coastal manroot, Marah oregana, Canada’s rarest and most threatened plant species

2017 May 25 photograph taken jointly by Jan Steinman, Ecoreality Cooperative & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, KEXMIN field station

Canada’s rarest and most threatened plant species, with only one viable populations on a steep ridge above Fulford Harbour on Salt Spring Island, is,

coastal manroot, Marah oregana (Cucurbitaceae – Cucumber family).

2017 May 25 photograph taken jointly by Jan Steinman, Ecoreality Cooperative & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, KEXMIN field station

This is the more northerly of the six manroot species and this particular population is the most northerly occurrence of this species. Manroot have large perennial roots that live for centuries, can take two decades to become reproductively mature, and require two roots to reproduce (like any good cucumber!), and is relatively rare. On Salt Spring Island, the 3 to 6 metre vines extend from the roots every April and dry out and disintegrate by the time that the cucumber fruit mature in September. Unless most other cucumbers, the seeds are relatively large and heavy. From the Gulf and San Juan Islands this species occurs sporadically near the coast as far south as the mountains of Los Angeles County.

2017 May 25 photograph taken jointly by Jan Steinman, Ecoreality Cooperative & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, KEXMIN field station

At the northern end of this species’ range, the Salish cultivated this wild cucumber and used the fruit as one of their most powerful anti-viral medicines — crucial after the coming of syphilis.

This population remains unprotected. This population above Fulford Harbour was declared ‘endangered’, federally, in 2009 but the Harper Cabinet could not bother to give it legal protection. A few years ago, one of the landowners for this area bulldozed some of the old roots but the population is hanging on and shifting down the hill above Fulford Community Hall.

2017 May 25 photograph taken jointly by Jan Steinman, Ecoreality Cooperative & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram, KEXMIN field station

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

KEXMIN field station involves 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 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’utsum 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

Nearly Lost: Research & posters in Vancouver bus-shelters on two Salish fruit trees: crabapple & chokecherry

Nearly lost: Re-introducing images of Vancouver’s native fruit trees

host
City of Vancouver Public Art Program

initial posters in the ongoing ‘Nearly Lost’ project

4 different posters installed in 20 bus shelters with the poster dimension 47.25 inches x 68.25 inches.

installation
October 10 to November 7, 2016 (with locations attached)

authorship
castle grünenfelder ingram (Julian Castle, Alex Grünenfelder, and Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram with this project involving conceptualization by all three artists, research, photographing, and initial design conceptualization by Grünenfelder and Brochu-Ingram, text by Brochu-Ingram, and final designs and electronic conveyance by Grünenfelder)


text from project proposal

Nearly lost: Re-introducing images of Vancouver’s native fruit trees We propose large 2D imagery especially at bus stops, with video loop installations also possible for the video screens, of fruit and blossoms of several of the native fruit trees that have existed and continue to survive in the City of Vancouver — and that are of continued interest for First Native use, stewardship, and cultivation. Low resolution photographs would be enlarged, slightly saturated, and ‘montaged’ with educational text in English, Halkomelem (Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh snichim (Squamish) along with other widely spoken languages, and botanical Latin. For the 2015-2016, we would be able focus on making a number of montage posters celebrating two of the most common native fruit trees and more extensive Salish orchards, Pacific crabapple, Malus fusca, and chokecherry, Prunus virginiana ssp. demissa. Both of this crabapple species and this subspecies of chokecherry are limited to coastal ecosystems in BC, Alaska, and Washington State.

text on posters
four different posters with large type with,

1. lhexwlhéxw | chokecherry | Prunus virginiana

2. t’elemay (with two vertical accents over ‘m’ and ‘y’ and an acute accent over the ‘a’) | chokecherry | Prunus virginiana

3. ḵwu7úpay (with a vertical accent over the ‘y’) | Pacific crabapple | Malus fusca

4. qwa’upulhp | Pacific crabapple | Malus fusca

Along with the following headings is the following text for respective poster:

1. lhexwlhéxw | chokecherry | Prunus virginiana

One of the Salish names for chokecherry is lhexwlhéxw in the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ Downriver dialect of Halkomelem language.

2. t’elemay (with two vertical accents over ‘m’ and ‘y’ and an acute accent over the ‘a’) | chokecherry | Prunus virginiana

One of the Salish names for chokecherry is t’elemay (with two vertical accents over ‘m’ and ‘y’ and an acute accent over the ‘a’) in the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh snichim language.

3. ḵwu7úpay (with a vertical accent over the ‘y’) | Pacific crabapple | Malus fusca One of the Salish names for Pacific crabapple is ḵwu7úpay (with a vertical accent over the ‘y’) in the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh snichim language.

4. qwa’upulhp | Pacific crabapple | Malus fusca One of the Salish names for Pacific crabapple is qwa’upulhp in the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ Downriver and Island dialects of Halkomelem language.

For the two posters on chokecherry, there is the following text: Chokecherry has been a major source of fruit and medicinal bark for indigenous bark for indigenous peoples on the West Cost. Trees continue to be owned, stewarded and harvested by families of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Watuth First Nations within today’s City of Vancouver.

For the two posters on Pacific crabapple, there is the following text: Pacific crabapple has been a major source of fruit and medicinal bark for indigenous bark for indigenous peoples on the West Cost. Trees continue to be owned, stewarded and harvested by families of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Watuth First Nations within today’s City of Vancouver. For the two posters on chokecherry, there is the following text: Chokecherry has been a major source of fruit and medicinal bark for indigenous bark for indigenous peoples on the West Cost. Trees continue to be owned, stewarded and harvested by families of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Watuth First Nations within today’s City of Vancouver. For the two posters on Pacific crabapple, there is the following text: Pacific crabapple has been a major source of fruit and medicinal bark for indigenous bark for indigenous peoples on the West Cost. Trees continue to be owned, stewarded and harvested by families of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Watuth First Nations within today’s City of Vancouver.

All four posters have the following text: This species is being studied at KEXMIN field station, a centre for conversations spanning traditional indigenous knowledge, modern science, and contemporary art — a project of castle grünenfelder ingram (Julian Castle, Alex Grünenfelder and Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram). The following text was provided by the City of Vancouver: Commissioned as part of the series Coastal City for the 25th Anniversary of the City of Vancouver Public Art Program Vancouver.ca/platform2016

media
Inkjet printer on paper photographing
The photographs in the attached images of the posters were photographed jointly by Alex Grünenfelder and Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram. All of the photographs of the posters installed in the bus shelters were taken by by Alex Grünenfelder.

fabricators / suppliers
OUTFRONT MEDIA Decaux in cooperation with
the printer, LinxPrint, as service-providers to the City of Vancouver

 

 

 

Some landscape ecologies of the Hwmet’utsum, Mount Maxwell & Burgoyne Bay, Cowichan cultural and conservation area & Tsing 2015 A Feminist Approach to the Anthropocene

drone video of Mount Maxwell Ecological Reserve, Salt Spring Island taken by Ben Taft on January 5, 2017 in cooperation with KEXMIN field station

 

Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing – A Feminist Approach to the Anthropocene: Earth Stalked by Man, November 10, 2015 Barnard Center for Research on Women, Barnard College, New York

Anna L. Tsing is a Professor of Anthropology at the University of California Santa Cruz, and the acclaimed author of several books including Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection and In the Realm of the Diamond Queen.

Pacific crabapple, qwa’upulhp (in the downriver dialect of Halkomelem), ḴÁ¸EW̱ (SENĆOŦEN), Burgoyne Bay, Salt Spring Island

 

0 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram***IMG_0075 copyPacific crabapple, qwa’upulhp (in the downriver dialect of Halkomelem), ḴÁ¸EW̱ (SENĆOŦEN), Malus fusca, north of the site of the village of Xwaaqw’um, Burgoyne Bay, Salt Spring Island 2016 August 11 & 12, photographs by Alex Grünenfelder & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram

1 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram**IMG_1195 2 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram***IMG_0587 3 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram***IMG_0785 4 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram***IMG_0876 5 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram***IMG_0920

 

crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram***IMG_0504 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram***IMG_0660 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram***IMG_0933 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram***IMG_0939 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram***IMG_1155 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram**IMG_0068

 

crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram**IMG_0800 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram**IMG_0831 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram**IMG_0846 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram**IMG_0915 crabapple 2016 August 11 & 12 grunenfelder & ingram**IMG_0969

 

Studies of the West Coast subspecies of chokecherry, lhex̱wlhéx̱w / thuxwun (in the downriver dialect of Halkomelem), Prunus virginiana, on the Gulf Islands

 

0 chokecherry 2016 August 9 - 11 grunenfelder & ingram***IMG_0533

chokecherry, lhex̱wlhéx̱w / thuxwun (in the downriver dialect of Halkomelem), Prunus virginiana, Fulford Harbour, Salt Spring Island 2016 August 9 through 12, photographs by Alex Grünenfelder & Gordon Brent Brochu-Ingram

1 chokecherry 2016 August 9 - 11 grunenfelder & ingram**IMG_0565 chokecherry 2016 August 9 - 11 grunenfelder & ingram**IMG_0046 chokecherry 2016 August 9 - 11 grunenfelder & ingram**IMG_0049 copy chokecherry 2016 August 9 - 11 grunenfelder & ingram**IMG_0049 chokecherry 2016 August 9 - 11 grunenfelder & ingram**IMG_0144

Garry oak, Quercus garryana, leaf on Burgoyne Bay, Salt Spring Island

 

Garry oak Burgoyne Bay 2016 August 10 IMG_1051

Garry oak, Quercus garryana, leaf on Burgoyne Bay, Salt Spring Island – This is an important tree species in drier parts of the West Coast, is sometimes a dominant in the Pacific Northwest, and ranges from south-western British Columbia to north-western Mexico. In some indigenous territories, including on Salt Spring Island, the acorns were gathered for food and processed in pits — with a suspected processing site roughly a kilometre and a half to the north of this site near the site of the Cowichan village of Xwaaqw’um at the south end of Burgoyne Bay.

‘KEXMIN’ is the SENĆOŦEN name for Lomatium nudicaule

logo KEXMIN Lomatium nudicaule

KEXMIN is one of the traditional names, in SENĆOŦEN one of the score of Salish languages, for the medicinal & ceremonial herb, Lomatium nudicaule. There are similar words for this species in other Salish languages, and different though related spellings. ‘KEXMIN’ is thought to be an early word in the Salishan languages from which contemporary Salish language originated. The ‘KEX’, often spelled with with a ‘q’ in other languages, is thought to mean ‘hex’ as in negative forebodings. And the ‘KEX MIN’ suggests a negation, removal, and cleansing of such current or future scourges. There is a broad renewal in engagement with KEXMIN as a symbol of renewal, healing, and intercultural conversations.

2008 5 25 Lomatium nudicaule a roof garden on Vancouver Harbour

2008 May 25 Lomatium nudicaule on a roof garden above Vancouver Harbour

2008 5 30 Lomatium nudicaule - Vancouver
2008 May 30 Lomatium nudicaule, Vancouver

2008 5 30 Lomatium nudicaule with window Vancouver
2008 May 30 Lomatium nudicaule with window & Vancouver Harbour

2004 6 21 Lomatium nudicaule 21 6 2004 Belly-Rising-Up by Gordon Brent Ingram

2004 June 21 Lomatium nudicaule forming seed at Belly-Rising-Up, at the south-east corner SȾÁUTW̱ (Tsawout) treaty lands, Central Saanich. The seeds in late June are green and powerful. The seeds mature and dry-out in August and are gathered for ceremonies and medicine.

castle & ingram 2014 Lomatium nudicaule flowers that become seeds

Lomatium nudicaule flowers that become seeds

 

Salish Sea 5 Lomatium spp leaves

Lomatium species are native to the West of North America and mainly occur in drier, interior areas. The San Juan and Gulf Islands, of the Salish Sea and Puget Sound, are the only region where these plants occur as part of terrestrial-marine interface ecosystems. And the northern margins of Lomatium species are on the Gulf Islands.

 

2017 August 11 * Collecting ripe seeds KEXMIN (Lomatium nudicaule) at the beginning of ĆENŦÁWEN-COHO SALMON RETURN TO THE EARTH — in Beacon Hill Park, south-eastern Vancouver Island

 

 

Camas, Camassia leichtlinii, re-establishing in 2014 after the 2009 lightning fire on Hwmet’utsum

2014 May 8 Camassia leichtlinii after the 2009 lightning fire midway up Hwmet’utsum at the north end of Mount Maxwell Provincial Park adjacent to Mount Maxwell Ecological Reserve  * photograph by castle & ingram

 

This camas, Camassia leichtlinii, a major Salish food plant, is quickly disappearing from Salt Spring Island’s Hwmet’utsum (Mount Maxwell) a historic Cowichan gathering, cultural burning, and management area. Two factors for the disappearance of camas from protected areas in the area is predator suppression leading to extremely high levels of deer browsing and fire suppression which is contributing to Douglas fir trees growing shading out Garry oak meadows. This small population was re-establishing after wildfire (that probably stimulated seed germination) in the 2009 June 12 – 15 burn area. Unfortunately, this particular clump of camas was browsed to their roots a few days after this photograph was taken and blooms on this site have not been seen since.