Category Archives: Nature

The Simon Fraser Field School Visits Folk U

On Friday, May 17, Manda Aufochs Gillespie was joined by the Simon Fraser University field school that visited Cortes in the week of May 13-17 to chat about how ecosystem approaches to health can help us understand the implications and impact of climate change through the perspective of rural and remote island communities.

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#3: Chief Darren Blaney: First Nations need to take back stewardship of natural resources

More than 25 people turned out for the ‘Polycrisis Townhall-Party’ in the Klahoose Multi-purpose building on Friday, May 17. Chief Darren Blaney of the Homalco FIrst Nation, his wife, MP Rachel Blaney, and Cortes Island Regional Director Mark Vonesch were among them. The event was put together by Cortes Island’s  Alternate Director, Max Thaysen. Norm Harry, of the Klahoose FIrst Nation, welcomed everyone to the building. The most newsworthy portion was Chief Blaney’s declaration that First Nations need to take back stewardship of their traditional territories. 

An abridged version of his talk follows.

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#1: Cortes Fire Department Preparing For The Worst Case Scenario

The Cortes Island Fire Department is preparing for what could be the driest summer on record. They have purchased more equipment, a new pumper truck, and are about to start recruiting for a much larger wildfire brigade. After a year and a half as the interim Fire Chief, Eli McKenty may be staying on. This was not the story Cortes Currents expected to cover. An open fire prohibition came into effect at noon on Friday, May 17.

They were flushing water through one of the trucks in the front yard, when I arrived. Chief McKenty took me up to the office where it was quieter. There are two other desks there. BC Emergency Health Services Unit Chief Kim Robertson was away, but Office Manager Tammy Allwork was working on her computer. Their work spaces were meticulously laid out, with everything in its place. A few books and papers were sprawled across McKenty’s desk.

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#2: Another ‘Excellent’ Seafest

The official count isn’t in yet, but more than 300 people turned out for this year’s Seafest. This is the annual celebration and fundraiser of the Cortes Island Seafood Association, which was held in Squirrel Cove again this year. 

“We come back every year. This is our 10th time. We love it every year. It’s awesome. There’s amazing food and amazing people and weather’s gorgeous,” exclaimed Jason Thompson. “One thing that stuck out for us was there was only a lineup on one side this year. In the past, it’s been both sides, and there was always a little bit of confusion, and, ‘oh, I didn’t get that’. So people would come in  and get their food, and you’d look at them going, ‘get out of my way,’  but no, it’s beautiful. It’s run really nice, and the music’s perfect.”

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Study finds Black Bears are #4 in Wolves’ diet

Over the past few years there have been increasing reports of wolves preying on black bears. There have been no reports of this on Cortes Island, and a lot of residents first heard about it at the 2024 Wildlife Coexistence Gathering, at Linnaea Farm.

Todd Windle of Wild About Wolves explained that the evidences of wolves preying upon bears in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve go back to the reappearance of wolf population in the area. 

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