All posts by Rochelle Baker

Rochelle Baker is a staff reporter with Canada’s National Observer, thanks thanks to a grant from the Local Journalism Initiative of the Government of Canada. She previously worked as a newspaper reporter and photographer in BC’s Lower Mainland for over 7 years and is also the Vice President of Cortes Community Radio, CKTZ, 89.5 FM.

Community forests keep resources in local hands

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

An innovative approach to forestry is increasing the returns to local economies in a way that goes beyond just focusing on profits. Community forests are a means to keep benefits and decisions around local resources in local hands, said Susan Mulkey, communication manager for the British Columbia Community Forest Association (BCCFA).

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Cortes Island’s Newt-X-ing

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Every autumn, B.C.’s Cortes Island rolls out a critical road safety campaign to protect some of the smallest and most vulnerable members of the community — rough-skinned newts.

Friends of Cortes Island (FOCI), a local conservation group, established the Newt X-ing Action Project to protect the little creatures, which face hazardous trips across roadways when they leave their wetland habitats and head into nearby forests to hibernate at the start of the rainy season.

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A bright spot: pink salmon stocks along east Vancouver Island

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Concern over B.C.’s declining wild salmon stocks is running high this year as sockeye returns on the Fraser River hit a historic low. But while the overall news may be dire, there are bright spots. Some pink salmon stocks along east Vancouver Island appear healthy, and run counts at the Quinsam River Hatchery near the city of Campbell River were good this fall.

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Election 2020: Forestry and fish are key issues in North Island riding

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Forestry and fish are playing out as pivotal B.C. election issues in the North Island, as two party leaders paid a visit to the riding in the final week of their campaigns.

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Pacific Salmon Explorer: tool to help protect BC salmon

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A groundbreaking online tool that illustrates the state of Pacific salmon across B.C. aims to help protect endangered populations and drive future conservation efforts. The Pacific Salmon Explorer is a public data-visualization site that people can use to see what types of salmon are returning to a given area and find available data on the health of the population and the cumulative habitat pressures the fish may be facing.

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