Tag Archives: Tofino

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.

Continue reading Origins of the Cortes Community Wolf Project

The First Wildlife Coexistence program on Vancouver Island

Around 40 people turned out for the Wildlife Coexistence Gathering on Cortes Island. This was an opportunity for Cortesians to meet some of the extended community of advisors  to the local program and learn more about our three top predators: grey wolf, black bear and cougar. The gathering was organized and hosted by Sabina Leader Mense and Georgina Silby from the Cortes Community Wolf Project. It began with a welcoming ceremony in the Klahoose All Purpose Building on Friday, April 5. There was an all day teaching series in the Linnaea Education Centre the following day. The gathering ended with a walk through the wildlife travel corridor in Hank’s Beach Forest Conservation Park on Sunday, April 7.  

Sabina Leader Mense emailed, “We celebrated our cultural relationships to our wild kin with the Klahoose First Nations singers & drummers and our guests Grace SoftDeer from the Chickasaw First Nation and Dennis Hetu from the Toquaht First Nation. We then explored our social and ecological relationships with our wild kin in formal and informal presentations by our invited guests, Bob Hansen, Pacific Rim Coordinator for WildSafeBC and Todd Windle, Coordinator for the Wild About Wolves Project.

Cortes Currents recorded most of the sessions at Linnaea and has arranged the material in a series of articles. This is an abridged version of the segment in which Bob Hansen talked about the origins of Vancouver Island’s first wildlife coexistence program. Years later it became the model for Cortes Island’s program, and Hansen was one of Sabina Leader Mense’s mentors.

Continue reading The First Wildlife Coexistence program on Vancouver Island

From Hitacu to Tofino, new public transit service connects Vancouver Island’s west coast communities

Editors note: It has been a year since the Strathcona Regional District Board instructed staff to examine the feasibility of a weekly, or bi-weekly, transit service from Campbell River to the West Coast of Vancouver Island. This will not have served Cortes and Quadra Islands, which were allowed to opt out of the plan. While there has been periodic discussions of a Cortes to Campbell River transit system, the only vehicle to serve this route is the Klahoose Community Bus. It makes the trip twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

By Alexandra Mehl, Ha-Shilth-Sa, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Tofino, BC – On April 2, the communities of Hitacu, Ucluelet, Tofino, Esowista, Ty-Histanis, and Tofino will be connected through a long-anticipated year-round transit service.

“The ACRD is excited that we can finally offer this essential service to residents on the west coast,” said John Jack, chairperson for the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD), in a press release.  “For too long reliable public transit has been a challenge for people as they struggled to get back and forth to work, school, recreational activities, appointments, or shopping. This service will fill that void, and we look forward to connecting the west coast.”

Continue reading From Hitacu to Tofino, new public transit service connects Vancouver Island’s west coast communities

New subpopulation of Deep Ocean Orcas Identified

A new subpopulation of Orcas has been identified in the open ocean off the coasts of Oregon and California. UBC researchers have identified 49 individual killer whales in photographs taken between 1997 and 2021. 

According to Josh McInnes, a masters student in the UBC Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries and lead author of a new paper in Aquatic Animals, they may also be off the coast of British Columbia.

Continue reading New subpopulation of Deep Ocean Orcas Identified

Cutting corners on healthy foods: How do Tofino’s lower wage workers get by with rising living costs?

Editor’s note: We need a study like this on lower wage earners living on Cortes and Quadra Islands, as well as Campbell River.

By Alexandra Mehl, Ha-Shilth-Sa, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Tofino, BC – With tourism’s major contribution to Tofino’s economy, the industry itself is “less likely” to offer the region’s living wage, according to a recent report. 

While the costs of food, shelter, and transportation increase, tight food budgets are likely as locals cut corners to shoulder expenses. 

In early November, Clayoquot Biosphere Trust published their biannual Vital Signs report revealing the regions living wage of $26.51 per hour is almost 10 dollars over the province’s minimum wage of $16.75.

Continue reading Cutting corners on healthy foods: How do Tofino’s lower wage workers get by with rising living costs?