Doctors learn in teaching hospitals… natural resource managers learn in the woods.
Last week, ALRF hosted nine UNBC students enrolled in the Field Applications in Resource Management course taught annually by Roy Rea, Senior Lab Instructor, UNBC Ecosystem Science and Management Program. This is by no means your basic field skills training. It is an advanced level, 3rd year course where students are pushed to apply their university training to address real-life, diverse, complex, and sometimes contentious natural resource management problems.
Students are taught through hands-on modules (from 2 to 4 per day) led by both faculty and natural resource practitioners ranging from forestry to guide-outfitting to mining. And it’s not all about hard science either, students are taught soft skills including concepts in multi-stakholder consensus-building and the social and spiritual importance of the environment to First Nations people. The UNBC students themselves represent several disciplines including Forestry, Environmental Science and Biology Majors, which promotes peer-learning.
This week the students wrap up thier 2-week intensive educational journey at the John Prince Research Forest where they will assemble all their learning to address year’s case study project theme: “Boundary Issues”
Last Friday, a group of volunteers from the community of Aleza Lake built steps to the entrance of the South Knolls Trail, and prepared a great lunch for the group after our work was done. Many thanks to Lloyd, Jerry, Ann and Alva for donating their time, ideas and building materials to the project! The wood chips, used for surfacing, were provided by a brushing crew from the PG Youth Custody Services Forestry Program working along the Upper Fraser Road near Giscome.
ALRF is holding several trail work bees in August and September, every second Friday. If you are interested in helping out, please contact us!
Marsh plume thistle (Cirsium palustre), listed as a noxious weed in BC’s Central Interior by the Invasive Plant Council of BC, is showing it’s presence in ALRF’s harvest areas. The plant grows in moist locations and competes with native plants and crop trees. A containment program for this purple-flowered plant is currently underway in the Central Interior aimed at preventing its expansion. According to the IPCBC the most effective way to limit the spread of the species is by cutting the plants down before they go to seed. Other methods such as biological controls and herbicides are in development.
Last summer, several harvest areas on the Research Forest were surveyed for invasive plants and several species were found in varying quantities. This provides excellent baseline information to help ALRF monitor increases and decreases in the diversity and abundance of invasive plants and to implement strategies for managing them.