ALRF Trail Bee

Volunteers from the community of Aleza Lake pose on the completed steps to the South Knolls Trailhead.

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!

An Alien Invasion

This clump of marsh plume thistle was found at the Research Forest along the South Knolls Trail. It has appeared within the last 12 months and currently measures more than 180cm tall.

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.

Where are the Berries?

Huckleberry plants along the North Ridge Trail at Aleza Lake Research Forest.

Is it drought? Is it the late spring frosts we had this year? Perhaps it’s the famous Aleza Lake  mosquitos…?

There  are several disappointed bears and field workers out there who can’t grab and quick snack in the woods this summer – present company included! After several seasons of  abundant huckleberry and blueberry crops at the Research Forest over the past  few years, this  growing season  is turning out  to be quite a change. Not only are the plants not producing berries, some of the patches are actually missing leaves, with the bare stems showing   a carpet if grey like a stand of mountain pine beetle killed trees.  

What happened to the berries? If anyone can answer this question, please post a comment!