips
Early morning birding Friday and Saturday, 6 – 8 AM (FULL)
Pre-registration is required for the birding outings. The groups will be kept small and carpooling will be required. Birders will gather and leave from the Reynolds Hotel, 1237 Main Street. There is parking there for extra vehicles and the Cookhouse Restaurant will be open early for 'early bird breakfast specials'.
Accomplished birders Alan Burger, Ian Routley, Jeff O'Kelly and Aleda Johnson, and Ken Wright will be leading the morning bird trips. The sites are close to town.
Bat field trip Thursday, May 4th, 8:30 PM (FULL)
Pre-registration required. Profits from this outing will go towards the purchase of bat field work equipment. Lillooet naturalists Vivian Birch-Jones, Ian Routley and Kim North will lead this trip. We will carpool from the REC Centre (after the Butterfly talk) at 8:30 PM and drive to Splitrock Environmental (10 minute drive) at the Lower Spawning Channel. Some of our bat ‘locator’ equipment such as the Petterson and the Echo Meter Touch will be demonstrated. This is a ‘hot spot’ for nighttime activity of all kinds of insectivores. Easy walking but uneven ground – head lamp or flashlight recommended.
#1. Xaxli'p Community Forest and Birding with Ken Wright (FULL)
Join naturalist Robin Strong, RFT, on a tour of the Xaxl’ip community forest. This is an ecosystem-based community forest developed by Xaxli'p community members and consultant Herb Hammond RPF. See an example of how indigenous communities are redefining sustainability in their community forest (www.xcfc.ca).
The trip will include a visit to a cultural eco-restoration site. Naturalist Ken Wright will be along on the tour to highlight birds and wildlife in the scenic Fountain Valley. Driving and easy walks. Bring lunch and water.
#2. Hike Camelsfoot Fire Lookout (FULL)
Join avid hiker and naturalist Maria Mascher for a scenic drive and hike that offers panoramic views of the Fraser Canyon and mountain ranges. This hike climbs through a dry forest to the old fire lookout at 1550 metres above the Fraser River. It is a 5 - 6 hour hike, with an option to turn back at the first lookout. See Hike #21 in your Guide. This is a difficult hike: 6 km up with an elevation gain of 750 metres. Drive is 30 minutes including rough gravel road with washboard. Bring lunch, water and a walking stick.
#3. Hike Fountain Ridge (FULL)
Join naturalists Kevin Aitken and Scott Bodaly for a diverse hike along Fountain Ridge with dramatic views overlooking the Fraser River and Canyon. This hike starts by winding through an old gnarly forest and climbs up the ridge via switchbacks to a lovely rolling shoulder walk along the ridge. There are magnificent old growth trees along the way and diverse habitats. See Hike # 29 in your Guide. This is a moderate to difficult hike of 4.5 km with an elevation gain of 550 metres. Short drive from town on paved road. Bring lunch, water and a walking stick.
#4. Red Rock Hike, Jade and S7istken (pithouse) (FULL)
Join historian and miner, George Vanderwolf, ands daughter Carol for a leisurely hike up to Red Rock above town. This is a steep hike but there will be many stops for stories and history as well as opportunities to enjoy the views. See Hike #7 in your Guide. Elevation gain is 500 meters over 3.4 kilometres and the pace will be slow, allowing four hours for the trip. This walk/hike starts at 10 a.m. allowing time for a visit at the Farmer’s Market – trip leaves from the Farmer’s Market (across from the Post Office). The trip will include George showing a jade monument at the Post Office and talking about the mining history here. After the brief jade talk there is a visit to the S7istken (pithouse) where T’it’q’et elder, Bill Machell, will have the fire going and will talk about the First Nations in the area. Very short drives on paved road. Limited parking, carpooling required. Bring lunch, water and a walking stick.
#5. Restoration Site, Splitrock, Reptiles and S7istken (pithouse) (FULL)
Our self-taught restoration expert, Kim North, will lead you through the restoration site at the confluence of the Fraser and Seton Rivers and talk about this project which started ten years ago. This will be followed by a visit to the nearby native plant nursery, a First Nations' award-winning business on Sekw'el'wás territory, and a walk around the lower spawning channel. One of our citizen science initiatives has been reptile monitoring. Kamloops naturalist and reptile expert, Andy Raniseth, will be along on the trip. We finish with a visit to the S7istken (pithouse) where T’it’q’et elder, Bill Machell, will have the fire going and talk about the First Nations in the area. Easy walks. See Hikes #2 and #3 in your Guide. Carpool on mostly paved roads. Bring lunch and water.
#6. Backcountry Birding with Ian Routley (FULL)
Join expert birder and naturalist Ian Routley for a drive into the back country to explore some of our wild out-of-the-way places and habitats. Sturdy vehicles required - we will assist with this if participants are not equipped. Driving with stops and easy walks along the way. Bring lunch and water, binoculars, scope if you have one, and walking stick.
#7. Wildflowers/Butterflies/St’át’imc Plants (FULL)
Accompanied by naturalist Eleanor Wright, Restoration Ecologist Odin Scholz will take you on a drive/walk to seek out spring wildflowers. Butterfly enthusiast Bob Scafe from the Nicola Naturalists will be along to add his expertise for any butterflies or moths seen along the way. As well, Candice Jack, from Xwisten, will talk about the food and medicinal use of the plants by St’á’timc people. Carpooling on mostly paved roads, easy walks. Bring lunch and water.
#8. Xwisten Fraser River Fishing Rocks and Archeology (FULL)
This is a walking tour along the Bridge River fishing grounds led by Xwisten First Nations who will show their traditional fishing methods and demonstrate how the salmon is prepared for wind-drying. A tour to the archeological site is part of this trip with a visit to a reconstructed S7istken (pithouse) - the traditional winter home of the St'át'imc. A traditional lunch is included and is served at the confluence of the Bridge and Fraser rivers. Carpool on paved roads and easy walks. Bring water and walking stick.
#9. Lillooet Invasive Species and Ethnobotany (FULL)
Jacquie Rassmussen, P.AG. of the Lillooet Regional Invasive Species Society and Lem7ya, St’át’imc Language and Culture teacher, are hosting a workshop featuring invasive species and ethnobotanically-significant plants. Ethnobotany is the use of plants for food, medicine and technology by indigenous cultures. There will be a presentation followed by a local walk. The presentation will give a broad overview of local, regional and provincial invasive species and their impacts to our ecosystems. It will also highlight the use of local native plants (and some invasives) by the St'át'imc for food, medicine and technology. On the walk, we will point out plants featured in our talk and "show off" our diverse local ecosystems. A light lunch will be provided (thanks to the Lillooet Community Foundation). Carpool on mostly paved roads. Easy walking. Bring water.
#10. Lillooet Area Geology with Pierre Friele (FULL)
Join Pierre Friele, M.Sc., P.Geo, local terrain specialist, for a fascinating glimpse of some of the geological features in and around Lillooet. Pierre has lived and worked in the Sea to Sky corridor his whole career, and knows the area well; he has led wonderful geology tours for the Lillooet naturalists in the past. Dr. June Ryder, Ph.D., who has written seminal geoscience papers on Quaternary geology in BC, mentor to many, including Pierre, may tag along and lend her expertise to the trip. We will meet in Lillooet at the cemetery pullout and start with a vista of the Fraser River terraces to discuss the glacial history of the area. We then carpool to other sites, such as north on Hwy 99 to the active slide at Fountain and the slow moving Pavilion earthflow, and south on the Texas Creek road to view the Texas Creek rock avalanche. There will be other sites and many tidbits to pique the interest along the way. Carpool to various sites mostly on paved roads. Easy walks, bring your lunch and water.
#11. Spray Creek Ranch Tour and Lunch (FULL)
Join farmers and naturalists Tristan and Aubyn Banwell on a tour and nature walk at Spray Creek Ranch. This diversified 260-acre organic farm uses ecological principles to produce wholesome food, raising cattle, pigs and chickens on pasture in a rotational grazing system. With Tristan's rural upbringing and a BSc in Conservation and Aubyn's artistic eye, green thumb and culinary background, they are working to encourage diversity, improve soil health and create space for nature while providing local markets with diverse meats of known provenance and unparalleled quality. Fifteen km drive on mostly paved road. A delicious farm-to-table lunch prepared with local ingredients provided. Easy walks. Bring water and walking stick.
#12. Koaham Train Shuttle to Seton Portage and Tsal'alh (FULL)
Join local naturalist, Christine Galliazzo, RPF, on a circle tour to Seton Portage. It begins with a spectacular train trip along Seton Lake, through the First Nations community of Tsal’alth, to Seton Portage. Easy 2 km nature walk between Seton and Anderson Lakes with a knowledgeable First Nations guide. Return to Lillooet on a bus tour back over a mountain pass and through the Bridge River Valley. Lunch included and provided at Seton Portage. Bring your own water.
#13. Species at Risk Nature Walk with Francis Iredale (FULL)
Francis Iredale is a knowledgeable Wildlife Biologist who has worked on many projects in our area from bats to bears. Join Francis and a Lillooet naturalist for some nature walks close to town to see features of interest and hear about the species and habitats of the Lillooet area. Francis will also talk about wildlife projects that he has been a part of in partnership with the Lillooet naturalists and local First Nations. Lunch will be at the picnic spot at Naxwit. Easy walks close to town. Bring lunch, water and walking stick.
Biographies (View as PDF)
Alan Burger, Ian Routley, Jeff O'Kelly and Aleda Johnson, and Ken Wright will be leading the morning bird trips. All of these leaders are accomplished birders and familiar with our habitats and birds.
Banwell, Tristan and Aubyn
Tristan has a rural upbringing and a BSc in Conservation. Aubyn has the artistic eye, green thumb and culinary background. At Spray Creek Ranch they are working to encourage diversity, improve soil health and create space for nature while providing local markets with diverse meats of known provenance and unparalleled quality.
Vivian is the President of the Lillooet Naturalist Society, a member of Bat Conservation International and a member of the BC bat working group. She is responsible for many bat projects in the area, such as installing bat houses at the Old Bridge, and compiling the Lillooet bat brochure. She promotes the ecological benefits of our bats for school classes and the Lillooet public.
Davis, Larry M.Sc., R.P.Bio
Larry has completed many research projects on the habitat relationships and requirements of Fishers in British Columbia. In 2013, he completed a DNA-based inventory for Fisher in the Bridge River watershed. Other work on Fishers includes a Master’s Degree on Fisher ecology in the Chilcotin. Mr. Davis is a member of the BC Fisher Working Group and has experience working with First Nations, trappers and the forest industry.
Friele, Pierre M.Sc., PGeo, Terrain Specialist
Pierre is an accomplished and published geologist. He has lived and worked in the Sea to Sky corridor his whole career and knows the Lillooet area well; he has led wonderful geology tours for the Lillooet naturalists in the past which were greatly appreciated.
Galliazzo, Christine RPF
Christine Galliazzo has lived in Lillooet for 27 years and works in the position of First Nations Liaison/Stewardship Forester for the Provincial Government. She is the Secretary/Director of the Lillooet Naturalist Society and leads the Bluebird Nest Box trail maintenance and monitoring for our area.
Hobbs, Jared M.Sc., R.P.Bio.
Jared Hobbs is a Senior Wildlife Biologist and Technical Expert with Hemmera, and was previously a senior biologist with the Province. He has completed numerous projects in the Lillooet area, including studies on owls, bats, amphibians and Grizzly bears. He is an expert on Lillooet Species at Risk and their habitats.
Iredale, Francis M.Sc., R.P.Bio
Francis Iredale is a Wildlife Biologist for the province of BC, based at Kamloops. He has enjoyed learning and studying about a wide array of native species in and around the Lillooet area. He started his career with a focus on recovering Species at Risk and has recently transitioned to working on ungulates, carnivores and meso-carnivore species. Francis is very knowledgeable about wildlife projects that he has contributed to in partnership with the Lillooet Naturalist Society, the community of Lillooet and local First Nation communities.
Candice is a Xwísten (Bridge River band) community member. She is a lifelong student and teacher of St’át’imc traditional skills and practices.
Bill is a well-respected elder with the T’it’q’et band. He has served as Chief and Councilor for many years. He was the lead for the creation of the S7istken (pithouse), the traditional winter home of the St'át'imc, which is a community project that brings generations and cultures together.
Mascher, Maria, Aitken, Kevin and Bodaly, Scott
Maria, Kevin and Scott are all Lillooet naturalists, keen outdoor enthusiasts and avid hikers.
Michel, Gerald (Bobo)
Gerald Michel is the Lands and Resources Coordinator for the Xwisten (Bridge River) Band. He has over 20 years’ experience as a Councilor for the Band. He has extensive knowledge about all aspects of land and natural resources management and represents the Band in meetings concerning logging, mining and fisheries.
Kim has over 30 years in the silviculture and farm industries and ten years in environmental project management. She is the lead on many local restoration projects and manages Splitrock Environmental business. Her projects have resulted in great appreciation in our community about our ecology and the value of restoration and conservation.
Raniseth, Andy BSc
Andy grew up in the Eastern Provinces and has lived in British Columbia and Alberta since then, the last 20 years in Kamloops. He has had a lifelong interest in nature. Andy has worked as a park naturalist in Jasper National Park and is past president of both the Peace Parkland Naturalists and the Kamloops Naturalist Club. He has also assisted at Thompson Rivers University with gopher and rattlesnake studies and has extensive experience with reptiles in many parts of the American Southwest and BC.
Rasmussen, Jacquie P.Ag
Jacquie Rasmussen is a Professional Agrologist who has lived and worked in Lillooet for over 20 years. She is currently the Executive Director for the Lillooet Regional Invasive Species Society. Her other work has included range management, Grizzly bear conservation, species at risk, and ecosystem restoration.
Christ'l, leader of the Fort Berens vineyard tour, is a long term Lillooet resident and member of one of the first grape growing/winemaking families in town. She has been instrumental in the establishment and success of the Fort Berens winery and will share her enjoyment and extensive knowledge with you on the free tours of the estate.
Ian is a founding member of the Lillooet Naturalist Society and was Coordinator for the area Breeding Bird Atlas. He is an expert local birder and a keen naturalist. Ian is a wildlife photographer of note.
Bob Scafe is a Merritt naturalist with a keen interest in butterflies and moths. In 2014, while on a birding tour to Vietnam, Bob became fascinated with these ephemeral creatures and has been studying and photographing them ever since. Bob describes himself as an 'old but enthusiastic' naturalist.
Odin is a Restoration Ecologist who was hired to help the Lillooet Naturalist Society with our first restoration project. He subsequently moved to Lillooet and has been employed on restoration and conservation projects since then. We are lucky to have his expertise in our community.
Strong, Robin RFT
Robin Strong is a Registered Forest Technologist specializing in ecosystem restoration. She is the manager of the Xaxli'p Community Forest, which is a First Nations-owned community forest that focuses on the ecological and cultural restoration of the forests in Xaxli'p Survival Territory.
George is a longtime Lillooet resident and mining pioneer. He is a local historian and knowledgeable about Lillooet area mining, mountains and geology.
Weir, Richard M.Sc., R.P.Bio
Richard is the Carnivore Conservation Specialist for the Ministry of Environment, a Registered Professional Biologist and a Master of Science. His work and experience in BC is extensive and we are lucky to have this BC expert working on wolverines in the Lillooet area.
Eleanor Wright has been a resident of a Lillooet-area small rural community for over 40 years. She is passionate about wilderness, biodiversity conservation, watershed protection, ecosystem-based forestry, herbalism and building respectful and effective First Nation relationships.
Ken is a founding member of the Lillooet Naturalist Society and was instrumental in starting the Lillooet Christmas Bird Count - now in its 17th year. Ken is an international birder and a Lillooet expert. He works seasonally as a seabird biologist on the BC coast and has extensive experience working on the ecology of loons in the Arctic as well as working as a naturalist on trips to Antarctica. Recently he initiated the Clark's Nutcracker surveys as part of a larger project to conserve the endangered Whitebark Pine ecosystem. Ken serves as the Squamish-Lillooet regional reviewer for Cornell's eBird Project. Ken is a wildlife photographer of note.
Morning Yoga with Kathryn Young, Ashtanga yoga instructor. Come salute the sun at an invigorating ashtanga flow class. Lots of stretching, strengthening, and balance poses to tune-up the body for the rest of the weekend. Great for all levels.