Sunday, September 27, 2009

Not all who wander are lost

Last week I joined the Cochrane Search and Rescue team. For the next 2 months I go through a rigorous training and certification process. I'm excited to learn some new skills and use what skills I've acquired from years of bush work.
This weekend was rope and knot skills taught by the high-angle rescue team. Many new skills and techniques for me and many new knots to practice. As many of these skills were ones I was prepared to pay to learn in a climbing school, volunteering my future time will be an equitable trade.
My previous rants about poorly equiped people wandering into the middle of nowhere will likely come to an end now that I will soon be looking for them!

The Bow Valley became barbecue flavoured this week due to a rich smoke that wafted in. Weather conditions cooperated enough for the continuation of the Mt. Nestor prescribed burn (Mt Nestor is seen in my header banner.) The intent is to create a firebreak for our community as well as pine beetle control. It will also mimic the natural forest cycles that fire fighting has stalled. New mountain sheep habitat will be created. Berries will proliferate here drawing bear activity away from the populated Bow Valley.
My only disappointment was that I didn't get a chance to see it before it burned. Mt Nestor was on my list of climbs this fall but hip flexor tenderness has forced me to eliminate a few trips and this one got the axe. The view from the summit will be reduced but as I've often cautioned, environmentalism is often confused with anthro-centric aesthetics.

Smoke fills the Bow Valley as seen from Mt Yamnuska


CaptainOrange said...

If rescuing someone means that you can't belittle them, what good is taking care of children?

Given the shape of the burn pattern, I can only guess that tourism in Rome will be drastically down this year as Hannibal seems finally to have had his way.

Kevin Aschim said...

Burnt forest has been the natural state of boreal and cordileran ecologies since the evolution of serotinous cones. These trees and their incumbent understory, vertebrate, invertebrate and soil microbial partners have learned how to profit from fire. To deny them fire is to deny them their destiny!

Chanterelle hunting is best done after a pine forest fire by the way!