Clayoquot Connections

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Notice to Clayoquot Connections from BC Parks 09/06/19

Posted on September 7, 2019 at 4:29 PM Comments comments (683)
 From BC Parks;  You are receiving this as a Park Use Permit holder for Vargas Island Provincial Park. As you may already know, BC Parks has received several recent reports of wolf activity in the provincial park on Vargas Island. I would like to take a moment to remind operators of the importance of their responsibility to ensure that their guests are not having a long lasting impact on the animals present in the park. There have been some concerning reports of park users seen in close proximity to wolves and in areas currently being frequented by the pack. Approaching wolves and maintaining a presence around them can and will lead to habituation. Wolves should be allowed to roam free in their range and have access to food without interference by park visitors. BC Park Rangers have been patrolling the beaches in the areas of concern and will be taking action against anyone found to be harassing or interacting in any way with the wolves. In light of this, I would strongly suggest that all operators transporting guests to Vargas Island ensure that they are aware of the following messaging posted on the BC Parks website:

Notice from BC Parks; Sept 6/19

Posted on September 7, 2019 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (58)

ATTENTION: With the recent increase in wildlife activity in and around Vargas Island Provincial Park, BC Parks is advising park users to adhere to the following;
 
  • Be extremely mindful about how food is stored, always use food caches where possible and have equipment to hang food in the event food caches are full. Please note, Kayak hatches are NOT a suitable place to store food as wolves have learned how to get into kayak hatches. Unlawfully storing food and/or garbage may result in an eviction or violation ticket under section 33.1 of the Wildlife Act.  
  • Due to high frequency of wildlife coming into campsites during the night, BC Parks is advising against campers sleeping outside their tents.
  • Park visitors are advised to not bring pets to Vargas Island or Flores Island. Dogs are a high level attractant to wolves and other large carnivores. Protect your pet – keep them at home.
 
Do not attempt to get in close proximity to wildlife, specifically large carnivores. Please do your part when recreating in the backcountry and help keep wildlife wild.
 
If you encounter an aggressive wild animal, report it by calling the Conservation Officer Service 24-hour hotline toll free at 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP) or #7277 on the Telus Mobility Network.
 

Notice from BC Parks; Sept. 6/19

Posted on September 7, 2019 at 4:23 PM Comments comments (0)

BC Parks will continue to patrol the area to ensure that visitors are acting in a responsible manner. Any concerning behaviour or willful disregard for the regulations in the Park Act or Wildlife Act will lead to enforcement action. If you see anything of concern, please feel free to report it to me. Habituation and food conditioning will undoubtedly lead to conflict with humans and serious consequences for all involved.
 
Thank you for your cooperation and understanding with this matter.
 
All the best,
 
Michael Grandbois
Clayoquot Area Supervisor
BC Parks
Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
West Coast Region
(250) 725-2149

Whales at Ahous Bay

Posted on August 9, 2016 at 12:57 PM Comments comments (34)
Recently, while entering Ahous Bay for remote island surfing and camping drop-off on the West Side on Vargas Island, we encountered 4 Gray Whales feeding.  On the return cruise back to Tofino there were 8 whales in Ahous Bay, it is always great to see larger numbers of whales and wildlife in Clayoquot Sound. 

The Remote Surfing and Camping drop-off is at a very protected smaller cove just West of Ahous Bay, with a 5 minute hike through the forest to a beautiful prestine beach with a great surfing break on Vargas Island.  That beach with some sand dunes is known locally as Little BaJa; it is a great place to Camp, Surf, and Beachcomb.  I should mention there is a food cache and a toilet at the drop-off cove.  Few people go there and with plenty of beach you should be able to find your solitude if that's what you're looking for. 

Minimizing Wolf Habituation

Posted on May 31, 2016 at 3:24 PM Comments comments (18)
Info from BC Parks is 1st `Comment`, I was unable to post the article directly.

BC Parks Wolf Info

Posted on August 11, 2013 at 5:24 PM Comments comments (33)
Wolf Advisory – August 10th, 2013
Over this past week BC Parks has received numerous reports of close wolf encounters on Vargas Island.
A number of these reports indicate that one or more animal(s) is habituated and is looking for human food.
At this time it is imperative that all people going to Vargas Island be extremely mindful with how they store their food at night or during the day if camp is un-occupied. Food left unattended for even a brief time can be enough to entice wolves that are already highly habituated to people.
All park users should have a solid plan to securely store their food and should have the equipment and skills available to hang their food in the event food caches are full.
Further to this, following the steps below will help prevent wolves from habituating to humans and becoming food conditioned:
Space is safe
It is extremely important to discourage wolves from approaching people. The larger the space between you and the wolf, the safer it is for both you and the wolf.
If a wolf appears and acts unafraid, take the following action as soon as you notice the animal:
  • Raise your arms and wave them in the air to make yourself appear larger.
  • Do not allow children to play away from camp, keep them close to adults at all times.
  • When in a group, act in unison to send a clear message to the wolves they are not welcome.
  • Back away slowly, do not turn your back on the wolf.
  • Make as much noise as possible, throw sticks, rocks and sand at the wolf.
  • Use pepper spray and noise makers if you have it and know how to safely use it.
Remember: The wolves needs to know that you may be a threat to them.
Good Camping Ethics
It is extremely important that park visitors ensure all food and items smelling of food are stored out of reach of wildlife.
  • Keep a clean and orderly camp. Cook away from sleeping areas.
  • Suspend food, kitchen equipment, toiletries, garbage and other loose objects on a rope between trees, or in provided food caches, out of reach of wildlife.
  • Do not bury garbage. If you pack it in - pack it out!
  • Wash dishes in a container and dispose of grey water at sea, away from your camping area.
  • Do not clean fish next to your camp.
  • Never feed wolves or any wildlife.
Please follow the above camping ethics when in wolf country and help keep wolves wild.
Recreating in Coastal Wolf habitat
It is common for wolves to feed on seal and sea lion carcasses that have washed up on the shores of the coastal islands. To allow natural feeding, BC Parks is asking all hikers, campers, and kayakers to avoid camping or hanging out at locations where a seal or sea lion carcass has washed ashore. As well, if in a vessel or kayak, do not approach wolves that are foraging along the coastline or swimming across channels. The fact that you are on a vessel or in a kayak will not eliminate the course of habituation.
Do not bring your dog. Dogs are a high level attractant to wolves and other large carnivores. Protect your pet – keep them at home.

BC Parks is still strongly advising park visitors to not bring their pets to Vargas Island and Flores Island Parks.
Please report wolf sighting to BC Parks staff; and report any wildlife - human interactions where public safety is at risk by dialing 24 hour hotline 1-877-952-7277.

Wolf Habituation

Posted on August 11, 2013 at 5:09 PM Comments comments (33)
BC Parks is asking all park users to, "Report any human-wildlife interaction where public safety is at risk."  This includes any activities like leaving food for wolves and/or 'baiting' animals to increase photo opportunities.  Any activity that habituates wild predatory animals to human contact most often leads to their demise and I'm sure none of us want to be responsible for the death of bears or wolves; or for that matter an animal attack on another person, particularly a child.
 
BC Parks is also asking us to report all wolf sightngs.
 
To report call 250 954-4618 or 250 725-2149.  For more information checkout www.bcparks.ca 

Wolves on Vargas Island

Posted on June 25, 2013 at 2:31 PM Comments comments (21)
BC Parks is strongly recommending that DOGS not be brought to the island.  There was an attack recently in the Flores Island Prov. Park were a dog was killed.

Animal Activity

Posted on August 21, 2012 at 3:03 PM Comments comments (24)
Lots of activity has been occurring in Tofino's harbour so far this year.  Just 3 days ago a pod of 5 Orcas (Killer Whales) passed right through the harbour mid-day.  And there have been a lot more sighting of Sea Otters and Harbour Porpoises near the native village of Opitsat on Meares Island than in previous years to my memory  I've been so busy that I haven't been able to post that about a month ago there were several Humpback Whales in the Harbour coming and going for a couple of days; I've never seen that before in my 23 years of living in Tofino, that's incredible!  Also a couple of weeks ago while cruising through a narrow passage on the way to pick-up some quests that were island camping there was a black Wolf was swimming over to Vargas Island and only about 25 meters from the boat; got some great video.