More help on the way for Lewis Woodpecker

City of Grand Forks plans to help mitigate threats to the woodpeckers’ environment.

Help is on the way for the Lewis Woodpecker. In particular, efforts to help manage and preserve their nesting habitat.

The City of Grand Forks is coming forward with a management plan to help mitigate threats to the woodpeckers’ environment.

The Grand Forks is one of a small number of places where this species of woodpeckers still thrives.

Their primary nesting locations are in cottonwood trees — particularly dead or rotting trees. When the trees are in this state, they can become a threat to public safety. And ongoing flood recovery efforts in the area mean a lot of these riverbank trees can be further compromised.

The new management plan was to come up at Grand Forks City Council meeting Tuesday, April 23.

“What was introduced at Council was a management plan,” said Cavan Gates with the City of Grand Forks. “Within that plan there were recommendations on how to manage the habitat for the woodpeckers, and over all to make so that we’re not diminishing habitat, but increasing habitat for them. Although the plan is very broad.”

A plan was introduced by the Committee of the Whole, which made recommendations to Grand Forks Council to discuss it at at he next regular meeting.

In preparing the plan, City staff consulted a local biologist and a biologist from Environment and Climate Change Canada about the best course of action to manage the woodpecker habitat.

The advice centered around showing that the City has undertaken all reasonable means to avoid or minimize harm to a species at risk.

“For example, when habitat is destroyed, it is expected that mitigation measures will take place,” read the staff recommendation. “One nest tree in City Park had a plan written specifically for it. Because we have so many Cottonwood trees on public land, staff wanted to have a plan that addressed the issue across the City.”

The management plan aims to guide the City in maintaining compliance with legislation, to identify appropriate land use decisions, and ultimately to maintain the breeding population of Lewis’s Woodpecker.

It identifies what areas are potential habitat, and how those areas should be managed.

Cottonwood trees are to be protected, new growth restored, and disturbances minimized during the breeding season.

By adopting a comprehensive plan, staff will have guidance on maintenance in the habitat areas, compliance with legislation will be enhanced, and tree removal permit applications will better demonstrate that the City has taken all reasonable means to avoid or minimize harm.

Staff was to recommend that Council adopt and direct staff to implement the plan.

The Boundary Habitat Stewards are also developing and implementing Habitat restoration plans for several properties across the Boundary. This includes protecting cottonwood trees from beavers, planting native shrubs and trees with protection from deer, and using bioengineering techniques for erosion control.

Just Posted

Kaslo bus fueled by vegetable oil to begin service next month

Mountain Man Mike’s will run routes to Vancouver and eventually Edmonton

Grand Forks woman lays wreath at grave of local soldier buried in England

Cpl. Alfred Gyde Heaven lied about his age to enlist in the Canadian army in 1916

The quirks and perks of living in England

From Grand Forks to Great Britain: Kalyeena Makortoff on becoming a U.K. permanent resident.

One year later, I know we’ll be okay

‘Collectively, we can’t afford to be complacent, nor can we afford for our leaders to be.’

Interior Health study offers take-home drug testing kits to spot fentanyl

Interior Health to evaluate safety of at home drug testing kits aimed at reducing fentanyl overdoses

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Canadian killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Most Read