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Nov 16th 2007

Summary of The Annual General Meeting of the Nature Bay Society (officially known as the Salmon Arm Bay Nature enhancement Society)

On Friday November 16 25 members attended the Nature Bay Society AGM.

President, Ron Wedman, welcomed the members attending and summarized the activities during the year. Mike Saul gave the treasurer’s report. Reports on the Interpretive Centre, maintenance of the building and of the trail, on the web site, and  on the web camera followed.

Joyce Henderson was elected as Board member to replace Doug Ibbitson, who was thanked for all his great commitment to maintaining the Raven Trail (not to mention counting the gull nests each spring at great danger to the condition of his clothing).

Re-elected for another two year term were Dr Ed Dahl, Ron Wedman, and Gary Lomax.

Joyce’s first self-imposed project will be to prepare an application, with the help of Dr Ed Dahl, for the Salmon Arm Bay to be officially declared and Important Bird Area. Although we do not meet the criteria for vast numbers of any one species, we feel the wide variety of species, particularly shorebirds, warrants such a designation.

Concerning our signature bird, the grebe report presented by Ed McDonald showed that this year’s approximately eighty young represent the fourth highest production since records have been kept. The average of fifty or so young has been steady except for three previous high years in the nineteen nineties when we think that Creston's population came to the Shuswap to breed.

On the down side, it was reported that winter counts at the coast have been declining rather sharply.

As a final piece of mysterious business, the secretary was lured out of the room while the meeting passed a motion of appreciation for many years’ dedicated work for the society and expressed the intention to name the Interpretive Centre, the Tom Brighouse Interpretive Centre.

Rick Howie, for many years the Ministry of Environment representative on the Nature Bay Board, then gave a fascinating talk on his recent study of the Highland Valley copper and molybdenum mine rehabilitation. Whereas the site was originally totally forested, now that many new habitats have been created the species count is much higher. Golden Eagles are nesting on the steep sides of the man-made pit, Bald Eagles can now fish the settling ponds, Tree Frogs are using the rocks which have rolled into the forest edge, Yellow Bellied Marmots and Pikas love the new rock piles and in midwinter a host of Snow Buntings can be regularly seen. The conclusion underlines the saying that Nature Abhors a Vacuum. She has ample ways of filling it in with a surprising mix of species.

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