By Dave Butler, Director of Sustainability
We crawled up the last few meters to the crest of a shale ridge, and peered over the steep edge through binoculars down into Moon valley. Below us, 24 mountain goats – some of them nannies with rambunctious kids – grazed amidst the mid-summer wildflowers. Others cooled themselves by lying on lingering snow-patches. What a great way to share some time with our friends from Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC).
This was the second year in a row where we celebrated our unique partnership with the NCC through a special summer adventure. And once again, our special guest was grizzly bear biologist, Dr. Michael Proctor.
Proctor, who is part scientist and part stand-up comedian, shared with guests and staff his unique perspective on grizzly bears and land conservation. He joined us out on the trails, and talked about the special role these magnificent animals play in our mountain ecosystem. Whether it was rooting around in an alpine excavation where a bear had been digging for marmots, or hooting and hollering in a patch of tall cow parsnip on an avalanche slope so we didn’t make a bear’s acquaintance unexpectedly, Proctor answered every question with ease and humour. In an evening presentation, Proctor shared his experiences with grizzly bears in BC, the US and as far afield as Russia. His images had us spell-bound. Yet Proctor also explained how his work with the NCC is translating into the identification and protection of parcels of private land (through purchases and conservation easements) that will allow bears safe movement between their seasonal habitats in the Selkirk, Purcell and Rocky Mountain ranges.
Also joining us on the trip were the NCC’s Regional Vice-President, Linda Hannah and some special NCC supporters such as Barry and Lynda Curran from Victoria, BC. We were also pleased to share the trails, the via ferrata, zip-lines and some really wonderful white wines, with Tony Stewart from Quails’ Gate Winery in BC’s Okanagan Valley. Not unlike the leadership position CMH has taken in our industry, Quails’ Gate was the first winery in Canada to form a partnership with the NCC.
We are excited to announce that this partnership will continue into 2012 and we will be featuring our Third Annual CMH & NCC Heli-Hiking Adventure with Michael Proctor in September of 2012. We hope you will join us!
Learn More: CMH & NCC Team Up for Nature.