A Garry oak, Quercus garryana, woodland as a Salish cultural landscape

2018 Sept 24 Garry oak Belly-Rising, Tsawout Indian Reserve, Saanichton P9240116 photograph by Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram

This Garry oak woodland is on top of small knoll above the beach and has been referred to in English by the Tawout as ‘Belly-Rising’ or ‘Belly-Rising-Up’. This ecosystem is  exceptional in its continuous management by Tsawout elders including the late Elsie Claxton. Diverse in harvested forbs, notably camas and chocolate lily, this oak woodland is also exceptional in the amount of lichens thriving in the crowns.

Pacific crabapple, KÁ,EW [SENĆOŦEN], tree with crows eating ripe fruit

2018 September 24 A tree with perfectly ripe KÁ,EW [SENĆOŦEN], Pacific crabapple, Malus fusca, Tsawout. P9240152 photograph by Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram
This tree has perfectly ripe KÁ,EW [SENĆOŦEN with the ‘K’ and the ‘W’ underlined], Pacific crabapples, Malus fusca, with crows eating the fruit. This tree is just south of the reserve line set (under severe threat of imperial violence) for the W̱SÁNEĆ, north of Island View Beach, Saanich, Vancouver Island. Spending different days on different trees, these crows know when the crabapples are at their peak of sugar content — with soon after they begin to desiccate, contracting and wrinkling.
This population is highly vulnerable to ongoing sea level rise and saltwater intrusion into roots.

The Humet’utsun (Mount Maxwell) Protected Landscape, Salt Spring Island: Ongoing monitoring & assessment

2018 October 18 Lichen on a branch of one of the older Garry oak trees just north of the northern, more recent ‘NatureTrust’ exclosure, Mount Maxwell Ecological Reserve

KEXMIN field station includes scientists and conservation planners who have been conducting research on the indigenous cultural landscapes, ecosystems, and species at risk on wild South and West Coasts of Salt Spring Island, including the ecological reserves, going back to 1979.

Sansum Narrows vista from Mount Maxwell Ecological Reserve, August 1993 photograph by Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram

***

The current work in the area involves a number of interim reports for a range of clients.

Interim Report on the Status of Mount Maxwell Ecological Reserve, as part of the Hwmet’utsun Protected Landscape, Salt Spring Island

contents

executive summary………………………………………………………………… 2

introduction & problem statement ………………………………………………….6

ecological reserve history & landscapes ……………………………………………7

some conservation roles of this ecological reserve…………………………………11

global trends & longer-term management imperatives …………………………….23

management & sites from 1973 to present …………………………………………31

destructive activities warranting timely interventions ………………………………34

some short-term solutions to minimize further damage ……………………………47

recommendations for conservation strategies, advocacy & policy………………59

Appendix One – Map of Mount Maxwell Ecological Reserve………………………63

Appendix Two – A shore area of the ecological reserve…………………………….64

 

Algae on an older Garry oak tree (with thick bark that protects from fire). This remaining oak savannah, one of the larger fragments of remaining grassland on Hwmet’utsun, is in the higher part of the southern parcel of Mt Maxwell Ecological Reserve that was purchased by NatureServe in 2001 and made part of the Ecological Reserve in 2002. These grasslands were maintained by Salish burning that continued into the 1930s. photograph by Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram on 2017 September 14 * Non-vascular plants such as these are increasingly valuable as indicators of local, regional, and global change.

 

 

 

This remaining oak savannah, one of the larger fragments of remaining grassland on Hwmet’utsun, is in the higher part of the southern parcel of Mt Maxwell Ecological Reserve that was purchased by NatureServe in 2001 and made part of the Ecological Reserve in 2002. These grasslands were maintained by Salish burning that continued into the 1930s. photograph by Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram on 2017 September 14