Burnaby Mountain is a glorious opportunity. I repeat it again and again.
The UniverCity sustainable residential community is perched atop the Burnaby Mountain Conservation forest. Many trails including the Transcanada Trail is accessible by sometimes a 5 minute walk!

To gain perspective: Further afield in West Vancouver, in Lighthouse Park I had an opportunity to reflect on the stewardship of natural areas in the GVRD. It’s quiet in the park on a rainy day. So I enjoy amazing solitude and peace.

The canopy protects the hiker from extreme downpour when temperatures are little above 0 degrees, and skies are foggy, grey and wet.

I stopped to read at one of the interpretive signs about the loss of species at Lighthouse Park. Lighthouse Park saw it’s last Sooty Grouse, genus Dendragapus, back in ’73.

Speaking to my UniverCity neighbour, back in 2007, Liz told me she spotted a Blue Grouse up at University probably back in 2004 or 2005.

The reason for the dwindling sitings of rarer species is due to loss of contiguous forest. Wildlife needs to transfer gene pools across larger forest areas. We may never again see the Blue Grouse atop of Burnaby Mountain due to the loss of habitat.

I will always remember the Long Toed Salamander I found on the University Ring Road in October of 2008. The little guy has left me on a mission to be careful ever since when I’m walking in the woods.

another of a long-toed salamander l-toed salamander 2

Lighthouse Park… has few salamanders. Surprising!

We sometimes may forget that as development occurs on the mountain: housing development, …development of trails – we are in a precarious balance with an amazing diversity. The Lighthouse Park no longer has the black-tailed deer. We are very fortunate to have these ungulates, as well as some surprising species like bobtail cat still living in balance for the large part on Burnaby Mountain Conservation Park!

It is up to us not to upset the trails more than the forest can handle. Keep your dog on leash, please. Never allow your dogs into our salmon bearing streams (Stoney Creek, Burnaby) as they can disturb the delicate habitat for redds (salmon egg nests). A dog’s paw delivers more weight per area than the human foot.

While I left Lighthouse Park I was appreciative of the ability of Mother Nature to recover from storms, human impacts and disaster (a little rain is no disaster :-). I ran into a horticulture worker, with shovel in hand to repair washed-out trails caused by excessive rains. There are people taking great efforts in the care of our parks, conservation and natural areas.

We discussed the plants in the park like the pretty tri-leafed, white flower of the Trillium.

The canopy today was a cathedral to remember the diversity that we humans have lost in our midst. There is much delicate life to enjoy even so…
If you are interested to learn more, check out: Lighthouse Preservation Society Website.

Enjoy our Nature. 🙂
If you like this story perhaps you could share it with a friend, a friend with a dog! Even Better!


Related stories:

Mountain biking, while a great pastime, has certain costs as it is practiced in greater levels. Maybe if you see damage consider that a hike may be a great alternative to experience the mountain. Check out the article in which Stoney Creek Environment Committee speaks on this topic.
Lighthouse Park Management Plan, West Vancouver

Salamanders like to hide in rotting logs and under rocks so tread lightly