Greetings fellow SRMer’s,
Just a short note as we will be getting together soon…again…in September. That means summer is almost over, so make the best of it and be back in September rarin’ to go! Our 2023 PNW Summer Tour was held during June 21-23 in beautiful British Columbia, right here in the Kootenays in southeast BC, based out of Cranbrook. Our Theme was “Giving Back to the Grasslands.” The tour featured a number of stops where we have been doing just that. They included; targeted grazing of sulphur cinquefoil with domestic goats, Native stand Christmas trees as an alternative ecosystem restoration treatment, good old-fashioned spring range burning, nesting and migration patterns of long-billed curlews and Lewis’ woodpecker, and grassland reclamation for cattle, elk, deer and bighorn sheep.
We had a great turn-out with representation from all over BC, plus lots up from Washington and Oregon. Our tour weather was amazing. We had a crystal-clear day with perfect temperatures, even though the weather was “June-uary” on both sides of the tour. Spring burns got pulled off, grassland birds were in full force, and the remaining weeds hadn’t flowered yet so we hardly noticed them. And a huge bonus – not a mosquito, even though most tour stops were on the direct flight path from the Kootenay River. Author’s note: I had been keeping that business to myself – sometimes you get lucky!
To cap off the tour day we had a great banquet at the Heritage Inn in Cranbrook. Post-dinner featured a little ‘R & D’. Music by ‘Ross & Dinwoodie’ for those of you who couldn’t be there.
The following morning, we had research top-up talks from several BC speakers; including Hailey Cocker, Wendy Gardner and Amanda Miller. Our HSYF student, Sylar Kleissen, gave a very well-presented talk on targeted grazing with a large focus on using cattle for fire reduction/ fuel management.
One other personal note: I made life-long friends with the Cranbrook crow and raven population by feeding them the leftover lunch sandwiches instead of putting the sandwiches in the dumpster, as advised. The wrappers were re-cycled…
The PNW Section 2023 Fall Meeting will be held in Burn’s Oregon featuring a field trip to the fabulous Steens Mountains. Registration information is available now. Check under the “Meetings” section at the top of the PNW website for more information..
A couple of other notes:
1. The PNW Section is hosting the International Meeting in Spokane in 2025.
2. There are opportunities to serve on the 2025 Planning Committee – contact Past-President Carlos Ochoa or signup directly on the 2025 Planning Updates page. Carlos has invited all who want to participate, even in a small way, to join SRM 2025 committees.
3. We plan to tie-in with the International Year of Rangelands and Pastoralists in 2026.
Finally, in the Lost Resources department we are saddened to announce the passing of Maurice Hansen in July of this year. Maurice was a long-time member of the BC Chapter, served as PNW Section President, and was a driving force in resource issues here in the Kootenays. He, along with Andy McDonald, Mike Malmberg and myself, were part of the Kootenay Connection which has terrorized SRM meetings for years. We will miss him. I personally forgive him for almost killing me several times while out gathering cows.
Bye for now,
Tim Ross, PNW Section President