Friends of Caren Fall 1997 Newsletter
 
A Class A park has been promised by the
B.C. Government for the Caren Range.
Victoria needs to hear you say that this
park on the Caren must reach down to 
Sechelt Inlet and to Pender Harbour.  It
will be one of the most exciting parks
they have created.  Already the rich and
special values of the Caren have attracted
local and international attention.

Our September 1996 NEWSLETTER
pointed out that only 1.6 percent of the
Sunshine Coast Forest District had any
form of protection and urged Provincial
authorities to set aside at least 6,000
hectares for the Caren to begin to address
this anomaly.  The other two forest

districts in the Lower Mainland, that are
similar in size to the Sunshine Coast, have
at least 18 percent of their areas under
some form of protection.


 

In October the Provincial Government
announced plans to protect 23 areas in the
Lower Mainland increasing the proportion
of protected areas in our District to 3%..
Among these areas was the Caren with
only 2,800 hectares.  Friends of Caren
was quickly on record that the area
proposed for protection would result
in a major conflict between habitat
preservation and recreation.  Those of us
who know the area well and would be
involved in assisting the Ministry of
Environment, Lands and Parks in drawing
up a management plan for the area, for
that is our mandate, expressed our
concerns to the authorities that there was
not enough room in the area proposed for
growing recreational needs without
having an impact on the ancient forests
and the recovering clearcuts.
A meeting with Provincial officials took
place in early April and it was learned that
the Province wished to proceed to gazette
the boundaries of the new park.  Friends
of Caren was then, for the first time,
presented with boundaries which had been
worked out at the Regional Public
Advisory Committee by a selected group
of environmentalists, representatives of
the forest industry, the mining sector,
mountaineers and outdoor clubs. Friends
of Caren, the Vancouver Natural History
Society and the Western Canada
Wilderness Committee were not at the
table.  All three groups had made
presentations to the Protected Areas
Strategy, one and two years earlier, for a
major park surrounding the ancient forests
of the Caren.

 
The proposed areas were 6,000, 8,500 and
8,500 hectares respectively.  One of the
people at the table, who had a major say
in how big our park should be, said later
that he had never been on the Caren and
was unaware that Marbled Murrelets were
breeding in the ancient forests.

Friends of Caren drew up a memorandum
to the Honourable Cathy McGregor, the
Minister of Environment, Lands and
Parks following three meetings of the
FOC executive.  We respectfully urged
the Minister and the Cabinet to reconsider
this as a special case and expand the
Caren area to a minimum of 6,000
hectares with a minimum of six
kilometers shoreline along Sechelt Inlet.
The memorandum included the following
points that Friends of Caren considers
important in setting the stage for a
meaningful sustainable Class A park on
the Caren.  In summary these, were as
follows:
1. Recreation and conservation objectives
unreachable due to potential conflicts in
too small an area.
2. The unique ancient forests and the
habitat they provide to wildlife as wen as
the opportunities the area offers to a
growing population base for good
recreation are the main reasons we
proposed this as a park.
3. A minimum of six kilometers of
shoreline would preserve an intact
shore-to-summit ecosystem. At present,
only 1% of BC's marine shoreline is
protected.
4. Sechelt Inlet is already an important
destination for kayakers and scuba divers.
5. The Cheekeye Dunsmuir Power lines
are a logical, easily recognized south
boundary for the park.
6. The above line and its extension
towards Powell River are a logical east
boundary.
7. Oldgrowth forests around Mount
Hallowell should be included in the park.
This forest forms a natural corridor down
the ridge to Klein Lake and
Skookumchuck Provincial Park.
8. Because Tetrahedron use is limited due
to watershed concerns and the general
lack of parks in the region (only 3% of the
District is protected), there is a new
urgency to enlarge the Caren to a
meaningful, sustainable size.
9. Three small government proposals, all
directed at preserving Marbled Murrelet
habitat, and three larger private proposals
all aimed at creating a new park as well as
preserving habitat values, including that
of Friends of Caren, were put before the
Protected Areas Strategy process.  No
other areas were the subject of such
sustained public concern in the region.

VICTORIA RESPONDS

In a letter dated August 12th, the Minister
of Environment suggested that Friends of
Caren continue to work with this Ministry
and the Ministry of Forests to identify and
protect other important values through the
Forest Practices Code." In closing, The
Ron.  Cathy McGregor, said in her letter:
"I appreciate your continued interest in
the Caren protected area."

MARBLED MURRELET RESEARCH

Paul Jones, FOC Chair, with Dr. John
Field and others, continued the murrelet
research on the Caren this past spring and
summer.  Paul found a new active nest on
the Caren on Father's Day and watched
the nest for sixteen days, part of the time
with John, and saw the chick leave the
nest at 21:59 hr. on Canada Day .

The three chicks we have observed on the
Caren and the information we have
assembled on chick behaviour and
feedings represents about forty percent of
all the nest data collected to date for this
species throughout its range.
 

Spípiyus (Marbled Murrelet in Sechelt)

 Spípiyus Point on Sechelt Inlet and
Spípiyus Peak on the Caren Range are
new geographical place names that  were
successfully submitted to the
Geographical Names Office by Friends of
Caren in consultation with band elders.
Thanks to John Dafoe and Gilbert Joe for
their effort and creativity in this project.

LOG SALVAGING IN THE CAREN
CLEARCUTS

Friends of Caren participated in an
arrangement with the Parks Branch and
Walter Tripp, a Sechelt log salvager, to
remove logs assembled during the 80's at
landings on  Caren logging roads.  Tripp
agreed not to take blowdown material, to
use the cross-over road only in the
afternoons so as not to disturb breeding
murrelets, and to limit his activities to
week-days.  Friends of Caren apologizes
to any people who were inconvenienced
by the logging this past summer and has
asked the contractor to post the hours
when trucks are likely to be met on the
access road.

 


 
In Memorium

We mourn the loss of Bruce Woodsworth, a long time supporter of the Friends of Caren , who passed away on August 29  at St-Mary's in Sechelt.  Our sympathies go out to Bruce's wife, Sylvia, with whom he shared a love for  wild creatures and pristine places.

 


 
COMPLETION OF SECOND DISK &
PROPOSALS FOR ITS USE

Friends of Caren has finished the second
disk taken from Canada's oldest known
tree.  The first was done by Marion Parker
and Ken Lay and is permanently on
display at the offices of the Western
 Canada Wilderness Committee on Water
Street in Vancouver.  The tree-ring count
suggests that the tree began growing on
the Caren in about AD 169.  Many thanks
to Teri Dawe, Ken Lay, John Dafoe, John
Field, Brian Myhill-Jones, Paul Jones,
Roger & Denise Lagassé and Marion
Parker for helping to prepare this sample.

Presently the disk is at the Sechelt
Community School Library.  It may soon
be displayed at the Sechelt Public Library
and find an eventual home in the Ottawa
National Museum. Any suggestions for a
tour or interim use would be welcome                        .
 

 


Marion Parker, Dendrochronologist, observes as five-year-old  Misca Lagassé demonstrates the science of tree ring counting. Photo  Roger Lagassé