Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Rare lupines murdered

Received a message through the grapevine, jungle messaging system, a large portion of which is printed here:

        In PoCo, the city mowed down some of the rare & endangered streambank lupines. There is a large area that is fenced off just for the lupines that is fine, but many of the lupines had seeded outside the fence, and these were all mowed down. When I went by to take a closer look, I couldn't even find any lupines inside the fence, tho I might be missing them because they're not in bloom. I will be phoning the city later today to complain....


She also included a few photos too, greatly reduced in size to display here.

This is the site near Kingsway Avenue and Maple Street, beside the Coquitlam river. You can clearly see the numerous damaged stems in the  foreground of the last photograph.  Photos by T. Christie

UPDATE: I had an email from T. Christie and this was her information gathered from the city:

" I spoke with the City Works Manager, he said the mowing was done by a worker who didn't follow instructions.  The worker was only supposed to mow a 1 foot wide strip along the sidewalk, but instead mowed the whole area outside the fence.  I was quite impressed with the Works Manager, who was very knowledgeable about the lupines.  He and the city are working with a provincial organization to preserve the lupines.  He is aware of the situation, and said that there are young plants coming up inside the fence.  "

Not the first time and not the last time either that these rare plants are overlooked and destroyed.
The patch along the Pitt River has also frequently been damaged by the mowing staff.

Thanks to T. Christie for the information and being concerned enough to ask questions.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Streambank lupines in Port Coquitlam

looking for someone who could check on the lupines about once a week from now until September and collect observations on things like whether the lupines are flowering, setting seed, whether there has been any disturbance, etc.

If you are interested? Unfortunately, there is no remuneration, just the knowledge that you'd be helping increase the knowledge base about this species and perhaps help us avoid some potential events (e.g. mowing or trampling) that might decimate the population.

Two populations exist in Port Coquitlam, one is on the east side of the Coquitlam River, just below the Kingsway Avenue bridge(the fenced in area), and also some along Kingsway beside the fence, that separates Kingsway Avenue from the CPR yards.

The other population is along the Pitt River, about midway between Pitt River Road and Coast Meridian Road, consisting of two small populations along the fence that separates the dikes from the industrial areas. (No Mowing signs, are on the fence) [ At one time they were much more common along this dyke, but industrial development greatly reduced their populations.]

Found in only six places in Canada, five in the Lower Fraser Valley, and one on Vancouver Island.

The months of May to September, are the most critical for these plants. The information most needed is: are they flowering, setting seeds, insect damage, and the most common problem are they being trampled, mowed, or disturbed by dike maintenance procedures. This information will be forwarded to the Streambank Lupine Recovery Team, who gather all of the information together about the status of this red-listed in Canada.

COSEWIC information about these lupines.(PDF)

Streambank lupine brochure (two page PDF brochure).

Evergreen native plant database listing about the Streambank lupine

The University of British Columbia's E-flora database has pictures and lots of information about them.

Stewardship Centre for British Columbia (page about them)

School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington; information about the growing of  these lupines (PDF), interested in growing native plants? U of W, has this nice page
BUT please do not collect and grow our endangered B.C. species of Streambank Lupine.

Post your observations here in the comments or forward them to me via