Tag Archives: Gunflint Lake

Origins of the Cortes Community Wolf Project

There was an increasing number of wolf sightings and encounters on Cortes Island during the closing months of 2008. A number of posts in the Tideline over the course of the next two years mention ‘an awful lot of them on the island, in an awfully short time.’ There were mixed reactions. A Squirrel Cove resident wrote that 15 ran through one of their neighbours yards at 4 AM. Someone had a ‘magical encounter’ with a large black wolf, standing on the foot bridge over the channel connecting Gunflint and Hague Lakes, as she paddled through with her canoe. Another resident reported that three wolves killed her dog, only 70 feet from her house.

More than 150 people gathered in the Linnaea School, on January 17, 2009, when Sabina Leader Mense brought in two experts to share their experiences with wolves.  Conservation Officer Ben York thanked the audience for bringing him in to discuss the situation, rather than put an animal down. He also stated that some of the wolves on Cortes ‘are very habituated’ and ‘˜there is a level of tolerance for these animals that is endangering them.’

The other expert was Bob Hansen, a wildlife/human conflict specialist in the Pacific Rim National Reserve.

Hansen was also one of the principle speakers at the recent Wildlife Coexistence Gathering on Cortes Island.  He explained that prior to receiving Sabina’s invitation, his attention was primarily focused on the Pacific Rim community.

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Fresh look at an iconic display: The Cortes Island Water Cycle

Wild Cortes came into being as a result of a series of interactions between Laurel Bohart and Lynne Jordan, former President of the Cortes Island Museum. They started in 2005, shortly after Bohart moved to Cortes Island.  

“I met Lynn Jordan on on the ferry. She had this parrot, an African grey, and it was dead and frozen. She wanted to find a taxidermist, so I mounted her bird. That was the beginning of Wild Cortes, because we did ‘Ravens Relations,’ and put it up in the museum for a few years. People were absolutely enthralled. They wanted to know if we would have more animals, so we dreamed up the original Wild Cortes, the story of water,” she explained.

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The Dillon Creek Wetland Restoration: What did they accomplish?

There was a celebration at Linnaea Farm on Friday, March 31. While they will continue to monitor the site until at least 2026, Cortes Island’s first wetland restoration project is largely finished. The surrounding community was invited to tour the project, enjoy a potluck supper and watch Beatrix Baxter’s documentary film ‘Replenish: Bringing Back the Dillon Creek Wetland.’

“We’re just at the end of a three year grant. The Environment and Climate Change Canada ‘Eco Action Community Funding Program‘ ends today. We have a little bit of funding for this next year of monitoring and maintenance and we’ll be pursuing additional funding for future years of monitoring and maintenance,” explained Project Manager Miranda Cross.

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Good News about the drainage at Rainbow Ridge

“ If we achieve this, which I believe we’re going to do, this is a model for other communities.  We look at places like Salt Spring and even Quadra Island and places in northern BC where they have lost their lakes. The process is called eutrophication. When the lakes just become too rich in nitrogen, they become swamps. It’s not just our issue, it’s everybody’s issue and if we show a way to improve the nutrient flow into the lake while adding these extra homes, that’s a model for the whole world,” said Rex Weyler, one of the scientists monitoring Hague and Gunflint Lakes.

He was talking about the potential impacts of what would soon be called Rainbow Ridge. 

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Folk U: Learning to love our lakes

Lake Biology 101 – Learning to love our lakes on Folk U Radio .

What does it mean to love our local lakes? Learn more this week at Folk U Radio with Friends of Cortes Island and local guests Miranda Cross and Rex Weyler at 1 p.m. on CKTZ 89.5FM and on cortesradio.ca

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