Coastal ISC  

 June 2014 Newsletter

Yellow Loosestrife

I -   Coastal ISC News and Updates
II - Upcoming Events
III -Peo
ple in Action
IV - Regional News
V -   BC and International News
VI - Resources and Tidbits

Photo: Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius)

I -  Coastal ISC News and Updates

Coastal ISC invites you to their Spring Forum, Field Tour and AGM: Connecting with Current and Cultural Knowledge on June 12 at the Quw'utsun' Cultural Center in Duncan BC.  Join us to connect with others and hear speakers share the latest info about the European Fire Ant, the Spartina Invasion, Restoration Ecology, Mapping from Space, Cowichan Valley Invasive Plant Policy and more. A brief AGM will have Directors nominated and selected during lunch.  You must be a Member to select Directors.  We are delighted to have The Honourable Judith Guichon,  Lieutenant Governor of BC, deliver opening remarks.

"I enjoyed talking to everyone, learning what they were focusing their efforts (on), and how successful they were being." reveals a participant from last year's Forum.  The afternoon will feature our much anticipated hands-on Field Tours, where we will visit local sites and learn about Cultural and Medicinal Food Plants, Restoration and Knotweed Identification.  Register online by June 3rd!  

The Coastal ISC welcomes Kelsey Cullen to the team! Kelsey is our new Field and Outreach Assistant.  Kelsey is a marine biology major, soon to enter her fourth year of study at the University of Victoria.

Coming from the Okanagan she stumbled upon invasive species two years ago when she started working for the ISCBC with their Take Action program. Ever since then Kelsey says she "had a passion for invasive species. I was drawn to the Coastal ISC for the chance to be a part of the team that educates and eradicates invasive species on Vancouver Island and up the West Coast  - an opportunity I could not pass up."  Kelsey loves working with invasive species and although her educational background deals primarily with things under the sea she gets just as excited about Orca whales and Harbour seals as she does about Giant hogweed and Japanese knotweed.

European Wall lizards have recently been added by the Province to "Schedule C", under a new regulatory amendment. These Schedule "C" animals can be captured or killed anywhere and at any time in BC.  Spotted  in and around Victoria, there have also been unconfirmed reports as far north as Nanaimo. While seemingly cute, Wall lizards can be confused with our native Northwestern Alligator Lizard; which they compete with for food. See a complete description of the Wall lizard at the Reptiles of BC website and view the Northwestern Alligator Lizard in person at the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary Nature House. 

 - Coastal ISC staff

II - Upcoming Events

June 9-15, 2014 - Invasive Species Week in BC
June 12, 2014 - Connecting with Current and Cultural Knowledge - Coastal ISC's Spring Forum, Field Tour, AGM, Cowichan, BC.

June 20, 2014 -  Presentation: What Invasive Species may be lurking around the corner? by Coastal ISC on Texada Island
October 6-10, 2014 - Society for Ecological Restoration Great Basin: Collaborative Restoration, Redmond, Oregon

October 28-30, 2014 - Bi-Annual Integrated Vegetation Management Association of BC Conference: New Technology, New Techniques, Richmond BC.
III - People in Action

Broombusters “Cut Broom in Bloom”
-by Joanne Sales
Broom is in Bloom!  Broombusters are out on the roads and green spaces cutting down broom.  This year, over 400 people will put in thousands of hours cutting broom from late April to early June all over Vancouver Island!  Broombuster’s slogan “Cut Broom in Bloom” is now so well known that few realize Broombusters created the phrase when the society formed in 2006. Broombusters, an activist grass roots umbrella society, now has chapters from Campbell River south to North Cowichan, and west to Port Alberni.  With all those regions, there is only one Broombusters and we’re all working together in unique and creative ways.
Broombusting is addicting – and effective.  Cutting kills the broom 90% of the time, if cut in bloom at ground level. If broom is pulled, the soil is disturbed and more seeds germinate.  “Give up on broom?” director Joanne Sales says.  “How can we do that to our grandchildren? Broom isn’t naturalized.  It’s just getting started.  But so are we.”   The biggest obstacles to getting broom under control?  Messages of hopelessness, wrong strategies, and industry letting boom cover thousands of acres (talk about a fire hazard!). Road after road, park after park, city after city, Broombuster volunteers are having success.  Need proof?  Visit Qualicum Beach, once a broom resort town, the town is now 95% broom free.             So pick up those loppers and take a stand.  “The Broom stops here!” 

Pender Island Broom Bash
- by Jackie Gill and Diane Swindell on behalf of Pender Island Field Naturalists
The broom removal event in George Hill Park on Pender Island on May 10 was a success with 28 people helping. Some plants stood nearly waist high and they were so abundant! For an hour while working, we were spurred on by Sue Foote who hiked the trail wearing her full regalia and played the bagpipes for us. We concentrated our efforts in three locations - around the junction of the two trails, near the lower bench, and at the very top of the hill. Whenever we needed a break, it was a pleasure to look around at the blue flowers of common Camas in bloom.
Relaxing over a lunch of sandwiches, fresh veggies, fruit, and home baked cookies, we were entertained by the Young Violins and their leader Denny Goertz. The event wrapped up when we gave out draw prizes of five broom removal kits and a gift basket. Looking forward to seeing you at our annual broom bash next May!

IV - Regional News

Nanaimo – watch out for invading lizards
post by Dr. Gavin Hanke, April 16,2014Either Wall Lizards (Podarcis muralis) have been transported to Nanaimo – or someone is playing a good joke on me (either is probable). There was no description, and no email with the images, and I have no idea how long the lizards have been present. Nor do I know how many are there. Read the full post here
Photo by Dr. Gavin Hanke
New Pest Management Plan
Pest Management Plans (PMP) outline an Integrated Pest Management approach for the control of invasive plants on provincial Crown land, and includes prevention strategies, manual/mechanical treatment methods, biological and cultural control methods, and chemical control methods. Both the South Coastal and the Southern Interior PMPs are now confirmed and are available online. The South Coast PMP went into effect on May 1, 2014.  Link to the the South Coast PMP

Invasive ivy target of Annual Cleanup
by Chris Bush, Nanaimo News Bulletin, May 6, 2014
The city declared open season on English ivy in Nanaimo throughout May, which is Invasive Plant Month. This was the second year the city has held Invasive Plant Month to raise awareness of invasive plants, their effects on local parks and what can be done about them. The city considers invasive plants as those that can negatively impact local ecosystems. Read the full article here

Endangered Asian mussel washes up on British Columbia shore
by The Canadian Press,  April 21, 2014
VANCOUVER — A sea creature at risk of going extinct in Asia is proving to be a survivor, but after an arduous ocean journey it’s not welcome to find safe haven in British Columbia. A non-indigenous mussel that likely hitchhiked its way across the Pacific ocean has been discovered on suspected tsunami debris from Japan’s 2011 earthquake.  Read the full article here                                                                  Photograph by Jonathan Hayward
Council Eyes Cut to Yellow Menace 
- by Lexi Bainas, Cowichan Valley Citizen
Joanne Sales, founder and director of Broombusters, was able to whip up North Cowichan Councillors May 7 over the yellow invader that plagues the sides of roads and any other open space it can find.
Given the opportunity, it was clear the whole group would have grabbed the appropriate loppers and headed out to "cut the bloomin' broom."
Because, Sales said, that is the whole point: to effectively eliminate the invasive Scotch broom that is such a scourge on Vancouver Island, it must be cut down, not pulled up, while it is blooming.  Read the full article here
 Photograph By Lexi Bainas

V - BC and International News
Europe-based wall lizards are here to stay
by The Tuscaloosa News, May 18, 2014
Milan, Italy, and Cincinnati, Ohio, are seldom mentioned in the same sentence. One reason to do so is that both are home to a reptile known as the common wall lizard. In books about U.S. lizards, the wall lizard has become a standard entry because it’s become naturalized, meaning it is a non-native species that is reproducing successfully and maintaining sustainable population levels. Read the full article here
"Rapid Evolution" Keeps Invasive Plants Spreading

by Brian Stallard, May 24, 2014
A mountain-dwelling plant species that invaded Belgium in the 19th century somehow managed to adapt to the region's varied environment in less than 20 generations. Researchers suggest that this "rapid evolution" may be how the world's multitude of invasive plants continue to spread, despite the fact that they are often unaccustomed to new environments. Read the full article here
Laws needed to stop the steady march of European fire ants: experts
by Randy Shore, Vancouver Sun, April 9, 2014
Experts battling the spread of European fire ants say legislation is needed to halt the movement of soil that is creating new infestations all over southwestern B.C.
“Where the European fire ant has been established, the movement of soil out of the area is going to greatly increase the chance of spreading this ant,” said Rob Higgins, a biologist at Thompson Rivers University.  Read the full article here
They’ve taken over Britain, moved through Italy and now invasive grey squirrels are storming B.C.
by Cheryl Chan, The Province, March 27, 2014
When Karl Larsen talks about the eastern grey squirrel, he makes the bushy-tailed critters sound like a marauding army — with good reason.
Eastern grey squirrels are one of the top 100 invasive species in the world.
“They’ve taken over Britain. They’re moving through Italy. They have a beachhead in South Africa. These guys are conquerors,” said Larsen, a wildlife ecology and management professor at Thompson Rivers University. Read the full article here

VI - Resources and Tidbits

Apple has approved the Washington Rare Plants app and it can be downloaded from the Apple store.  The download is free but requires a Wi-Fi connection since it is rather large to accommodate all of the photos (145 mb). It can also be found in the app store by searching for “rare plants”. An Android version is nearly done and should be available within a month. 
Washington Rare Plants includes descriptions, photos, line drawings, and distribution maps for 320 of the rarest plants in Washington state. It was developed as a cooperative project between the Washington Department of Natural Resources Natural Heritage Program and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service so that information on rare plants is more readily available. It is based on an earlier print version, Field Guide to the Rare Plants of Washington.
North Island College is offering Foundations of Ethnobotany (BIO 170) in July and August at the Comox Valley Campus.  This science course provides students with a broad survey of the major areas of study within the discipline of ethnobotany. Topics include: folk taxonomy, plant identification and ecology, origins of agriculture, traditional foodways, phytomedicinals, fibre technologies, and plants and community. Global indigenous experiences will be used to illustrate course material and when possible, examples from Pacific Northwest cultures will be included. The laboratory component of this course illustrates and further explores the many ways of using local plants.
This is a great summer course to enhance local plant knowledge and the various usages for our regional native species.  It is being taught by Michele Jones, a local biologist. Register early!  There are only a limited number of spaces.
On the Lighter Side...

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; 
Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad

Made with fruits, weeds, flowers and leaves, 'Weedrobes' is the delightful series of meticulously detailed, perishable gowns, coats and suits by Canadian environmental artist Nicole Dextras. Striking a balance between style and commentary, the message behind Weedrobes' is aimed squarely at the not-always-so-sustainable practices of the fashion industry.

Dextras' extensive array of natural materials is a veritable gardener's delight, including yucca leaves, wild red rose, camellia, willow, hydrangeas, crab apples, kale, rosehips, laurels and thorns to pierce components together. She also uses invasive species like Japanese knotweed to call into question our attitudes toward certain species. l
Thank you for helping to Spread the Word, not the Invasive Species!

Coastal ISC Staff and Partners in Action!

Coastal ISC Display Booth at The River Never Sleeps Festival

Val Schaefer, Director Coastal ISC and Rachelle McElroy, Executive Director

Her Honorable Judith Guichon, to join us at our Annual Forum