BCIT Ecological Restoration degree program students participated in a 7-day wetland construction course in September 2014 at Logan Lake, BC led by wetland construction expert Tom Biebighauser. Tom is a wildlife biologist and wetland ecologist who has created more than 1650 wetlands across the US and western Canada. BCIT students worked alongside Tom and BCIT instructors learning about the techniques for the first 3 wetlands and then had a chance to apply their knowledge, while Tom supervised, in the construction of 3 additional wetlands. This field program is part of RENR 8106 – Wetland and Estuary Restoration, taught in BCIT’s Ecological Restoration program by Dr. Ken Ashley.
On this day, the public and media were invited to observe the sixth and final wetland being completed. In addition, 247 African boer goats were brought in by Rocky Ridge Vegetation Control to manage the invasive plant species (mainly thistle) that had become established in the disturbed areas from the previous years’ wetland construction. Controlled goat grazing is a cost-effective and environmentally-safe alternative to using herbicides in aquatic environments, which are being increasingly scrutinized due to concerns about the long term environmental and human effects of herbicide use in urban and riparian areas.