Thursday, March 11, 2010

Meeting Last Night - Burns Bog

We had a great meeting last night with Eliza Olson who is the Founding President of the Burns Bog Conservation Society. Olson has a laundry list of awards including: Queen’s Jubilee Medal, Canada125 Medal, Canadian Geographic Silver Award for Conservation, Earthday Canada’s Hometown Hero, and Delta Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year for 2006 to name a few for her work on preserving Burns Bog.

She gave us a general overview of the eco-logical importance and the history of the bog. I invite you to listen to the audio and view the presentation below. For example: approximately 4% of the world’s ice free land area is bog, however bogs are estimated to contain between one quarter and one third of the world’s pool of soil carbon. Also about 98% of a bog is water. The Burns Bog is basically the great filter of Metro Vancouver. Right now public access is not allowed on the main part of the bog. Olson would like to see controlled public access so people can see first-hand what the bog is and contains. Burns Bog is also a treasure trove of ecological diversity. Unfortunate, the Bog is under threat from the South Fraser Perimeter Road which I’ve blogged about in the past.

To date the road is causing the introduction of common grass into the delicate ecosystem of the bog, wiping the Red-backed Vole off the face of the planet, goes through breeding grounds in the Pacific Flyway, and is affecting the sensitive hydrology of the bog due to pre-loading of the ground. You can check out a full list of issues on the Burns Bog Conservation Society's website. I should point out that the society doesn’t oppose the road, just the alignment of the road. On the human front, over 70 homes have been bulldozed over in Annieville and Sunbury; wiping out a century of history. According to Olson, the brief submitted on the SFPR to the BC Environmental Assessment Office states that the road will help the economy by providing more jobs in the health profession due to pollution from the road. On the bright side, the Bog has the ability to regenerate over time in the right conditions.


Meeting Photos

Update: 3% of the earth's surface that is covered with peatlands not 4%. International Mires Conservation Group's website is a great resource for information on bogs.

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