100 Mile House residents return home after two weeks

The nearly 2,000 residents of 100 Mile House are breathing sighs of relief as they’ve been allowed to return home following the cancellation of an evacuation order.

The evacuation was ordered two weeks ago because of worries about the large Gustafsen fire burning to the west of the village. The conditions in the area have calmed enough to allow the safe return of residents to 100 Mile House.

Still, other parts of the Cariboo remain on edge as the weather forecast for Sunday afternoon were calling for gusts of wind up to 50 km/h, but B.C. Wildfire Service officials said the winds would likely die down by Monday. Wind gusts were also expected in the southeastern part of the province, along with possible dry lightning.

Williams Lake is still under evacuation order and “it’s hard to say right now” when residents would be allowed to return, fire information officer Navi Saini said.

“We are making progress,” but the dry conditions and the expected winds were still keeping the situation “fluid,” she said.

Most 100 Mille residents had evacuated south to Kamloops.

“We were very stressed and got on each other’s nerves,” Kathy Brown joked about the two weeks she and husband Brian spent away from their home, which is in a quiet retirement complex in 100 Mile House.

They stayed with Kathy’s niece in Kamloops. Her house backs on to Westsyde Park and the Browns quickly discovered that the park fills with daycamp kids every day.

The solution?

“We’d got out for a drive and watch the planes coming and going (at the airport),” Brian said. “That was quite interesting.”

But the frequent smoky stretches in Kamloops would often force them back home.

The Browns couldn’t offer enough tributes about the graciousness of their hosts, but it was still a hard situation.

Kathy said the stress of the situation meant her …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun

600-year-old Douglas fir part of Vancouver’s growing urban forest

Bill Stephen, arborist and urban forestry specialist for the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, in Stanley Park. Video screen grab For 0724 vancouver trees [PNG Merlin Archive]
Gerry Kahrmann, PNG

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Bill Stephen, arborist and urban forestry specialist for the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, beside the ancient Douglas fir in Stanley Park.

When the Douglas fir was a seedling, England’s King Henry V had a great victory over the French at the famous Battle of Agincourt.

Around the same time, construction finished on the Forbidden City in Beijing. As the imperial palace and home of the emperors, it was ceremonial and political centre of China’s government for the next 500 years.

The young Douglas fir was located in what settlers would later call Stanley Park. It survived being eaten by the elk and deer that used to roam in the area. Nearby grew western red cedar trees whose bark and wood was regularly harvested by the Squamish, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh, the original inhabitants of this part of the world for thousands of years.

When Europeans logged the peninsula, they took the straightest and best trees. For some reason, they left the Douglas fir behind.

It also survived the Great Fire of 1886 that burned all the way to Beaver Lake and destroyed almost all the buildings in Vancouver.

The tree is located next to Lees Trail, northeast of the intersection of Bridle and Cathedral trails and the covered rest area.

The Douglas fir’s bark is thick and gnarly.

You can go up and touch the tree’s bark, which could be at least 25 cm thick or more in parts. The Douglas fir’s gnarly exterior may be one of the reasons why it survived the fire …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun

Pot activist calls for open cultivation of cannabis plants

A cannabis plant in every yard?

That could be the slogan for Dana Larsen’s Overgrow Canada pot-seed campaign.

The marijuana advocate led a project this year to give away 5 million cannabis seeds this year; last year he and his colleagues gave away 2.5 million.

“We’re encouraging people to plant them openly,” he said Sunday. “The goal is to normalize cannabis growing.”

It’s a continuation of a civil disobedience campaign, following on from the growth of bong shops and dispensaries in many communities across Canada.

A cannabis plant found growing in a flower bed at Vancouver City Hall.

One of his contacts spotted a pair of cannabis plants growing in the flower beds around Vancouver city hall. That was a great thing to see, he said.

“I want to be in a country where growing a plant in your front is a common thing,” he said.

Cannabis plants growing wild aren’t any more dangerous than other plants he pointed out.

“I look at my yard, there’s morning glory taking over — it’s actually hallucinogenic,” he said. “So don’t feel there’s any concern about that. There’s no harm being near a cannabis plant.”

“Munching on a cannabis bud, nothing’s going to happen at all. It’s not actually nice to chew on, it’s not like a bright red berry that grows everywhere and is toxic to kids.”

…read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun