FBLWA Stewardship Coalition Meeting

March 16, 2013


Rough Notes (Nanci Lee)




Community Organization

Wayne Rogers

Five Bridge Wilderness Heritage Trust

Amy Marsters

Dept. Natural Resources

Harry Ward


Mike Marriot


Bob Conrad

BLT Rails to Trails/SMATVA

Lisa Dahr


Lynne Kovan

CambrianÕs Cove Homeowners Association

Richmond Campbell


Joe Richards

250 Vimy Air Cadets

Meg Mulloy

NS Environmental Network

Scott Pelton

St. MargaretÕs Bay Stewardship Association

Nanci Lee

Woodens River Watershed Environmental Organization

David Patriquain


Beth McGee


Jill Pulsifier


Tom Musial

BLT Rails to Trails

Peter Bush

Department of the Environment

Bob Ziegler

St. MargaretÕs Bay Stewardship Asstn.


Absent: Catherine Klefenz; Tam Hill (Council Representatives)


March 15, 2013




Tom gave an overview of the FBLWA Stewardship Coalition - what was discussed at the last meeting including the FBLWA Stewardship Coalition and the Original Charter: guiding principles, coalition membership, roles of the coalition, coalition council, roles of the council, the five founding members.  


Project Ideas and Discussion




Comment - Aspotogan Heritage Trust. Students engaged environmental stewardship (SEELS). 2 schools. Shatford, Aspotogan School. Place-based education using the resources and natural beauty. Make students better environmental citizens. Applying for a grant.


Comment- Anyone know about Watch programs? Birch cities Canada-bird watch. Register site and location-over a specific window of time record bird species. Ice watch.


Comment- Museum. 1000 eyes program. Through NS government they would go to different schools and they would have pamphlets when first peepers come out. Children would observe and record findings.


Comment. Climate change. Measuring the fall when leaves drop. In spring measuring when the buds come out. Record and link to climate change. Website for N.America.


Comment– NSE has a Vernal Pool monitoring program. Encourage students to look at vernal pools. These are small wetlands as big as table or room that dry up that are important breeding grounds for frogs etc.


Comment - Saw this sign that said Ōseasonal lake.Ķ


Comment - information flow into this umbrella.  Get frustrated when I see flags so  I know there is someone doing researcvh but canÕt find out what.  


Comment - No research should be conducted in a wilderness area without a permit so if that is occurring it should be reported. Should go through our ecologist, Rob Cameron, to see if the research activities would negatively affect the flora or fauna. Generally approved relatively easily.


Comment - We have to be a bit careful. I think it has to be said that we are all nature lovers but there are hunters out there and we want to be careful about sending around spottings of species at risk. Peter - agree with Meg that we have to be careful about how it is done. May be a general sighting but not a GPS coordinate for example.


Comment - education project I would like to see is for the public. Signage. More knowledge about the wilderness area. As part of the Bluff Trail. If we had the signs and the surveyor (government could provide) you are now entering the wilderness area. Promoting access.


Comment - Cambrian Cove HomeownerÕs Association. ATV trail. Skidoo trail about 30 years ago. If you look at the topo map itÕs still there, even though you canÕt find it. GPS of it. People from our subdivision walk through part of it. Without permit, there is a bit flag all the way up to the fourth loop. We could be the eyes and ears of that particular area. Observe, are there new trails there, animals. Otter just sited. If formal, we put it in words.


Comment - Nature NS listserve lists species sightings, particularly birds. I go there often. Interesting place to start.


FB and social media good idea.

Comment - We need a more sophisticated website to enter data.


Summary- Definitely some momentum and consensus around the 1000 eyes idea and how different organizations can feed into it. Discussion of a site/forum/blog (may need something more sophisticated) where people can report sightings of fauna and flora, even trail conditions. May be a mix of informal (public can participate) and formal (where it would be more structured and possibly restricted with scientists, studies and a databank).  (NanciÕs note - I didnÕt mention this in the meeting - but we should also check in with John Glynn-Morris – Outdoor Network and Recreation NS/health and Wellness because they are planning to do some sort of one-stop information spot for outdoor recreation in NS. It would be helpful to see NS Trails, Outdoor Network etc and figure out how all of these resources- human and otherwise can be utilized in complementary ways).




Comment - Fire protection. Cutting trails through the woods. We never thought about that. Fire is one of our biggest enemies. Bluff Trail – shovels, backpack. Creating a fire plan for certain areas. Firemen.


If you have a fire, call Natural Resources and let them take care of it. I just heard Charlie Parker that we lost over half of the fire talks.


What to do when the fire is going. How to prevent it. Maybe just one of the blogs being used. Fire noticed at such and such a point.


Comment - Wildlife statistics. As we promote the area, hikers, ATVs, people are going to be lighting fires. Property owner is adjacent to the wilderness area. Educating the homeowners around the wilderness area. There is information on the Natural Resources website. Information is beyond – itÕs there.


Comment - Firesmart certification.


Comment - Could the firefighting units make use of the Coalition volunteers?


Comment - Our group the Air cadets. IÕd be hesitant to send in 12-15 year olds to fight fires but for prevention. Sand pits, shovels etc.  We have a large ready labour force.


Comment - visual documentation in its infancy. A lot of people who go hiking take pictures. In 25 or 50 years, it would b nice to go back and looking. Another place that people could contribute to. Good idea.


Comment - have all the species at risk been identified. Medicinal herbs.


Comment - a Bio Blitz? St. MaryÕs has run them. TheyÕve run them in Birch Cove, CPAWs, Chebucto. Identify as many species as possible.


Comment - Not going to get a lot of academics. Need experts. But we have naturalists. Monitoring education. David P. project for students at local high school,  looking at exotic and invasive species. Some indicators of Ecological Integrity. I have done some movement with that. We had YNC last fall. Where the Bluff Trail intersects with the BLT. Is a point for exotic and invasive species to move in.


Comment - If you focus on the invasive species it is like the canary. Exotic and invasive on the BLT. Instead of a Bio Blitz - this gives education & it has a research component.


Comment - As far as my plan, I want to take the summer to study it and set up a structure. Even red clover we donÕt want to see them on the trail.


Comment - Back in NS Trust, we did an extensive survey with Youthcorps, brochure was published with line drawings. We are publishing with colour photos. Under Dr. Mark Johnston – can you can get access to it?  I didnÕt see their raw data.


Comment - No plant comes for no reason. I find it upsetting that we destroy invasive species.


Comment - The main trigger for exotic going into these areas is disturbance. Can cause more changes than we would like. I agree with you in general terms. But when they start to penetrate into wilderness area itÕs a problem.


Comment - red clover.  The point about it being thrown out. People pay a lot of money for red clover. Maybe a product.


Consultation - if someone donates a bit of private land working with those private home-owners. If it becomes protected. Recommended improvements to boundaries. I just say for the record, WRWEO is actively pursuing this.


Comment - I would see the Trust being very involved in enabling, facilitating, encouraging access. Where access points are and how to get there. We must do our best to provide good information.




Comment- possible to talk about interest of tourism. Before I speak to this - some confusion about our role. Tie-ins. Not department of Tourism with the government. Professional association (non profit) for tourism agencies. 1200 different businesses around the province. Pretty long history involved in engaging with these kinds of organizations. Some of these things are core things that I want to identify. We could help you get information out to tourism providers in this areas and arenÕt sure what the restrictions are from a product perspective. Backing up – I donÕt know what the communication process is with the NS Department of Tourism. I am working on the Mgt Plan on McNabÕs. so much time about trail development and remediation. I came on committee. Developing a sustainable, responsible tourism experience outside of your region. They donÕt know what to do with it now. IÕd like to build a product for the cruise ship people. Soft adventure. We are open to tourism-related projects. We can support in terms of getting funding- ACOA, Dept. of tourism. Shared funding. Education and school system. Building in a tourism conversation- good for us in the long term. We arenÕt Disney World. As stewards of the land, tourism is part of the conversation.


Work with a group of tourism students from Acadia or Mount St. Vincent University. They have challenges put in front of them every year. Looking for some funding in the long run.


Comment - would you see Tie-ins as a group that might contribute a project.


Darlene Macdonald. Sn. Product Development officer with the Department of Tourism.


Comment - If I could remind people of the importance of this. Grounds for making this area wilderness, that it had potential benefits to the tourism industry so close to the urban centre.


Canoe, etc. small groups. Outfitters.


Comment - WeÕve talked about this before. Where are the access points and where do they park. And you can park. They canÕt unload. Signage directly into the thing. WeÕve got three or four access points where we have to access points. No signage. So very important for access, recreation, even tourism.


Comment - can we start as an exploratory project? Dedicated access point. What we need is you guys involved. Then we can take that letter. Important from tourism, community end, but it is always good if you can support the case better.


Comment - If I can speak to LisaÕs concern. Come up frequently at Trust board meetings. At our AGM this week, we have a facilitator going to help NSE - what projects can we do moving forward. Is to work on this issue of access points. This is something that is on the radar. Something that we can put our volunteer efforts on.


Comment - I wanted to respond that when we conceived of the Bluff Trail. Information package. No trace information. Pool of volunteers – weÕve got a group from the cruise ship. Limit the number of people. Say 20 and then we could locate a volunteer someone who would give a guided hike. Could be scientific background or someone like myself who could talk about the trail.


Comment - During the month of June. Tourism awareness week. When that is completed. Running some key.  


Comment - Idea of a back-woods cook-off on the Bluff Trail. This could be something that would be great marketing, tourism etc.


Next Steps


- Send the information to Tom as a clearinghouse. We will act on these suggestions and proposals.