Orchid Count 2017

On The Bluff Trail June 13, 2017: Lady’s slipper orchids at left, albino below; Labrador tea in flower, the last of the Rhodora in flower, swallowtail butterflies, huckleberry in flower and swamp sparrow in song.
Click on image for larger version.
On this hot, bright mid-June day, we (David P and Kai) counted the number of lady’s slipper orchids that could be seen from the trail between the trailhead and the Pot Lake junction. I counted one side going in, Kai the other and we switched on the way back giving two independent counts for both sides of the trail. As in 2015 and 2016, Kai (now 15) viewed far more than David P (“a senior”)

Here are the numbers from today and from 2014, 2015 and 2016.

June 13, 2017: 135 (Dave) 336 (Kai)

Lady’s Slipper orchids abound on the Bluff Trail (2016) : 434 (Kai)

Orchid Counts 2015: Good News!: 147 (Dave) 262 (Kai)

Mid-June Wildflowers on The Bluff Trail (2014): 133 (Dave)

So… Kai’s number was down a bit from last year, but above his count for 2015. Overall, the lady’s slipper orchids appear to be doing quite OK, which is welcome news given that use of the trail increased greatly over the last 2 years. Other native species were doing just fine as well, some shown in the photo panel at top.

Another welcome result: No exotic plant species were observed, although there are many on the BLT. Together, these indicators suggest that the Ecological Integrity on this busiest section of The Bluff Trail is being maintained.

Also, no garbage and no fire pits for which we can thank the many volunteers, and the hikers!

May 15-June 12: Final Public Engagement, Halifax Green Network Plan

The Halifax Regional Municipality is conducting the third and final phase of public engagement for the Halifax Green Network Plan, a decision-making framework for the conservation of a region-wide network of open space. A number of planning and implementation directions have been drafted using public input and study results from the earlier phases of work and are contained in the Halifax Green Network Plan Primer Report.

Public engagement for this phase will occur in a series of public meetings across HRM from May 15 to June 12, 2017. The most convenient session for most Backland folks will be May 16 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the Atlantica Hotel Halifax (Guild Hall) 1980 Robie Street.

Read more on HRM website

Williams Lake Backlands – Big decision by Regional Council on Sep. 20, 2016

Wms lakeHalifax council will be presenting a recommendation Sept 20 on whether to approve a proposal by the Nature Conservancy of Canada to acquire almost 400 acres of land in the Williams Lake backlands and set it aside indefinitely as a wilderness preserve.

Please visit the Urban Wilderness Park Website for more about the proposal and how to support it by writing to Mayor and Councillors.

We had VERY GOOD NEWS about Blue Mt/Birch Cove Lake. Let’s repeat it… make the Chebucto Peninsula a truly significant conservation area!

Reg Rankin’s controversial motion sidetracked, consideration of BMBCL on Sept. 6

In the scrum
In the scrum
Reg Rankin’s controversial Item 15 was moved up the agenda at the Regional Council meeting this afternoon. After a confusing set of discussions and motions about “Map 3A” (cited in item 15) and whether it should be released in camera, a motion was passed requesting that a full Continue reading “Reg Rankin’s controversial motion sidetracked, consideration of BMBCL on Sept. 6”

Reg Rankin makes untimely motion to amend the concept plan for BMBCL Regional Park

In a break from Reg’s long standing support for green initiatives in HRM, Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area, limiting the Otter Lake landfill etc., he has put forward a motion for next Tuesday’s Regional Council meeting that tacitly accepts the highly criticized Facilitator’s report on Blue Mt Birch Cove Lakes Regional Park, see Item 15. It also means, apparently, that the 1500+ letters written to Mayor and Councillors urging them to reject the Facilitator’s report topic will not be in the packages for councillors. Those who support the original concept of the Regional Park are urged to attend Regional Council at 1 pm on Tuesday when this item is likely to come up (See Agenda). See op-ed in the CH July 22 for a few of the many reasons why Reg’s motion would best be withdrawn and if not, soundly defeated.

Western Common Advisory Committee needs members

WCThe Western Commons is a large block of HRM land on the Chebucto Peninsula just east of the Five Bridge Lakes Wilderness Area. A Master Plan for the Western Commmons was approved in 2010, but follow-up has been slow. Now HRM is ready to move, and needs some new members on the advisory committee. See HRM Ad: http://www.halifax.ca/boardscom/documents/WesternCommon.pdf
Applications can be made through various venues, the easiest being email and online:
• clerks@halifax.ca
• Halifax.ca/forms/volunteer_application.php
Applications are being accepted until July 29th, 2016.
Thanks to Five Bridges Trust for bringing this to our attention.

HRM: Are you ready for the Birch Cove Rangers?

Three-hundred plus citizens passionate about Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes (BMBCL) attended the public meeting about the planned BMBCL Regional Park this evening (June 30, 2016), which followed a highly criticized Facilitator’s Report. Two MLAs (Diana Whalen, Joachim Stroink) attended. There were only two HRM Councillors (Waye Mason & Jennifer Watts) present, but several candidates who will run in the fall election were there. EAC’s veteran BMBCL campaigner Raymond Plourde gave a history of the Regional Park and MC’d further presentations and discussions to repeated applause. Continue reading “HRM: Are you ready for the Birch Cove Rangers?”