Blog Archives

 

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.

 

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY with Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society:

Job Title: Invasive Species Program Assistant

Job Reference: #001

Location: Revelstoke, Columbia-Shuswap. Worksites within the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. Main office in Revelstoke, BC but travel required for position throughout the CSRD.

Closing Date: March 4, 2020

Employment Duration: 4-month (May-August), 30-35hrs/week,

Wage: $18/hour (pending funding)

Application Details: CSISS Job Posting #001 – 2020 as PDF file.

APPLICATION PACKAGE – MANDATORY ITEMS:

Please include the following items in your application package (one PDF document combined 1, 2 and 3):

  1. Cover letter clearly stating:
  1. Resume, including two references (phone numbers)
  1. Driver’s abstract with 3 years clean driving record and claims history (Link for ICBC: https://www.icbc.com/driver-licensing/getting-licensed/Pages/Your-driving-record.aspx )

Please submit your application package no later than March 4th, 2020 to:

Robyn Hooper, Executive Director, Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society

Email to: info@columbiashuswapinvasives.org

JOB DESCRIPTION:

Under the direct supervision and guidance of the CSISS Executive Director and Program Coordinators, the Program Assistant will be responsible for carrying out various functions of the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society’s programs, as described in job duties below.  The base of operation will be out of Revelstoke, but there will be extensive travel throughout the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. Regular team meetings will occur weekly in Revelstoke, BC. Work hours will be full-time throughout the length of the term, but hours may fluctuate daily with weather and project demands. Work schedule likely to be Tuesday-Saturday.

Important Information:

  • Only candidates considered for positions will be contacted for an interview.
  • All candidates selected for an interview must be available for one-hour phone or in-person interview between March 16- March 30, 2020.
  • Successful candidates for Job Reference 001 will be contacted in April (pending funding) and must be available to start May 11th, 2020.

 Please send any questions to info@columbiashuswapinvasives.org

JOB DUTIES:

  • Work with Executive Director, Program Coordinators and other CSISS staff to deliver invasive species Outreach, Terrestrial, and Aquatic programs.
  • Help to deliver CSISS messaging through door to door, boat launch outreach, festivals and events, and school programs throughout the region, including the delivery of our main behavior change programs: Plant Wise, Clean Drain Dry, Play Clean Go, and Don’t Let It Loose.
  • Help to build relationships with Indigenous Peoples, partners, and other stakeholders in the region to enhance collaboration on invasive species issues.
  • Assist with invasive species inventories (surveying plants / aquatic sampling) and InvasiveAlien Plant Program (IAPP) data
  • Mechanically treat small scale invasive plant infestations.
  • Track and report on successes of program.

 SKILLS REQUIRED:

The Program Assistant will be engaging with partners and the public on a daily basis and therefore needs to be energetic, positive, outgoing, charismatic and confident.  Successful candidates must be self-motivated, highly organized, responsible, and work well in a team.  All applicants must have completed Grade 12 or equivalent and preference to those who have or are completing a relevant post-secondary program.  All activities are physically demanding, and the position requires extensive driving throughout the region, therefore experienced driving skills are required.

Ideally, you will have a strong combination of the following skills:

  • Experience and ability to interact and effectively engage people while delivering public presentations, approaching the public with outreach materials and surveys, and engaging the public at information booths;
  • Confidence public speaking;
  • Experience working with youth and/or community groups;
  • Strong motivational skills;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • Knowledge and interest in invasive species;
  • Ability to quickly acquire skills in conducting surveys and field work;
  • Enjoy working outdoors in variable field conditions;
  • Enjoy physically challenging work, such as weed pulling;
  • Comfortable working in remote settings;
  • Experience driving with long days and distances;
  • Experience working around water and watercraft, and;
  • Have or are working towards a certificate or degree;
  • Willingness to travel, and work weekends.

Additional Assets:

  • Experience interacting and presenting to a wide variety of audiences;
  • Knowledge of communication techniques used in interpretation (storytelling, theatre, music);
  • Training in communications, psychology, marketing, and/or natural sciences;
  • Social marketing and social media skills;
  • Experience with iPads, GIS Mapping software and Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Power Point;
  • Experience in data collection, organization and management; and
  • Experience with report writing.

Applicants MUST Possess:

  • Current Worksafe BC OFA Level 1 or equivalent First Aid certification; and
  • A valid BC driver’s license with 3 years Driving record and claims history

 Applicants must be eligible to participate in the 1. Eco Canada Student Work Placement Program and/or 2. Canada Summer Jobs Program (requirements listed below):

 Eco Canada Student Work Placement Program Requirements:

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • If you currently study at a university or college in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art or Math (STEAM) and Business, you qualify!
  • be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for the duration of the employment*; and,
  • have a valid Social Insurance Number at the start of employment and be legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial or territorial legislation and regulations.

Students on a work permit or visa are not eligible.

 Canada Summer Jobs Program Requirements:

To be eligible, youth must:

  • be between 15 and 30 years of age at the start of the employment;
  • be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for the duration of the employment*; and,
  • have a valid Social Insurance Number at the start of employment and be legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial or territorial legislation and regulations.

  About CSISS

The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS) is a non-profit organization comprised of volunteer members representing private & public agencies, clubs and organizations in the Columbia-Shuswap Region of British Columbia. Members of the society are dedicated to increasing awareness of invasive species and associated losses caused to the natural and domestic resources of our Region. The Society performs invasive species inventory, treatment programs, promotes best management practices, and coordinates invasive species action, education and awareness activities throughout the Columbia-Shuswap Region.

 

 

 

Invasive Asian clam shells found on Shuswap Lake beach may indicate a new infestation, highlights importance of Clean-Drain-Dry.

Clam shells found on a beach in the Shuswap last fall have been identified as invasive Asian clam.  At this time only dead shells have been found.

“The Provincial staff have told us they have not confirmed any live individuals, and indicated that monitoring will continue for the coming season” says Sue Davies, Aquatic Coordinator for the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society.

However, populations of the invasive clam aren’t far off: they do exist in several lakes in the lower mainland and are widely distributed in Washington State. This is the first indication that they may have spread to Shuswap Lake. Members of the public are asked to please report any suspected invasive species via the Provincial “Report Invasives BC” smartphone application (available for download from www.gov.bc.ca/invasive-species) and any suspected invasive zebra or quagga mussels to the Report All Poachers and Polluters hotline 1-877-952-7277.

Asian clams are small bivalve shellfish, originating in Asia. They are considered invasive due to their negative impacts on many North American waterways.

Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS) provides education and information to the public regarding invasive species such as Asian clam. CSISS has been monitoring lakes in the region for invasive species as part of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy’s provincial lake monitoring program.  To date, none of the samples from Shuswap Lake have come back positive for Asian clam larvae.

The larvae of Asian clam are microscopic and could potentially be transported in standing water in boats.  Adult Asian clams are also small – the size of a fingernail – and could be embedded in mud on a boat or boat trailer.

“It’s possible that Asian clams came to the Shuswap as fishing bait, as live food, or accidentally inside a watercraft,” says Davies. “It is super important not to transport invasive species.  Never release live animals or plants into waterways, and remember to Clean Drain and Dry your watercraft when moving it between waterbodies,” she adds. “We encourage all boaters, anglers, and paddlers to Clean Drain Dry their watercraft and gear every time they move from one lake to another because it is the most effective way to prevent the spread of invasive species.”

“Just walk around your boat, remove any mud or plants, drain compartments, mop up standing water with a chamois cloth, and make sure everything, including your fishing gear, is properly clean and dry before relaunching into a new lake or river.  It’s pretty simple and can prevent a world of problems,” explains Davies.

Asian clams are self-fertile, so a single clam can start a new population. They can produce up to 70,000 eggs per year and can reach densities of up to 20,000 individuals per square meter of lake bed.  They are filter feeders and can reduce biodiversity and food available for fish.  Dense populations may have the potential to clog filters on hydro systems and water pipes, imposing costly maintenance.  They are also known to harbour parasites that are harmful to humans if the clams are consumed raw.

A fact sheet for Asian clam is available at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/environment/plants-animals-and-ecosystems/invasive-species/alerts/asian_clam_alert.pdf

Travellers bringing watercraft to BC are encouraged to visit the provincial website, https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/invasive-mussels/bringing-your-boat-to-bc

The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention, management and reduction of invasive species in the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. CSISS is thankful for the generous support of the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Shuswap Watershed Council, Columbia Basin Trust, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

To learn more about invasive species in the Columbia Shuswap region please visit: https://www.columbiashuswapinvasives.org

 

 

You’re Invited: CSISS Annual Land Manager Meeting March 4, 2020

Event Details:

Date: Wednesday March 4, 2020
Time: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Location: Revelstoke Community Centre, MacPherson Room, 600 Campbell Ave. Revelstoke, BC.

Please register for the Annual Land Manager meeting HERE !

Written feedback (e.g. on Priority Invasive Plant Lists) is also welcomed before February 18, 2020 to info@columbiashuswapinvasives.org

Annual Land Manager Meeting: The CSISS is completing its annual review of the priority invasive species list and watchlists from the 2020-2025 Columbia Shuswap Operational Plan for Invasive Species. In particular, the priority invasive plant lists help guide inventory, treatment, monitoring and data management of invasive plants within the Columbia Shuswap Regional District.

The goal of this meeting is to enable land managers to provide guidance and input on the priority invasive plant lists, watchlists and best practices within the region. The meeting objectives are to: 1) Share updates on invasive species management activities of each organization; and 2) Revisit prioritization of invasive plant species and activities for treatments, inventories, monitoring and data management and 3) any other invasive species updates and presence/absence updates to the regional watchlists.

Here is a link to the 2020- 2025 Columbia Shuswap Operational Plan for Invasive Species including the priority plant list and regional watchlisthttps://columbiashuswapinvasives.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Columbia-Shuswap-Operational-Plan-2019_v6_Aug23.pdf

Your input is critical in ensuring the delivery of an effective, efficient, and coordinated invasive species program in the Columbia Shuswap. We appreciate your feedback as key partners and Board members in helping with this process.
Learn more about other upcoming CSISS events and news in our recent newsletter.  Also check out our recently released 2019 Annual Report and Annual Report Infographic!

Stay connected: to join our newsletter and become a member click here.

CSISS is grateful for the generous contributions of funders and partners, including Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia Shuswap Regional District, and the Province of BC.

Copyright © 2020 Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society, All rights reserved.
We send this newsletter to all CSISS contacts, please let us know if you would not like to be on our contact list.

Our mailing address is:

Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society

P.O. Box 2853

RevelstokeBC V0E 2S0

Canada

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Another year has passed with no invasive mussels detected in the Columbia Shuswap! 2019 was a successful year for CSISS- Take a look at our newsletter below to see what we accomplished this past year.

Happy New Year!

2019 was a fantastic year for CSISS thanks to our dedicated board of directors, staff and volunteers. We extend out gratitude to our funders and supporters this past year!

Highlights from the past year
Access our full Annual Report here

Great News for Columbia Shuswap Watersheds: No invasive mussels detected in 2019!

Another year with no invasive mussels detected in any of the 12 water bodies tested!
Freshwater lakes and rivers are not only vital for recreation and tourism, but are also an integral part of the economy in our region.  Invasive mussels could cost millions every year in infrastructure maintenance if they were to enter BC waterways.
Protecting infrastructure and native ecosystems from the negative impacts of aquatic invasive species is a priority.  Please ensure that all watercraft entering BC are inspected for invasive species, and that you Clean Drain and Dry your watercraft when moving from one water body to another within BC.
Upcoming Events:

Jan 31st- Shuswap Trails Working Group Meeting
Feb 11th-13th- INVASIVES 2020- Invasive Species Council of BC Annual Forum
Would you like to organize a guest presentation from CSISS? Contact us at info@columbiashuswapinvasives.org to book!

Thanks to our Funders!

Thanks to all of our 2019 funders including: Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, The Shuswap Watershed Council, the Province of BC, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, and the Columbia Basin Trust for funding our aquatic sampling and outreach programs this year. Thank you to other regional and provincial groups for their in kind support, fee for service projects, and partnerships – in total there were 19 funders in 2019 and over 30 in-kind contributors!

If you are interested in contributing to CSISS for 2020, please contact our Executive Director Robyn Hooper to discuss sponsorships, donations, funding partnerships or other opportunities to collaborate at: rhooper@columbiashuswapinvasives.org or phone toll free 1-855-785-9333

Click here to donate now to CSISS 2020 Programs!

Find Out More About CSISS
Copyright © 2019 Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this e-mail as we value you as a stakeholder and partner in preventing the spread of invasive species in the Columbia Shuswap region. This newsletter is meant to keep you informed of activities and events in our area that may be of interest to you.Our mailing address is:
Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society
P.O. Box 2853
Revelstoke, BC V0E 2S0
Canada
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CSISS Autumn Updates

See newsletter view here: https://mailchi.mp/27b483f7f90f/csiss-autumn-updates

Another successful field season for Aquatic and Terrestrial Invasive Species Programs!

Terrestrial and Aquatic field work is wrapped up for 2019
See highlights below:

Terrestrial Program

94 new invasive plant sites
1204 invasive plant surveys
52 mechanical treatment sites, covering 1118 m2
64 chemical treatment sites, 46 monitored sites
3 bioagent monitoring sites for: spotted knapweed, St. John’s wort, yellow toadflax

Aquatic Program

139 plankton samples from 9 water bodies for invasive mussel analysis
16 invasive mussel substrate samplers installed in 11 water bodies
Aquatic plants surveyed at 27 sites on 9 water bodies

CSISS AGM

Thank you to those of you who attended our AGM in Golden this year! The meeting minutes from the AGM can be found here. Thanks also to the guest speakers from Kootenay Conservation Program, Provincial Mussel Defence Program and Wildsight Golden, as well as the Town of Golden for hosting us.

Aquatic Outreach
Aquatic Outreach
CSISS partnered with ISCBC and other groups to install 32 new Clean Drain Dry signs at boat launches throughout the region!CSISS staff visited 29 Marinas and boat stores, held staff briefings at 9 marinas, visited 29 campgrounds, talked to 222 boaters at boat launches and attended many aquatic focused events over the summer season. 
 

SHOUT OUT TO FUNDERS 
CSISS has worked with the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) and the Shuswap Watershed Council (SWC) for the past two years to prevent the spread of invasive mussels. HCTF contributes to the lake monitoring program and SWC contributes to both the monitoring and outreach programs.

Huge thanks to both organizations for making this important work possible.

CSISS and the Shuswap Watershed Council head to Montreal!
CSISS Executive Director Robyn Hooper, Chair Hamish Kassa, along with the Shuswap Watershed Council’s Erin Vierra attended the International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species (ICAIS) in Montreal in late October.

CSISS and SWC presented on aquatic invasive species prevention in the Columbia Shuswap Region at the International Conference

The presentation focused on invasive mussel prevention through collaboration, advocacy, education and lake monitoring.

Find Out More about ICAIS conference
Did you know?
It’s free to dispose invasive plants at landfills and transfer stations in the Columbia Shuswap Region.

Leaves are falling and it’s garden clean up time!

Remember that invasive plants don’t go in the yard waste pile at the landfill. Please bag and bring them to the household garbage instead. It’s free!

Forest pests such as gypsy moths, emerald ash borer and Asian long-horned beetle are often moved through firewood and can destroy Canadian Forests and urban trees. 

Avoid transporting forest pests and Buy Local, Burn Local!

Outreach Program Updates
While CSISS is still busy attending events and conferences, here are some updates from the season so far:

CSISS attended 86 events and presentations, directly engaging with 3,456 people and reaching over 38,800 people.
Hosted 6 weed pulls with 70 volunteers
Presented at 20 youth events, engaging with 1,194 youth

Upcoming events:

Nov 13th- Shuswap Water Quality Monitoring Group Meeting
Nov 20th- Annual Shuswap Trails Round-Table Meeting
Nov 20th- Canadian Weed Science Conference
Nov 27th- Revelstoke Secondary School Climate Expo

CSISS is grateful for the support of many contributors and funders
 

Come join us for the CSISS Annual General Meeting including Guest Speakers and new updates!

Date: October 17th, 12pm – 3:00pm MST (*3:30pm MST for Board Members)
Location:  1410 9th St. South (upstairs) Golden Arena Lounge, Golden
Topics: Roundtable updates from regional stakeholders; Guest Speakers (Wildsight Golden, BC Mussel Defense Conservation Officers, Kootenay Conservation Program); Presentation on UPDATED Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Operational Plan; CSISS end of season updates; and AGM including Board Election.
Lunch and refreshments included.
Please 
Register here!
Contact us at 1-855-785-9333 or info@columbiashuswapinvasives.org with any questions.

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