Hunting Season – Deer hunting starts October 25, 2019

Deer hunting season starts on Friday October 25, 2019. Remember hunting is permitted in the area around The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail. Snares are also allowed near the trail – so be sure to wear hunter orange when you are on the trail and keep dogs on leash.

Here is a link to the season and bag limits
Sunday Hunting: Only allowed on the two Sundays immediately following the last Friday in October. Allowed for all species, except moose, for which a season is open at that time.
So hunting will be allowed on Sunday 27 October and 3 November, 2019.

Looking for contractors to undertake brush cutting and trail hardening

Brush Cutting

WRWEO is looking for experienced trail workers to Brush Cut Loop 2 (Mi’kmaw Hill Loop) 1.3 km: 0.3 kms on side “C” and 1 km on side “A”; and all of Loop 3 (The Bluff Loop) 7.6 kms. Here is a link to our Map.

Using a brush cutter and hand trimmer, cut the vegetation on both sides of the trail down to a maximum height of 2’’ and a total width of 3 feet , 1.5 feet on each side of the centre line. 

Pruning of branches and growth should only be done to height of 8 feet tall (any branches taller than this should not be pruned or cut back).

When pruning branches the branch should be cut flush with the trunk of the tree. There should not be any branch stumps sticking out of the tree.

As much as possible do not cut or disturb low growth shrubs such as broom crowberry.

Please email info@wrweo.ca in order to obtain a copy of our proposal submission form, please indicate that you want the brush cutting proposal submission form, references may be required. Those interested will have to provide a fixed price for each piece of work  by midnight on  30th day of October 2019.  The contract may be awarded before the 30th of October, 2019.

Trail Hardening

Using found stone, fill in the Identified Areas needing rock hardening in a manner that provides for solid footing through the Identified Area. These areas tend to be wet areas or low lying areas that can accumulate water during wet seasons. WRWEO is looking for the provision of 360 feet of on trail rock hardening (300 feet to be identified on Pot Lake Loop and 60 feet to be identified on Mi’kmaw Hill Loop).

This will require pry bars to loosen and roll found stone to the Identified Areas as well as picks and shovels to loosen the soil so that the found stone can sit on the trail properly and provide solid footing to trail users. It is important that none of the found stone, once placed on the trail in the Identified Area, moves or shifts when walked upon. The stone tread that is created should be continuous; there should not be any significant gaps of more than a few inches in between the stones such that trail users should not have to stretch their stride or jump while stepping from one stone to another. The stones should also be level with one another such that trail users do not need to step up or down more than a few inches from stone to stone.

Please email info@wrweo.ca in order to obtain a copy of our proposal submission form, please indicate that you want the trail hardening proposal submission form, references may be required. Those interested will have to provide a fixed price for each piece of work  by midnight on  30th day of October 2019.  The contract may be awarded before the 30th of October, 2019.

WRWEO is concerned about ensuring that our impacts on this wilderness are are minimized. We have received negative comments about our maintenance activities in the past and had drafted a response to a concerned citizen and trail user back in 2015. Please check it out and feel free to contact us at info@wrweo.ca if you want further information or to engage with us further on this topic. https://wrweo.ca/wp/about-wrweo/trail-maintenance/

Remediation of damage caused by Hurricane Dorian

Mike Lancaster took a crew of volunteers out on September 14, 2019 and took care of the 1st loop.Here is a picture of them taking care of a downed tree.
Then a group of NS Trail Runners led by one of our stewards, Jason White, did the whole circumference of the Bluff Trail on Sept 21, 2019 taking care of other downed trees.
Here are some photos of their efforts:

Monument on BLT dedicated to Catherine Klefenz & Lindsay Gates on International Trail Day

Past WRWEO Chair and trail builder Richmond Campbell, Ben Armstrong (current board member)  and I (David P, past board member and co-chair) attended the dedication of a memorial monument to Catherine Klefenz & Lindsay Gates today (June 1, 2019), International Trail Day.

The monument is located beside the BLT with the Six Mile Waterfall as a backdrop, a lovely site. Reg Rankin, who was the Councillor of the day when the BLT was launched, gave a speech well worth viewing, then he and Catherine’s husband Eric unveiled the monument.

It was a beautiful day; about 60 people  attended the ceremony.

The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail is accessed via the BLT. The organization Catherine founded – the BLT Rails to Trails Association – and WRWEO have had a close relationship over the years.  I always think of Catherine when I go  though the underpass for Hwy 103 – Catherine, I am told, insisted on this large, airy and safe underpass when the BLT was developed (1995). More recently, WRWEO, the BLT Rails to Trails Association, and the Five Bridges Trust collaborated to sponsor the wonderful artwork we see there now.

View a Video of the Dedication Ceremony.

May 5 2019 Bluff Trail Steward Training and Orientation Day

May 5, 2019 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM, meet at The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail parking lot – 2890 St. Margaret’s Bay Road, Timberlea, NS

Sign up via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/288040008792783

Or send an email to info@wrweo.ca

Hello, members of WRWEO and friends of The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail!

On Sunday, May 5th we will be hosting our monthly Volunteer Work Day and Trail Steward Training Session.

Would you like to learn how to give back to the trail and to reduce your ecological impact whilst using it? If so, you should consider becoming a designated Bluff Trail Steward. The trail needs your help!

We invite you to attend this volunteer work day and training session to become a designated Bluff Trail Steward or to contribute to our trail infrastructure and impact reduction work on the trail.

Volunteer and training days will be on:

Sunday May 5, 2019
Saturday June 1, 2019
Sunday July 14, 2019
Saturday September 14, 2019
Sunday October 20,  2019
November 17, 2019

At the core of the Bluff Trail Stewardship Program are the volunteer ‘Bluff Trail Stewards’; those who have been equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to help advise other trail users in aspects of best-practice trail stewardship and to work on the trail to re-mediate human harms.

To learn more about the Bluff Trail Stewardship Program follow this link: https://wrweo.ca/wp/the-bluff-trail/the-bluff-trail-stewardship-program/

As you may have heard, WRWEO has teamed up with the St. Margaret’s Bay Stewardship Association to create “The Bluff Trail Stewardship Program”! This year we will work even harder to look after the trail, our goal is reducing the harmful human impacts that are currently affecting the trail at an unsustainable rate. This goal will largely be achieved through user engagement and education by our volunteer Trail Stewards.

If you are interested in becoming a Bluff Trail Steward then contact Mike Lancaster, Stewardship Coordinator, by private messaging our Facebook page to book your spot! Or email info@wrweo.ca. Spots are limited so please respond as quickly as you can to ensure you get booked in.

See you on-trail!

Please help NS Nature Trust to protect Frederick Lake Peninsula

Spectacular oak drumlin on the Frederick Lake property

A nice surprise arrived a couple of days ago – an announcement by NS Nature Trust that a Frederick Lake property ( the “Frederick Lake Peninsula” in WRWEO jargon) had been added to their Lasting Landscapes campaign; it came with an appeal to contribute by April 5, 2019, as any donations will be matched 4:1 from a federal program.

“The other new site is a 100 acre property, just outside of Halifax, with extensive shoreline on Frederick Lake. The land is surrounded by the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area, a vast, wild landscape of rugged, rocky barrens, unique forests and lakes, home to Endangered Mainland Moose and rare plants, birds and lichens…

“All donations will be matched 4 to 1, but only until the April 5 deadline. Please help us save even more land through our Lasting Landscapes Campaign – now up to 17 sites – by donating today!”

The property boasts a spectacular oak drumlin, a large fen, patches of barrens and a black spruce swamp; bears had been very active feeding on large sweeps of wild raisin when I (David P) visited the area in the fall of 2018.

Click here to learn more about the special features of the Frederick Lake property

SAVE THE DATE! WRWEO’s AGM is coming up on April 1, 2019 from 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm. Location will be Keshen Goodman Library.

We’ve had a lot of interesting research and discoveries in 2018 so the theme is “The Science of Stewardship”

Included in these studies are continued research on the impact of dogs in wilderness areas, micro plastics, erosion control and sediment traps, and of course we have the new kingdom that was discovered in the wilderness area. If any of this research tickles your fancy come out and learn some more.

An image of the life form identified on The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail.
We’ll also be checking up on the efforts of the Bluff Trail Stewardship Program and all the amazing work that’s been done over the past year!

 

 

New this year we have a photo contest! Send us your favourite pictures, we’ll have them rolling throughout the AGM and at the end the favourite photo by audience applause will win one of our amazing all natural coaster sets!

 

If you’re interested in helping direct the work on the trail, or want to get involved with research on the trail or greater wilderness area please come out to a stewardship day or join our board!
Contact us at info@wrweo.ca.

Become a citizen scientist with iNaturalist

Did you know that, armed with nothing more than your cell phone or camera, you can contribute meaningfully to science by uploading photos you’ve taken of living things while out enjoying nature? You can join the tens of thousands in Canada who in 2018 uploaded nearly half a million observations to iNaturalist! That’s a significant contribution to the 15 million global observations submitted for the year. Once uploaded, members of the iNaturalist community help identify whatever you’ve observed. Those observations that can be confidently identified become “research grade”, and then can then be used by scientists to help understand & protect the areas we enjoy so much.

WRWEO’s awareness of & use of the iNaturalist platform on the Bluff Trail started with participation in the HaliBlitz 2017 event hosted by the Ecology Action Centre and the Canadian Wildlife Federation. At this event, we had the pleasure of learning from expert hike leaders & helping as volunteers. Judging by the great turnout and enthusiasm of everyone we met, Halifax has an appetite for learning more about life in our area, and is willing to lend a hand to help advance the scientific study of the ecosystems in which we live.

Encouraged by this experience, and having board members who have used the platform over the last year, we made it even easier to see which species have been observed on our own trail by defining an iNaturalist place for the Bluff Trail in late 2018. Every observation you make and submit to iNaturalist will now appear on this page. If you’d like to get involved, all you have to do is join iNaturalist and start uploading your observations. Those of us already signed up will be able to see your contributions as they are submitted, will help ID those contributions, and help you acquire the skills you need to improve your observations & your identifying skills.

In fact, even photos from past visits can be uploaded, so you don’t even need to wait until your next visit to the trail! Just upload your photos (it can be one or more photos) for each observation, check they have a date, time, approximate coordinates, accuracy expressed in metres, and submit. If you are confident you know what it is, you can include that, or else you can wait for help from the community to determine what it is you observed.

So don’t be intimidated. Join up, take lots of photos, upload, and have fun learning while you explore! We look forward to seeing what you’ve found and you will be contributing to the knowledge of the living things in and around The Bluff Wilderness Hiking Trail. Here is a brief getting started guide from the iNaturalist site to help orient you.


P.S. We’re sure most of you know this already, but if you are a new observer, do respect the wildlife while you’re observing it. Please don’t pick or otherwise stress out your photographic subjects, and stay on the trail to minimize your impact to their environment.

Burned Screening – Wednesday Nov. 28, 2018

The SMBSA, FBWHT, WRWEO, and Transition Bay St. Margarets are co-hosting what we hope will become a series of climate change evening action workshops.   With the working title “eco-rallies” the first of these events will be Wed., Nov 28th at 7:30PM at St Luke’s United in Upper Tantallon.  A pay-what-you-can screening of the biomass exposé “Burned”, the film and the discussion afterwards will be hosted by the EAC’s Ray Plourde.

Please mark the date in your calendars and PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!! Attached please find the evening’s poster. Please send it around widely, put it on FB, your website, etc. We seriously want a big crowd. It’s an excellent movie, an important topic, and will be a stimulating evening guaranteed.