Getting to know the wonders of the Cariboo-Chilcotin could fill a lifetime of discovery. We who live here know that, but what about the rest of the world?
From May 12-15, about 150 nature lovers from all over B.C. will explore our diverse and beautiful area as part of BC Nature’s Spring Conference and annual general meeting. The event is based at Thompson Rivers University.
Early risers can go birding on Friday and Saturday mornings, then return to TRU to assemble for the morning’s presentations. Participants will have difficulty choosing among the afternoon field trips offered. There are nine options for Friday afternoon, including field trips to the Chilcotin grasslands, Farwell Canyon, Doc English Bluff and the Dog Creek Road, viewing birds, plants and wildlife with local expert guides.
Saturday afternoon trips focus on special bird areas, First Nations plant use, and forest ecology in a variety of local nature areas.
Sunday morning, birders venture out to the Walker and Chimney Lake valleys and prowl the trails at Scout Island, while forest ecology will be the focus at Knife Creek. Day-long field trips to Churn Creek Protected Area (May 12) and the Horsefly River Riparian Conservation area (May 15) are planned.
Indoor components at TRU include presentations on natural history, optional business meetings and a banquet. Local biologists will speak on Insights on the Ecology of Northern Flickers, Ants from B.C. to Borneo, Cariboo Chilcotin Ecosystems and Fisheries Research.
On Thursday night Ray Coupe will show images of the topographic and biological diversity of the Cariboo Chilcotin. Chris Harris will speak Friday night with images from his recent book, Motherstone, BC’s Volcanic Plateau.
A scrumptious local-foods banquet Saturday night precedes keynote speaker Wayne Sawchuk, describing his 25 years of exploration in the Muskwa-Kechika.
BC Nature, the provincial organization of over 50 local clubs, fosters an appreciation and understanding of our natural environment, encourages the development of educational programs to learn about nature, especially for children, and provides naturalists and nature clubs a unified voice on conservation and environmental issues. Membership is open to anyone in B.C., and you automatically become a member when you join the Williams Lake Field Naturalists. For more details, check out http://bcnature.ca/pages/conferences/AGM_2011/AGM_2011.pdf” http://bcnature.ca
To recognize this week and welcome visitors to the conference, City Council has proclaimed May 9 to 15 as Nature Awareness and Appreciation Week.
Even if you don’t attend the conference, it’s a great time of year for exploring the incredible diversity at our doorstep.
So get out there and enjoy nature in the Cariboo-Chilcotin!