Tag Archives: Create Connect and Conserve series

FOCI’s Create, Connect and Conserve series

The Friends of Cortes Island (FOCI) summer programs have long been popular with tourists and summer. This year FOCI wanted to offer something for the year round community. 

“ The inspiration is partly wanting to make sure that more members of the community know about FOCI. We do a lot of projects, but they’re not really shiny and we don’t really advertise them.  They’re on our website, but if people don’t go there and read about them, they don’t know that they’re happening,” explained Soma Feldmar, the society’s Administrative Assistant.

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How to Use Bear Spray: workshop at Linnaea

FOCI launched their new  ‘Create, Connect and Conserve’ series on February 3rd at Linnaea Farm, with workshops on coexisting peacefully with wildlife. Bob Hansen of WildSafeBC explained the effectiveness and correct use of bear spray.

In the course of the presentation, he shared several interesting statistics and exploded a few common misconceptions. Bob showed a WildsafeBC video, and also gave a live demonstration; attendees learned the mechanics of ‘laying down a wall’ of spray to keep wildlife at a distance, or directly targeting the animal’s face. In a brief lecture on bear behaviour, he explained why bears attack, how often this happens, ways to avoid attacks, and what to do if a bear does attack you.

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Wolf Tales from Cortes Island

Cortes Island’s wildlife coexistence programs can be traced back to  human/wolf conflicts in 2009. Local biologist Sabina Leader Mense reached out to Bob Hansen, then wildlife-human conflict specialist with Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.  The Cortes Community Wolf Project is modelled on the Wild Coast program that Hansen had been running in the Pacific Rim for more than a decade. Hansen and Conservation Officer Ben York helped Sabina write ‘Learning to Live with Wolves on Cortes Island,’ a five-point primer which FOCI endorses and posts throughout the community.

Hansen returned to Cortes at Sabina’s invitation, for the first time since 2011, on February 3. He gave a workshop on electric fences and a demonstration on using bear spray at Linnaea Farm. There were also a lot of ‘wolf stories’ and new information. 

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Much more than an ‘Electric Fencing Workshop’ on Cortes Island

Bob Hansen’s Electric Fencing Workshop was delightful. The ‘talk’ he gave at Linnaea Farm, on February 3, was the first of FOCI’s new ‘Create, Connect and Conserve’ event series. It was permeated by stories of animal behaviour as well as visual aids.

“I’ve been involved in 50 plus electric fencing projects in our region over the last six years. Wherever electric fences have gone in, the conflicts were resolved,” Hansen explained.  

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