Sunday, November 29, 2015

B.C.'s Elk River a crown-jewel fishery

Ben catches a huge bull trout on our 2015 October trip. Photo, Jim Hoey

B.C.'s Elk River a crown-jewel fishery

by Jim Hoey, Calgary Herald, November 10, 2015

Rarely does a fly fisher find a crown-jewel fishery.

I have been fishing for most of my 43 years, and have fished all over Canada for many years as host of The Dimestore Fishermen TV show. The Elk River in southeastern B.C. is arguably one of the best fly fisheries I have ever fished.

We first covered the fishery on our program in 2001. We met and fished with Darren Servatius, owner and operator of Pro Fish Guiding and Rafting Service. It was mid-July, with a warm sun greeting us every morning to carry us through our days. My good friend Devon and I fished for two days on the river.

Together we caught more than 200 fish on “dry fly.” Fish commonly key on young insects that are emerging from their pupal state in the river — the dry fly technique mimics this. Fly fishers love dry fly fishing, as the thrill of watching a fish rise to the surface of the water to eat a fly is exhilarating. Caddis flies were the choice of the trout on our first sojourn. Our experience in 2001 was remarkable.

Read more here:…/b-c-s-elk-river-a-crown-jewel-fi…

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Don't Tell These Ranchers Climate Change Isn't Real

Mac Blades (middle) fellow ranchers Frances Gardner and Gordon Cartwright recently won a long battle to have their drought-resistant heritage rangelands protected from coal bed methane and other energy developments. Photo by Ed Struzik.

Don't Tell These Ranchers Climate Change Isn't Real

The push to make Alberta's cattle ranges drought resistant.

By Ed Struzik,, November 17, 2015

Among the many pictures on the walls of the Rocking P ranch house is one of owner Mac Blades with singer Ian Tyson and other local ranchers riding their horses across a snowy hillside in the Livingstone Mountain range of southwestern Alberta. The photo made the front pages of both national newspapers in the fall of 2002, when Tyson, Blades and the Pekisko group of ranchers went public with their call for a moratorium on oil and gas development in the region.

Their call came on the heels of the worst prairie drought in more than 70 years.

Read more here:…/20…/11/17/Alberta-Cattle-Ranges-Drought/

Friday, November 27, 2015

REI ‪#‎OptOutside‬

REI ‪#‎OptOutside‬

"REI is closing for Black Friday. Instead, we’re going outside and we want you to join us. Learn more and find ways to #OptOutside."

28 mega retail chains will remain closed on Thanksgiving—one throws in Black Friday

By Leslie Salzilloj, Daily Kos, Nov 10, 2015

"... And then, we have companies that are taking positive steps in treating their employees with high regard by giving them Thanksgiving Day off. REI, a large outdoor gear and clothing store, is going the extra mile by closing their stores on Black Friday, and giving their employees that day off, as well. They are reportedly one of the only major chains to do so. Some might ask, “what about online shopping?” 

Again, REI takes the lead:

About 20% of REI's sales are made on its website, but the retailer won't try to lure online shoppers on Black Friday either. Customers will be able to place orders, but its homepage will try to divert buyers with a "cover screen" encouraging them to explore the outdoors instead.
"You need people to go to the mountain, you need people to catch that outdoor bug," says Jerry Stritzke, CEO of the REI chain.

That mantra has worked for REI. With 5.5 million members, it's the nation's largest retail co-op and has seen two years of double-digit growth..."

Read more here:…/-28-mega-retailers-will-stay-clo…

Sunday, November 22, 2015

World Fisheries Day - November 21

photo, Canadian Wildlife Federation

World Fisheries Day - November 21

From Canadian Wildlife Federation: "It’s World Fisheries Day! This is a day to celebrate the importance of Canada’s aquatic habitats and its role in sustaining both aquatic life and life on land. It’s a day to salute Canada’s fishermen – many of which are becoming stewards of water conservation. But it’s also a day to reflect and recognize the negative impacts we have had on our marine and freshwater resources.

The Canadian Wildlife Federation is determined to make a difference to our water. We’re proud to announce that we have published a document about open-pen aquaculture which you can read here."

Read more at this link:…/do-som…/events/world-fisheries-day.html

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Biologists race to save fish from Brazil river contaminated by dam collapse

Biologists race to save fish from Brazil river contaminated by dam collapse

So-called Operation Noah’s Ark aims to relocate aquatic life from Doce river by moving fish in tanks provided by mining company Samarco to area lakes

The Guardian, November 16, 2015 

Teams of biologists are rushing to rescue fish from a river that was contaminated after two dams at an iron ore mine in Brazil collapsed earlier this month, unleashing a deadly wave of mud.

Read more here:…/biologists-relocate-fish-brazi…

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Opinion: Stopping the floods has barely begun

A truly progressive approach to mitigating flood risk would mean restoring the badly impaired forest landscapes that produce the water that drains into our rivers. Gavin Young / Calgary Herald

Opinion: Stopping the floods has barely begun

by Kevin Van Tighem, Wendy Francis, Stephen Legault and Katie Morrison, Calgary Herald, November 13, 2015

"...Repairing the scars and restoring the water retention capacity of our headwaters would not only mitigate flood risk basin wide, it would restore the vast, green, living reservoir that stores groundwater against future droughts. It would also restore and improve habitat for the threatened grizzly bear, bull trout and west slope cutthroat — and all of us who go into the foothills and mountains in search of stunning beauty, spiritual renewal and outdoor recreation...." 

Read article here:…/opinion-stopping-the-floods-has-…

Friday, November 13, 2015

TUC Bow River Chapter - 2015 Fall Splash - Nov 26, 2015

TUC Bow River Chapter - 2015 Fall Splash - Nov 26, 2015

Country Pleasures Fly Fishing writes: "Now is the time to support this! Trout Unlimited Canada - Bow River Chapter has seen a revitalization this year. More conservation projects done, under way, or slated than we have seen in years. This dinner is an important source of funds for these projects (yes, the money will be used by the chapter) so get out there and support it."

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Artist Robert Bateman explores creative process, love of nature in new memoirs

Artist and author Robert Bateman. Courtesy, Birgit Freybe Bateman. Calgary Herald

**** Robert Bateman will be at Indigo Signal Hill (Calgary) Thursday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. ****

Artist Robert Bateman explores creative process, love of nature in new memoirs

by Eric Volmers, Calgary Herald, November 9, 2015 

At 85, Robert Bateman may seem like a creature of habit.

The acclaimed wildlife artist and naturalist still paints seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., although admits these days he is “interrupted a lot.”

For instance, he goes on a 40-minute hike each afternoon with his wife Birgit, taking the same route every day on his property near Ford Lake on Saltspring Island.

In the epilogue of his new book, Life Sketches: A Memoir, Bateman takes the reader on one of these walks. We join him on the gravel driveway, past what he calls the “map of little mysteries” of his own property, onto a forest road, into a meadow and past the giant beaver pond. Along the way, Bateman writes about a painting he did for Birgit in 2009, inspired by what he calls an “Aha!” moment that happened during one of these daily walks. It was simply the sight of his wife up ahead, carrying an umbrella and “wistfully looking at the ground.”

It was “a very quiet and unspectacular moment, but full of meaning and the memory of so many hikes together,” the artist writes.

Read more at this link:…/artist-robert-bateman-explores-c…

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Lest We Forget...

"Lest We Forget..."

Veteran Affairs minister vows to change how Ottawa treats returning soldiers
by Steven Chase, The Globe and Mail, Nov. 08, 2015

Read story here:…/veteran-a…/article27171466/

You're Not Alone

More info here:…/caf-…/