ISSN 1188-603X

No. 127 February 17, 1996 Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2


Tuesday, February 20, 1996 -
Botany Night: Andy MacKinnon + Marvin Eng: "Old Forests of Coastal British Columbia." - Swan Lake Nature House, 7:30 p.m.


Saturday, March 9, 1996 -
Native Vegetation Symposium University of Victoria, Elliot Lecture Wing, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

You are cordially invited to the third annual Native Vegetation Symposium being held on March 9, 1996, at the University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia. The Native Vegetation Committee of VIPIRG (Vancouver Island Public Interest Research Group), which is putting on the event, is dedicated to identifying issues relating to native vegetation. Our main aims include education and conservation. Funds raised from the symposium will be used for continued upkeep of the UVic Native Plant Garden along with other committee activities.

The aim of the symposium is to expand people's knowledge about native vegetation issues (see below). Other events include tours of the Native Plant Garden, lunch time theater and art, book and plant sales, displays by local organizations, and a raffle offering great prizes.

Admission is $8 for students, seniors and unwaged, $10 for others. Tickets can be obtained in advance by contacting Brenda Costanzo at the UVic Herbarium (604) 721-7097. As well, we have group rates for ten or more people ($5 each). The symposium is being held in the lecture wing of the Elliott building and will run from 9am to 5pm. Please bring your own mug for refreshments. We hope to see you there!

Speakers will include: Hans Roemer (Rare Plants of B.C.), Neville Winchester (Canopy Research), Willie McGillivray (Wildlife Habitat Creation), Greg Allen (Garry Oak Pollen of Heal Lake), Nancy Turner (Ethnobotany), Allison McCutcheon (Medicinal Native Plants), Penny Kerrigan et al. (First Nations' Perspective), Jeff Ward & Joel Ussery (CRD Green Spaces Strategy), Adolf Ceska (Rare Aquatic Plants), B.C. Native Plant Council Meeting, Brenda Constanzo (Native Plants in Garden), and Paul Allison (Holistic Approach to Native Plants).

If you need further info you can contact Jenny (604-744-1710), Brenda (721-7097), or Hana (727-3539), or you can also use the following e-mail address:


From: Kerry Joy ( and Hans Roemer (

The establishment of 35 new small protected areas on Vancouver Island brings the protected area, parks and ecological reserves, total to 13% of the Island's total area. This objective was established in the June 1994 "Vancouver Island Land Use Plan" which was designed to protect the Island's natural environments. The 1994 plan established 23 large and representative protected areas ranging in size from the 600 ha Davie River area of old growth forest to the 10,600 ha Nahwitti-Shushartie at Vancouver Island's northerly tip which protected a portion of the Nahwitti Lowland.

The new areas range in size from the 2 ha Hudson Rocks, a nationally significant pelagic cormorant breeding colony, to the 3,000 ha Quadra Island Main Lakes chain noted for its scenic, recreational, and fisheries values. These areas total 11,857 ha and represent special feature provincial parks and ecological reserve candidates. Some private lands are included in the 35 areas which will require purchase or land exchange negotiations. The selection of these areas resulted from wide public and institutional input including First Nations concerns, naturalist groups, individuals and key provincial and federal government staff. This process resulted in some 300 suggestions totaling 35,000 ha and 78 highly valued areas. The 11,770 ha ceiling caused further study with a final selection of the 35 Crown and private land areas.

What is in it from the botanist's perspective? Just like the 1994 set of large, representative areas, all these new areas contain some undisturbed ecological and botanical features of interest, most of them still to be discovered and described by botanists. So only some highlights can be mentioned for some areas where we do know them:

Botanists familiar with some of these sites may wonder why they have received park status and why those with important botanical features have not become ecological reserves. The answer is that the present action is intended to secure the land base and that ecological reserve status is still considered as a future option for several of the sites.

Even botanists can't have everything: Some precious spring ephemerals at Koksilah River, Canada's only Euonymus occidentalis at Tsolum River, and the unique diversity of wetland plants at Moran Lake go without protection, to name only a few.


From: "Timothy H. Heaton" ( originally on SITKA (

I just received a 1983 article by Knut Fladmark via ILL where he states:

North of the Queen Charlotte Islands, the Alexander Archipelago of Alaska represents a troublesome gap in Quaternary environmental data. ... it is likely that the outer headlands and slopes of Chichagof, Baranof, and Prince of Wales Island remained unglaciated, although possibly separated by ice lobes reaching the Pacific ...

I'm happy to announce, Knut, that the gap you spoke of is now being filled and that your claim of coastal refugia appears vindicated!

My work in SE Alaska began when an old friend of mine (Kevin Allred of Haines AK), while exploring caves in the extensive karstlands of Prince of Wales Island, began discovering extensive fossil deposits--primarily ancient bear dens. Two caves have been fully excavated so far: El Capitan Cave (near a bay in a glacial valley) and Bumper Cave (subalpine). Both caves contain remains of postglacial brown bears (which were previously thought never to have reached the southern Alexander Archipelago), and two other species recovered are caribou and red fox (which no longer inhabit the archipelago or the adjacent mainland). Radiocarbon ages range from 12,300 to 7,000 YBP and show that the glaciers melted earlier than previously thought. El Capitan Cave and other coastal caves also contain black bear, otter, and fish (otter scat) remains.

The most exciting cave to date is On Your Knees Cave where remains of a 17,500 YBP seal, a 35,000 YBP brown bear, and a 42,000 YBP black bear have been found. This cave (on the extreme northern tip of POWI) seems to have remained ice-free throughout the glacial peak, and it shows that brown bears have a long history in the archipelago. At the same time that we discovered these fossils, Gerald Shields and his student Sandra Talbot in Fairbanks were doing a DNA study and finding that the living brown bears of the northern archipelago (ABC Islands) are genetically distinct from all other populations and are more closely related to polar bears than to their mainland conspecifics! Gerald can post the details. The combined evidence suggests that brown bears have had a long-term coastal refugium in SE Alaska and are not postglacial immigrants.

On Your Knees Cave will be a primary focus next summer. We will also be excavating a cave where Joe Cook found a marmot tooth that is beyond radiocarbon age and and another cave where we found a bone spear point associated with two 8,600 YBP black bears. I want to acknowledge my two primary excavation partners, Fred Grady and Dave Love, two very supportive Forest Service scientists who live on POWI, Jim Baichtal and Terry Fifield, and the current leader of the Tongass Caves Project, Steve Lewis, all of whom are here on the list.

The need for interdisciplinary research has become increasingly apparent. Lab researchers in radiocarbon dating, stable isotopes, ichthyology, and palynology have provided crucial information. Archaeologists such as Jim Dixon who are looking for glacial-age human remains in the archipelago are very interested in our findings, and the need for cooperation there is obvious. More troubling is our lack of knowledge concerning patterns of glaciation and sea level changes--the very things that would help us find potential refugia and ancient coastal caves. As I mentioned earlier, the Canadians working in B.C. are way ahead of those of us doing research in SE Alaska, so a forum for discussion will be most beneficial. I'm delighted to see so many top-notch Canadian Quaternary scientists on the list as well as landmark researchers of the north Pacific Coast such as Cal Heusser. The interest among coastal researchers in Washington and Oregon is also encouraging.



SITKA is the short name for the Northwest Coast Researchers List. This list is deevoted to interdisciplinary discussion of glacial and postglacial events along the northern Pacific coast of North America. Researchers doing work in this area as well as interested persons are welcome to participate.

To subscribe to this list, send the command

 SUBSCRIBE SITKA First_name Last_name
in the body of an e-mail message to LISTPROC@SUNBIRD.USD.EDU. To post messages to the list, send them to SITKA@SUNBIRD.USD.EDU.

Topics of interest (non-inclusive):

Your comments and suggestions are welcome. Feel free to contact the list owner, Timothy H. Heaton (, at any time.


Dawn Loewen is a University of Victoria student who started her M.Sc. work on Glacier Lily, Erythronium grandiflorum. Please, send her a message, if you know interesting stands of this plant, or anything else that could help her in her work.

Her address is Dawn Loewen (DCL@UVIC.CA)


From: Sarah Mason (sarah.mason@UCL.AC.UK)

The aim of this list is to facilitate communication through the exchange of information on meetings, conferences, bibliographies, publications, reference collections and botanical and ethnographic data relevant to the analysis of archaeological plant macro-remains.This group could also exchange ideas about various aspects of archaeobotany such as problems of methodology,identification, presentation and interpretation.

To subscribe send the following command:

 subscribe archaeobotany First_name Last_name


From: Adolf Ceska (

Cansel Ltd. Burnaby, B.C. offers the Trimble Ensign GPS units for incredibly low price: $ 595.00 (Canadian $$$, + GST + PST, where applicable). The units are brand new and the offer is good while the supply lasts. The company has a toll number: 800-661-8342 (ask for Randy) or it can be reached by FAX at 604-299-1998. I have been using the Trimble Ensign GPS locator since 1994 and I have been very satisfied with its performance. Using this locator you will know your location within 30 to 100 m even if you are lost! :-)

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