Local Ecosystems & Climate Change

Raw ideas from 7 table discussions, Climate Café Sept. 29, 2022

Ideas are generally categorized as Adapting to present and coming climate change, Reducing our own GHG emissions, and General.

Changing Ecosystems
Adapting
• Helping trees move north
• Need more parks/nature reserves
• Happy to see mitigation/changes … it’s part of nature
• Leave the trees alone
• More conservation of private land
• Limit the number of newcomers [and how they interact with the environment]
General
• Impact = Population × Affluence × Technology

Agriculture & ecosystem impact
Tension between local food and ecosystem impact
• Spread out the impact ― neighbourhood food production
• Garden Bank ― Matches people with land with people who want to grow
• Neighbourhood composting for local soil
• Take pressure off terrestrial by using ocean food, using FN traditional techniques
• Food plant library, e.g. loan a tomato plant for a season … or a pot of good soil, with seeds
• Year-round food sustainability ― e.g. a community greenhouse on the Commons

Trees (#1)
Adapting
• Ecosystem inhabitants curate their land, in response to local conditions
• Encourage people to use non-native plants that are not invasive but are adapted to CC
• Encourage people to develop interactions with/for the care of trees. Educate them about
how to interpret the changing landscape
• Encourage use of mushrooms to convert woody waste into food and useful dirt.
Reducing
• Decommission roads, encourage use of non-combustion modes of transport
• Fewer and narrower roads for less impact on trees
• Encourage use of forest food plants to sequester carbon and reduce reliance on distant food sources.
• Encourage plants that have beneficial (symbiotic) relationships with local trees
• E.g. eat more stinging nettle and huckleberry

Rewilding
Adapting
• Whole island water retention [water collection]
• 707 inventory mapping by experts (VIU)
• Elsewhere, offer people-oriented areas to protect
Reducing
• Beaver whisperer
• Beaver restoring year
• groundwater systems ― contact Bill McCallum
• Examples: Burnaby River Lake & Cowichan River

Insects
Adapting
• Education on local native plants, plant native species that benefit native
• Don’t use insecticides
• GALLT brings in “plant of the year” in bulk
• Controlled, prescribed burns to reduce non-native seeds
• Biochar to put carbon and other nutrients back into soil
• Make rock/brush piles for insects, amphibians, reptiles [habitat]
• Stop roto-tilling
• Stop cleaning gardens in fall, to encourage overwintering insects
Reducing
• Look for alternatives to oil/gas products, cement [and publicize them]
• General advice:
– Think!
– Shop at GIRO
– Buy local fresh fruit/veg
– Live simply, make do with less … think about our consupmtive values
– Eat less meat

Trees (#2)
Adapting
• List of trees/plant re Richard Hebda
• Forest gardening ― maintaining understory, overstory
– Protect plants vulnerable to deer, etc., until they ar big enough
– Dogwood , evergreen huckleberry, ocean spray, speria, deciduous trees &
shrubs
• How to disseminate information widely on the island
• Lobby for infrastructure, i.e. buried hydro lines [to minimize tree impact]
• Planting more trees suitable to a changing climate
• Suggested for later sessions: book Finding the Mother Tree (Suzanne Simard)
Reducing
• Information re healthy forests sequestering carbon (per factsheet)
• More pollen (& allergies) because of stressed trees

Flora & fauna
Adapting
• What is a native species? Adapting? Mitigation? Prevention?
• Regulations to reduce tree cutting
• Covenants importan [and encouraged] through taxes and social sanctions
• What is native species of fauna
– Venison feast & turkey roast
• Issues around people feeding wildlife
General
• Minimize burning fossil fuels


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