Monthly Archives: March 2020

 

Request for Qualifications – Invasive Plant Spray Contractors Apply Now!

Purpose

The purpose of the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for herbicide contracting services is to:

  1. Allow submissions (“Submissions”) from interested parties (“Respondents”) describing the expertise and capability of the Respondent to perform one or more of the types of services outlines (collectively, the “Services”); and
  2. Identify a list of qualified Respondents (“Qualified Respondents”) the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS) may contact on an as and when required basis to enter into negotiations for a contract.

CSISS has no specific target number of Respondent to be pre-qualified and the total number pre-qualified will be determined at the sole discretion of CSISS. The list of Qualified Respondents is intended to be a resource for CSISS and not to restrict CSISS’s ability to contract with persons who are not listed as Qualified Respondents.

 

Overview of Work/Service Required

Work consists of Invasive Plant Inventory and Treatment in the Columbia Shuswap Regional District within British Columbia. The general nature of the Work to be carried out consists of operational services related to the survey, treatment and monitoring of designated invasive plant species that are found on a variety of jurisdictions, which may include but not limited to: Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure  (MOTI), Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD), Ministry of Environment (MOE – e.g. BC Parks), Regional District properties, Municipal properties, Conservations Lands, Private and Industrial Properties, and may include road rights-of-way, community pastures, forest openings, gravel pits, and quarries. The goal of this work is to prevent new introductions, and reduce existing, invasive plant species spread.

 

Email Submissions

Respondents must submit their Submission (see submission form below) by email to Robyn Hooper at rhooper@columbiashuswapinvasives.org  before April 10, 2020 at 4:00 pm PST. The subject line must read – CSISS RFQ Submission 2020. The CSISS will confirm receipt three business days after closing of the RFQ submission deadline.

DOWNLOAD SUBMISSION FORM HERE: CSISS RFQ 2020_Final

 

Laura Gaster- Field operations Program Coordinator

 

Laura has always loved working and living in the Columbia Shuswap region. She joined CSISS in 2015 and currently coordinates the Field Operations Program. From inventory to treatment to monitoring, Laura is dedicated to creating an efficient and effective program focusing on preventing the introduction of new invaders, reversing the spread of existing species and restoring native ecosystems to a healthy functioning level.

Highlights of working with CSISS include developing relationships with passionate community members and seeing the difference each individual can make.

Chasing the mountain lifestyle, you may see her around Revelstoke biking, trail running, skiing or spending a large portion of her Saturday at the local farmers market.

 

Sue Davies- Aquatic Invasive Species Coordinator

I’m Sue, the aquatic invasive species coordinator for the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS).  I grew up in New Zealand, surrounded by both the stories and the reality of invasive species like European rabbits, which in the worst affected areas in New Zealand, can be so thick on the ground that the ground literally moves with them. I have always been committed to preventing the spread of invasive species, and my work at CSISS allows me to work closely with both the authorities and the public in order to help prevent the spread of aquatic invasives into our beautiful BC lakes and rivers.

I spend my time sampling some of the many water bodies in the Columbia Shuswap region, looking for potential infestations of invasive mussels and other invasive species.  A day sampling usually starts with packing up the gear I will need for the day, then a long drive!  I start early, often driving as much as 2 hours before getting to my first location of the day.  When at the lake, I usually sample from available dock structures.  I throw my sampling net, which has a very fine mesh (64-micron mesh to be precise) and collect a plankton sample from several net tows at each site.  The sample is condensed into a small sample bottle and preserved with isopropyl alcohol, ready to be shipped off to the lab for analysis.  I also check the underwater dock surfaces to see if any settled mussels are in evidence; the surface would feel gritty to the touch, like fine sandpaper if they were there. Finally, I test the water temperature and pH (acidity) and lower a Secchi disk into the water to get an idea of clarity of the water by seeing how deep the disk goes before I loose sight of it. I enter all the data onto my iPad GIS system.

Doing all this standing on a dock with various people enjoying their day at the lake often prompts people to ask questions about what I’m doing.  I always carry information with me, resin encased samples of invasive mussels, information sheets, and even some give-aways like chamois cloths, so that I can explain what I’m doing, and why, and also to ask their help in preventing the spread of invasive species by cleaning, draining and drying their watercraft.
I often sample multiple sites on a single lake, but if I move to a new lake, I must be very careful not to spread any invasive species on my gear.  I have several sets of sampling gear, and always use a new set on each new lake.  The gear then gets thoroughly disinfected at the end of the day, with a two step process that involves a vinegar soak to dissolve any mussel shells, and a short soak in bleach to kill any potential aquatic hitchhikers.  The gear is then hung on a line to dry before being used again.

This is such a rewarding job!  It’s great to spend my days visiting these beautiful lakes, and talking to people, but by far the best bit of my day is the feeling that I’m helping to protect the lakes and rivers we all love so much.

 

Kim Kaiser- Education and Outreach Coordinator

I have been working for CSISS since 2018 and currently coordinate the Education and Outreach program. I studied biology at the University of Victoria and have always been passionate about environmental education and communications.

A day in the life

Working as the Outreach and Education coordinator involves a multitude of different tasks and no two days are the same! These activities range from providing tailored presentations to various community groups, hosting restoration events and coordinating workshops, to developing educational materials, teaching students from elementary to college level, creating social media content and engaging through online platforms. A “day in the life” facilitating invasive species education is as diverse as it is rewarding.

What I like best about working for CSISS

It’s hard to single out my favorite thing about working for an organization that is really great in a number of ways! If I had to choose a couple of things, I think it would be how much creative freedom and efficiency you get from working for an organization that is forward- thinking. We have a small, effective and dynamic team at CSISS and that means we can be very efficient and progressive when it comes to finding new ways to improve our programs.

Another thing (third, but not least) is how working in the field of environmental education combines my background in science, with my passion for developing effective and engaging communications materials. It’s really exciting to work creatively to increase the understanding of environmental issues.

 

CSISS has recently completed a risk assessment for the invasive American Bullfrog.   Bullfrogs are not currently known in the Columbia Shuswap region, but populations exist in Creston, the Lower Mainland, and on Vancouver island.  The assessment looks at the the most likely pathways of introduction of this highly invasive species, the best preventative measures to take, and the potential risks and costs if such an introduction were to occur.

See the full assessment here