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Maplewood Flats North Vancouver: Conservation success and monitoring
February 1, 2014
In 1986 and 1995 I had the good fortune to be an active naturalist in conservation campaigns while living in Canada. It was a unique time for Western Canada, when many important steps were taken to expand the network of protected areas. One of the many successes of this period was the work to design, organize, promote and ultimately create a rural community at Maplewood Flats in North Vancouver.
We fought for housing - we were against the Vancouver Port Corporation, a big government agency that wanted to develop everything. The social and community aspect of this grassroots movement made it possible to build strong relationships between residents, NGOs and the government: a win-win situation. The end result is the creation of a new, small reserve on the outskirts of an industrial megaport that has undergone a major restoration project. "Apartments" converted into an open-air school. It is now managed jointly by the government and a dedicated wildlife NGO, the Wild Bird Trust (WBT) of British America.
Maplewood Flats is important: an excellent area for birding, with 246 recorded species, and for networking with like-minded naturalists to highlight wildlife and natural history issues. A small nature lodge is being expanded to become an interpretive center, and state environmental monitoring is also underway. The Wildlife Trust, a group of passionate conservationists, helps with wildlife management and monitoring.
In early February, I participated in a bird survey that became standard, routine scientific paper for nearly 20 years. I saw 36 species in 2 hours of walking, but mostly talked to old and new friends. I want to thank my longtime friend Kevin Bell, director of the Linn Canyon Environmental Center, for being at Maplewood Flats. and enthusiastically contribute to the local culture of natural science.
Update: Several years later, the local story is still being told in the newspapers (distorted by some historical facts) : http://www.nsnews.com/community/deep-cove-crier/for-the-birds -saving- maple wood - Wadden Sea - 1.6508067
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