How to be a responsible steward of Democracy, Human Rights Capitalism and Planet Earth.

How to be a responsible steward of Planet Earth.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

A Sense of Wonder

“A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which are only accessible to our reason in their most elementary forms—it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man”
- Albert Einstein

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

British Columbia’s Threatened Sea Wolves

BC photographer's shot of sea wolf named one of National ...
Vancouver Sun-Feb 15, 2016
The photograph has earned McAllister a coveted spot among National Geographic's favourite 20 photos of 2015. The image also appeared in ...

Sea Wolf Photo Shot In B.C. Earns National Geographic Award
Huffington Post Canada-1 hour ago
A stunning picture of a rare sea wolf taken in B.C. has been dubbed one ... McAllister made his way over, and the wolves came up to say hello.

BC photographer's wolf shot among National Geographic's favourites
Times Colonist-10 hours ago
This photo has landed on National Geographic's favourite 20 photos of ... In Search of the Elusive Sea Wolf Along Canada's Rugged Coast.

International scrutiny of British Columbia’s wolf management policies continues



National Geographic Magazine Shines Spotlight on British Columbia’s Threatened Sea Wolves

Wolves that prey on seals and sea lions, fish for salmon, and swim from island to island throughout Canada’s Pacific coast are making their international debut in this month's issue of National Geographic Magazine.

"These wolves aree genetically distinct, having evolved over millennia with the rise and fall of tides along our coast,” said Ian McAllister, director and co-founder of the conservation group Pacific Wild. “They are unique in Canada and the world, yet our provincial and federal governments have failed to recognize B.C.’s sea wolves as an evolutionarily significant population that requires special protection."

Sea wolves face a number of growing threats. Beyond contending with declining wild salmon runs and the ongoing trophy hunt, human encroachment and oil and gas development are putting new pressure on these marine-dependent wolves. The National Geographic article describes how increased shipping traffic from Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway project, as well as B.C. premier Christy Clark's LNG proposals, threaten their habitat and food sources.

The article is timely given the increased scrutiny and condemnation of British Columbia’s wolf management policies, especially the wolf cull in the interior of B.C.

Article here:

For images or to interview Ian McAllister, contact:

Michaela Montaner
Director of Communications, Pacific Wild
e. michaela (at) pacificwild (dot) org
p. +1.604.649.8613

Eagle Feather


Monday, February 8, 2016

Invasive Species useful as fibres for weaving

Uses for Invasive Species

There was some discussion about invasives at our last meeting. This post introduces a new angle.

Like most Powell River residents, you are probably fighting a battle with blackberries and English ivy, trying to prevent them from taking over your yard. This spring, instead of attempting to dispose of the plants you pull out or cut off, why not look at artistic ways of using them? Baskets and woven sculptures, dyes, and bio-netting for slope stabilizing are some of the options.
 Sharon Kallis, The Ivy Boat, 2009, English ivy, assorted park maintenance branch waste.
 Berry basket made of blackberry bark by Joy Witzsche.
Ivy bionetting.
Himalayan blackberry (Rubus armeniacus)
This video by the Urban Weaver Project shows that new canes must be harvested while they have ridges. The thorns are removed, the vine is crunched underfoot then split, bundled, and dried.
English ivy (Hedera helix)
You can see the harvest of ivy in this video. If harvesting from the ground, watch that you don’t uproot native species that are still managing to survive amongst the ivy. You do have to be careful of vines growing up trees. It is often suggested not to rip them off the tree as the little roots embed into the bark and you can cause damage to the tree if you pull the ivy.

Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) is a little more difficult to work with. It may be better for large-scale projects and on-site art installations. The flowers can be used for a pale yellow dye. In this video, the potential for use in spinning and weaving is explored.

Sharon Kallis has just released her new book Common Threads. In addition to practical information on harvesting and utilizing invasive species, she emphasizes community-building and environmental issues of invasive plants in Stanley Park and other areas of Vancouver. There are step-by-step photos and instructions on making rope, twining (a basket making technique), coil basketry, and Ten Straw Diamond braiding. Find Common Threads at  
  Sharon Kallis is a Vancouver artist who specializes in working with unwanted natural materials. Involving community in connecting traditional hand techniques with invasive species and garden waste, she creates site-specific installations that become ecological interventions.

Through her work, Sharon has engaged with groups and studied plants and techniques across North America, as well as in Central America and Europe. Some of her recent projects include leading The Urban Weaver Project, Aberthau: flax=food+fibre, and working closely with fiber artists, park ecologists, First Nations basket weavers and others.
Are you inspired to try something new? Urban Weaver Project produced these videos with information on harvesting and preparing the material for use and the Urban Weaver Studio  runs workshops in Vancouver.
 The Coiled River at Science World. English ivy.

Dancing The Scotch Broom

from Martin Borden

Invasive Plant Weaving