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Sarah C. Bird1 , Dr. Nancy Shackelford
Some of the last remaining patches of Garry Oak ecosystems in Canada are found on southeastern Vancouver Island and nearby areas in British Columbia. These ecosystems are imperiled from habitat loss and degradation fueled by land-use-change, increased herbivory, reduction/removal of natural fire regimes, and invasive species. In Canada over 100 rare and at-risk species are supported by these ecosystems, whose value to the community has spurred dedicated volunteers, restoration practitioners, and academics to contribute to their protection and restoration for over 30 years. We asked how restoration was being done in Canadian Garry Oak ecosystems, and what potential opportunities existed to support restoration in this community. We used two approaches to address our question: developing a database of known restoration projects and searching available grey and academic literature to identify restoration methods and projects. We also conducted semi-structured interviews with restoration practitioners to access unpublished reporting on methodology. We identified 110 restoration projects within Canadian Garry Oak ecosystems, supported by restoration practitioners, municipal to federal government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and community volunteers. We found two main organizations that collect and disseminate restoration knowledge within the community by publishing best practices, hosting conferences, and managing a listserv. While good information exists on best practices and ecological research supports these practices, formal restoration plans and post-restoration reporting were difficult to access or had not been created for many projects. With limited budgets for restoration, the question remains: how can detailed restoration methodology be shared between practitioners in a sustainable and budget-friendly way
Conference Presentation, SER2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program