As the summer draws to a close, we take a look at what Erin’s been up to in the field, one last time.
This week kicked off with a massive Giant Hogweed site in the Squamish Valley after stumbling across these gigantic plants that stand over 3 metres tall the previous week. Even though I’ve treated Giant Hogweed before, they still make me nervous as they are some pretty menacing looking plants. Treating Giant Hogweed requires full protective gear as its sap is phototoxic, meaning it will cause a blistering burn on your skin when exposed to sunlight. After a very hot couple of hours in protective suits, our team of four successfully cut all of the flower heads off of these massive plants to prevent any seeds from spreading and then stem injected them. Hopefully, our treatment is successful and we won’t come back to more massive Giant Hogweed plants next year!
I have really enjoyed working in the Squamish Valley as it is so beautiful, and it has inspired me to explore some hiking trails in the area on the weekends! We spent a whole day this week going all the way up the Squamish Valley Forest Service Road. Unfortunately, a pile of contaminated soil had been dumped about 50 km up the FSR, causing a large patch of multiple invasive species to grow. Fortunately for us, this site had some stunning views! I think this has been one of my favourite site locations this season. I hope that SSISC’s efforts to educate the public on how to stop the spread of invasive species will prevent this from happening in the future.
This field season is quickly coming to a close, with only one month left for a lot of our field team. This summer has been awesome and I have learnt more than I could have imagined about both native and invasive plants in the Sea to Sky Corridor! I have also seen more of the corridor then I ever would have if I didn’t work for SSISC which has been really cool. I’ll be sad to see our team full of awesome people shrink at the end of August.
We would like to thank the Community Foundation of Whistler for its grant that has allowed Erin to work for SSISC all summer long.