All posts by BC Wildlife Federation Blog

The BC Wildlife Federation is a province-wide voluntary conservation organization representing all British Columbians. This blog aims to showcase the people, programs, and projects that protect, enhance and promote the wise use of B.C.'s environment for the benefit of present and future generations.

Coconut Thai Curry Mussels

Sossy Outdoors: Coconut Thai Curry Mussels

Ingredients:

2 kilograms Mussels (cleaned, scrubbed, de bearded)

¼ cup Basil Olive Oil

1 tsp Fennel Seed

1 tsp Cumin Seed

1 tsp Mustard Seed

1 large Onion diced

4 tablespoons Garlic diced

2 tablespoons Ginger paste

2 tsp Turmeric

Kosher Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

One package colored Cherry Tomatoes

1 can Coconut Milk

1 cup Chicken broth ( or half wine and half broth)

4-6 tablespoons Garam Masala ( mixture of black and white peppercorns, cinnamon, cardamom pods, bay leaf, cumin)

ingredients

Heat up large skillet style pan with deep sides with Basil Olive Oil. When the oil starts to heat up, add fennel, cumin, and mustard seed. When the seeds begin to pop and become aromatic, add onion, ginger and garlic. Mix well and add a ¼ cup of chicken broth. Allow spicesit to steam, turning the heat down to medium. Slowly add coconut milk to mixture.  Begin slicing the cherry tomatoes and adding them to sauce, mixing them in so they are immersed in the liquid. Add carrot strips. Sprinkle Garam Masala over the sauce and gently whisk in, continuously till it is all gone. Add Kosher salt and pepper. Continue to cook on medium heat till the cherry tomatoes are well broken down. Add the rest of the chicken broth and stir.  Take a spoon and test your sauce to make sure you have enough salt and spice. Feel free to add whatever you believe you need as everyone has a slightly different palate than the next person!

Now it is time to add the Mussels. Add them to you sauce, gently evening them out around the pan. Place a secure lid overtop. As the steam builds, the Mussels will begin to open. After about five minutes, remove from heat and lift the lid. Gently stir the Mussel mixture.

 

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There are different ways for presentation to your family or guests. You can pour the entire skillet onto a large platter, so all can take from the same plate. Or, you can have individual bowls. I scoop the Mussels out evenly into 6-8 bowls and then pour the sauce with a ladle overtop.

Garnish your platter with fresh cilantro or scallions and lime wedges. Don’t forget your sliced Ciabatta Bread to soak up that amazing broth!

 

Platter of Mussels

 

The Jurassic Classic

BC’s Full Curl Fishing Experience!

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The countdown is on for the 2018 Jurassic Classic Fishing Experience! This year, the Jurassic Classic 1event takes place Aug 17-20th, when sportsmen and women from across North America make their way to Chilliwack, BC to fish the Fraser River for white sturgeon, all while raising funds and awareness for wild sheep populations in British Columbia.  This collaborative effort between the BC Wildlife Federation, the Guide Outfitter Association of BC, and the Wild Sheep Society of BC is an annual event that’s becoming a household name in wild sheep conservation across North America, and is being noted as a model for conservation minded groups working together in the name of wildlife.

2018 marks the 3rd year for the Jurassic Classic and so far it’s shaping up to be one of the best years yet!  This year, SITKA Gear stepped up to support the Jurassic Classic as the “Signature Sponsor”, bringing a connection to the mountain hunting community that come together with a passion for wild sheep.   SITKA is also the Official Sponsor of the WSF “Sheep Show” and therefore has strong connections to the various Chapters and Affiliate members who attend the Jurassic Classic.  Having SITKA Gear support the Jurassic Classic fundraising efforts serves to elevate our event to higher peaks.

“SITKA Gear exists to elevate the standard against which all other hunting brands are measured – in product design, content authenticity, customer service, and environmental stewardship.”

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The mission of the Jurassic Classic fundraiser is to put fundraising dollars to on-the-ground conservation work that benefits the various wild sheep herds across the Jurrasic Classic 7province.  In 2017, over $42,000 was raised and almost all funds have been committed to sheep conservation projects in all areas of the province.  It is a true testament to the dedication and commitment of the 60 attendees and volunteers who help put the event on each year.  While the goal is wild sheep conservation, the Jurassic Classic committee has noted the connection that many feel with the white sturgeon, thus this year the committee is also dedicating a fundraising item (a BC First Nations sturgeon art piece) to be auctioned off, with all proceeds returning to the sturgeon fishery that so many enjoy each year.

The extensive reach of the Wild Sheep Foundation has ensured teams from various Chapters and Affiliates come up to support the event each year, bringing fundraising dollars into the province that were not available before the creation of this event. Teams for the Jurassic Classic are marketed to various WSF Chapters and Affiliates, Canadian wildlife conservation groups, BCWF affiliated clubs, SCI chapters, and sold as well at the WSF Sheep Show.  The value that groups have seen by supporting the Jurassic Classic has been great and only builds further on the collaborative efforts that the Jurassic Classic brings.

The group arrives on the Friday evening for a fun evening meet-and-greet.  From the Jurassic Classic 11moment they arrive, they are treated to an all-inclusive event. A full day of fishing (hosted by Great River Fishing Adventures) takes place Saturday.  Saturday evening finds the guests on the shores of the Fraser River for a BBQ of wild game and salmon, which has been a highlight for many.  Sunday brings another full day of fishing, followed by an awards banquet, guest speakers, and a live and silent auction fundraiser.  The guests depart Monday morning after an action packed weekend.

Guests return year after year and look forward to an event where they can laugh, fish, and enjoy a weekend discussing conservation topics with like-minded hunter/conservationists from various organizations.  The unique aspect of fishing while “Putting and Keeping Sheep on the Mountain” really makes the Jurassic Classic “BC’s Full Curl Fishing Experience!”

~ Trevor Carruthers, Jurassic Classic Committee

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Jump for Wildlife

Join us at Wildplay Elements Park in Maple Ridge on September 29th, 2018!

Take a risk for BC’s at-risk species by facing your fears and jumping off the “What’s to Fear” jump at Wildplay Elements Park, with all proceeds raised going back to support the BC Wildlife Federation.

There are two ways you can come out and support the BC Wildlife Federation!

You can Jump for Wildlife: Participants can register through our online sign-up form to jump off the “What’s to Fear” jump, an unnerving plunge from 40 feet, to raise funds and awareness for BC’s at risk and endangered fish and wildlife! You can sign up as part of the BC Wildlife Federation team or you can create your own team. Once you’ve registered we will help you create an online giving page for you to share with your social networks and collect donations through a safe and secure online platform. You will also be given a pledge sheet to collect cash and cheque donations, as well as a list of fundraising ideas to try. The funds you raise will be put to work to protect and enhance BC’s fragile wild spaces and species at risk. As a thank-you for your fundraising efforts, your entry for Wildplay and the “What’s to Fear” jump will be complementary!

jump for wildlife

You can come and watch: Not keen on taking the 40 foot plunge? That’s okay! Come on out on September 29th and watch others do the “What’s to Fear” jump. On September 29th, 25% of your Wildplay registration will go back to support the BC Wildlife Federation! Come and cheer on your family and friends as they take the jump and enjoy a day of fun activities. Don’t forget to support our jumpers! Your gift could be the encouragement they need to take the 40 foot plunge!

Have a question or need help signing-up? We are here to help! Contact Jessica at 604-882-9988 or giving@bcwf.bc.ca

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Venison Wontons

Sossy Outdoors: Venison Wontons

Having a party and want to serve a delicious appetizer that will wow your guests? This is the one! Delicious, full of flavor, and a wonderful way to showcase the versatility of Venison Meat.

Ingredients: 

2 cups ground Venison

1 cup chopped shrimp

1 cup ground pork

2 tablespoons soya sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

¼ cup sesame oil

1 can chopped water chestnuts

2 tablespoons Lemon grass paste

¼ cup of rice wine

½ cup chopped scallions

Dipping Sauce:

½ cup rice wine

¼ cup soya sauce

¼ cup sesame oil

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Blend all ingredients well in a bowl. Allow to marinate for at least an hour, but overnight is best. Any wonton wrappers from your local supermarket will do. Spoon filling into wonton wrapper, about a teaspoon. Pinch the top of the wonton with damp fingers.

Boil Method: Drop into boiling water, about 2-3 minutes or until they float. Serve with well blended dipping sauce.

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Deep Fry: Drop into fryer basket with oil set at 350’. Take out when Wontons are a deep golden brown. Serve with Plum Sauce.

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Urban Hunter Fighting for Wildlife

IMG_0219Alex Johnson went hunting for the first time in the fall of 2014 at the age of 29. He was drawn to hunting for the food opportunities and was lucky enough to be invited to join a well established group who were happy to share their knowledge and experience.  He first became concerned about conservation the following year after seeing the level of road density and deforestation on the way to and from a LEH moose hunt.  He then learned about the declining moose populations in much of the province and became interested in becoming active in conservation.

The natural heritage of BC is something which Alex feels needs to be protected and restored for the benefit of future generations. The native animals and plants of BC are what make our province such a special place. Additionally, he feels that having a strong connection with these animals and their habitats is the most important way to ensure that people will fight to protect them.

After listening to Jesse Zeman of the BC Wildlife Federation on the Rookie Hunter Podcast and the perspective of Steven Rinella on MeatEater, it became clear to Alex that there was widespread misunderstanding in the public about hunting, conservation, and declining wildlife populations.

The misinformation and lack of public awareness about hunting became acutely evident throughout the process which resulted in the ban on hunting grizzly bears.  It was the push he needed to become a Wildlife Warrior.

Since then, Alex has met with his MLA, spoken to the office of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development, become involved in conservation organizations, provided feedback to government engagement initiatives, and started a blog www.vancouverhunter.com. In the future, he hopes to regularly meet with his MLA, help grow the number of wildlife advocates, and recruit other urbanites from non-hunting backgrounds to become hunter conservationists and increase awareness in the lower mainland.

Family Fishing Day

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We were at the Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery on Saturday June 16th, taking in the festivities of Family Fishing Day. This year was the 19th annual province wide fishing event! It is a day for families to come out and fish for free without having to purchase a license. It’s a great way for families to get outdoors and experience to pure joy of fishing, with many of the youngsters catching their very first fish!

Knowledgeable volunteers were on hand to help parents and children bate their hooks and cast their reels. Conservation Officers were also around, measuring the fish the children caught and educating them on basic fishing regulations. Families were able to take home one fish per child, if the child caught the fish. At the end of the day each child was handed a bucket with a trout inside to replenish the ponds with more fish.

DSC_0059We would like to congratulate Dean Worrall on winning the Bass Pro fishing rod we raffled off.A big thank-you goes out to the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC who hosted the Family Fishing Day event in Abbotsford!

We hope everyone who came out had a fantastic time and we hope to see you again next year!

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Great Canadian Giving Challenge

DSCN6368Summer is such a wonderful time in Canada – great weather and longer days mean more fun outdoor activities, weekends away, BBQs and much more. It’s easy for Canadians to forget to support their favourite charities and causes. To help save charities coast-to-coast from the summer-giving drought, CanadaHelps and The GIV3 Foundation have launched the fourth annual Great Canadian Giving Challenge. 

It is a national public contest to benefit any registered Canadian charity. Every $1 donated to a registered charity in Junevia CanadaHelps.org or GivingChallenge.ca, automatically enters the charity to win an additional $10,000 donation. The grand prize draw is on Canada Day and one lucky charity will receive the grand prize of $10,000.

If the BCWF was to win the $10,000 prize from the Great Canadian Giving Challenge, the funds would go towards the two youth summer programs we offer. The prize would allow us to expand these excellent programs to additional locations across BC, to a greater number of kids who would benefit from the experience while keeping the cost of our camps low to make the experience affordable.

In the last two decades, increases in technology and indoor entertainment have impacted the way children play and learn with many activities moving indoor.  Many outdoor childhood activities are not as accessible like they were in the past, and kids are missing out on vital outdoor activities that are essential to healthy childhood development.

The BCWF’s two youth summer programs, Wild Kidz Camps and Go Wild! Youth for Conservation, are designed to get kids outside to learn about the environment around them. Education is the critical difference that make our camps such a success that we have a 80% return rate. We believe that if we teach kids to care about the natural habitat around them, they grow up to teach their children to do the same.

WILD KIDZ PHOTOThe future of British Columbia’s natural habitat relies on educating the public – especially today’s youth – about sustainable management of our natural resources including fish, wildlife, and habitat. With more and more of BC’s natural resources at risk, it is imperative that we inspire future generations to care enough to speak up for fish and wildlife or to even choose occupations that help make a difference.

By providing hands-on educational experiences, the BCWF gives our youth opportunities to interact with the outdoors in new ways, providing them with lasting impressions on their important role in conservation efforts. BCWF Youth Camps are not only a fun experience, they help educate and inspire the conservationists and biologists of tomorrow.

Make your donations go further with Canada Helps starting June 1st! If you care to donate, please follow the link to our donation page through Canada Helps: http://bit.ly/donatetobcwf

Leaping towards a brighter future

DSCF5636Rick Simpson has been the Chair of the BCWF Region 8, fisheries committee from 2003 to 2018. He is also the Interior representative for the BCWF Inland Fisheries Committee.

He has been a member of the BCWF since September of 1981 when he and his family moved here from Edmonton. He has been a continuous member with the Federation for 37 years. The first club he was a member of was the Port Coquitlam and District Hunting and Fishing Club.

I went there originally to make sure my family had the proper safety and proficiency training for the firearms that were in our house.”

Some of the club members thought Rick would be interested in what they were doing in the Coquitlam Watershed  with the new hatchery.

“I did that with them from 1981 to 2003. I did things all over the Lower Mainland with that club. We got some amazing work on fish and habitat restoration done in that watershed. There were 12 or 15 really good projects that we were involved in.”  

When considering the BCWF, Rick believes it began with very noble intentions to do fish and wildlife conservation management, to conserve the resources as best they could. But he thinks there has been a evolution away from what it’s roots were and what the Federation believes their roots are.  Rick is hopeful though for a brighter and sunnier future for our fish and wildlife.DSCF1604

“I want to hear that the BCWF were leaders, were pioneers, were innovators, that you were out front, that they are looking straight into the future with a vision of where they are going to go.”

One of the reasons why Rick became involved was for the projects he did with the Coquitlam Hatchery.

“It made me feel like I was giving back. I had been a hunter and an angler, and I was given the opportunity to do habitat restoration, and salmon enhancement work, I was given the opportunity to give back to the resource. I could do hands on stuff and see the results. It’s very gratifying.”

Rick hopes the future will hold more projects that will help conserve B.C’s resources for his children, his children’s children, and his children’s children’s children to enjoy.

“I want to make sure that we leave this place that we’re in right now in a better state. I’m talking about the environment, I’m talking about fish, and I would like to see gender equity and equality in the Federation. When I die I want to be able to say to St. Peter, ‘I got a lot of black marks, but I really did try hard to make this a better place for my children.’”

~By Cheyenne Bergenhenegouwen