Merit of Merritt

Its good that it is friday….

The Nicola naturalists had a presentation from Les Gyug on the Williamson sapsucker last evening. Sapsucker AKA woodpeckers are of interest here as they were the predator of choice when conversations came up about natural ways of dealing with the mountain pine beetle problem that afflicted the province in the last decade and a half. Les had a great slide show that covered the range and characteristics of the Williamson sapsucker, a close relation to the Clark nutcracker who got its name from the Clark in Lewis and Clark the surveyors / explorers that had the great journey to the sea   and developed British North America. It would seem that these birds were very much documented by people in the Military, engendering the term closet ornithologist.

The specter of the Forest Practices Code ,an attempt  by the NDP to codify forest practices decades ago was brought up with pictures of suitable habitat for the old tree loving sapsucker. The forest practices code was discussed in round tables and was generally a failure as it tried to extent ministry total control to private landowners. However the discussions did cause logging practices to leave  trees for wood packers  and birds in the clear-cut that were being completely striped as per practice.

Pre harvest silvaculture prescriptions on crown land and nuisance civil law remained after the discourse  that was the FPC.

The appreciation for old Lark stands and a care when taking firewood  from old dead tress that may be a birds home was the most useful part of the presentation as well an enjoyment of the wonderful photography was voiced by several. A comment “who’s going to the Amazon ” By Doctor Glenn Carlson also gave a sence of responsible interest in habitat use.

The aesthetics debate of the forest practices discourse became mute when the forest in BC became red and dead from the over population of the Mountain Pine Beetle and Spruce Bud Worm. Giving a rest to the War in the Forest and a stage for the mighty woodpecker to do. Of interest is the fact they are in the Merritt area for people to find when overcoming there reclusive nature.

Today in history: March 22,1995

A Russian cosmonaut returns from 438 days in Space,Valoreriy Polakof; sets a  record.