|BOTANICAL ELECTRONIC NEWS|
|No. 306 March 22, firstname.lastname@example.org||Victoria, B.C.|
Katherine Beamish was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on June 25th, 1912. Her parents brought her and her sister Lela out to Vancouver area for three years, returning to the farm in 1915. When Lela finished her high school in 1925 they headed West again. They visited relatives on the way and arrived for good in October 1925. Auntie Kay finished grade eleven in Burnaby and graduated from normal school in 1930. She started teaching at Edmonds school for $800.00 a year in February 1931. She taught there for ten years and at the Kitchener Street School for two years.
In June 1943 she asked her school for a leave of absence. Reluctantly they agreed and she joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. She took her training in Ottawa, then went to Halifax and to Gander, Newfoundland. When she was discharged in March 1946 she came back to Vancouver. She resigned from the Burnaby school and went to University of British Columbia to take her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Science and Agriculture, graduating in 1951.
Next she moved to Madison, Wisconsin and received her Ph.D. in Genetics and Botany in June 1954. She returned to Vancouver in 1955 to teach at UBC. After her retirement in 1997 she continued to work in the UBC herbarium, volunteering her time. Since 1997 she stayed with her nephew at Crofton and later in a private home care facility in Chemainus. She died peacefully on February 4th, 2003.
[The following papers illustrate Kay Beamish's botanical interests:
Dr. Katherine Beamish was one of the first Canadians I met, when in 1970 I came to Vancouver, for graduate studies in the Department of Botany. She made an immediate favourable impression on me, and has had a lasting effect on my life. I very soon realized she was a real botanist, and was a kind but no-nonsense person who I instinctively knew I must not disappoint. She became my supervisor, and guided me through the unpredictable academic terrain with care and skill. Every Friday, for three years, she sat down with me and discussed what I had been working on that week, what progress I had made on the thesis. Few Ph.D. supervisors spend that much time with their grad students; these days some students count themselves lucky to have more than one or two substantive meetings per year with their high-powered professors. Her diligence with me was especially noteworthy because I wasn't working on any of her favourite projects or species, nor did my research directly benefit her program. She was also remarkably tolerant of my headstrong and at times stubborn and smart-alecky behaviour. No doubt she had seen that sort of thing before. Looking back on those days, I recall that there was often a glint of amusement in her eyes, at some of my antics.
But we had more than just a student-professor relationship. Early on, it became clear that we both really liked going out in the field, exploring and botanizing and doing natural history. Field botany was our shared passion and later on the Vancouver Canucks, who have been much less rewarding. It was Kay Beamish who first took me to Lighthouse Park, to Ladner Marsh, Camosun Bog, Burns Bog, Mill Hill, Thetis Lake Park, Long Beach, Liumchen Ridge, Blackwall Meadows and Mt. Frosty in Manning Park, among others. These trips and these places had a profound effect on me, a Minnesota boy new to mountains and the sea. I was also mightily impressed that this woman over twice my age could go uphill like a mountain goat.
Kay Beamish introduced me to Platanthera dilatata, Dodecatheon jeffreyi, Carex macrocephala, Saxifraga rufidula, Dicentra uniflora, Mimulus alsinoides, Larix lyallii, and many other marvels. The English names are fragrant white rein orchid, Jeffrey's shootingstar, big-headed sedge, rusty-haired saxifrage, steer's head, chickweed monkeyflower, and alpine larch, but it was with the Latin names that she and I conversed when in botanical mode, which was often, for the language of taxonomy represents a large part of who Kay Beamish was. I could go on and on - as we did, on some splendid extended field trips. Two in particular I remember. A collecting trip, with Jack Maze and some other students, to northern California - a whole new flora, where we 'baled hay' with the best of them. And an expedition up the just-completed Stewart-Cassiar road, searching for plants and potential ecological reserves, with Keith Wade, Art Guppy, and George Otto. The northern bush was spectacular. We explored, hiked, bushwhacked, camped out in tents, collected and pressed plants well into the evening in the extended daylight, and had convivial times around the campfire.
I remember Kay Beamish most fondly as a mentor, my guide to a new world. I remember how sometimes in her office she would cock her head and get a faraway look, thinking perhaps of a past botanical ramble. Or how she would stand, hands clasping elbows, while gazing from some Chilliwack valley peak towards Mt. Baker. She was a kind, generous, and good-humoured person who spoke no ill even of unpleasant people; at most she would grimace and shudder with exasperation. I am thankful that I met her, became her student and friend, was inspired by her, and settled in her beautiful province and country.
February 12, 2003
Listed by Province, State, and County from North to South:
In BC, the species has been placed on the 'Blue List' with a rating of 'Vulnerable.' There are 27 Sidalcea hendersonii sites officially listed for the Province. Only one has official protection. The trend in the Province is described as 'declining, due to habitat disappearance.' Some sites have been lost to development. It is found in salt marshes on the east side of Vancouver Island, on the west coast of mainland BC, and on several islands. The most northerly site is at Sayward on Vancouver Island. It is also known near Campbell River, Comox Spit, Port Alberni and Duncan. One of these populations has 3,000+ individuals and one has 8. BC estimates that 'more than 50,000 individuals' of S. hendersonii exist in the Province due to 'extensive populations in several areas.'? On the mainland it is found in and near the Frazer River Delta. Small populations have been reported on Trial Island and North Pender Island. The plant has disappeared from sites near Victoria (where it was first collected in the 1880s), Vancouver and Gabriola Island. Its Provincial rank is S3 = 'vulnerable to extirpation or extinction' . . . 'due to the limited number of extant occurrences and the fact that it is confined to a restricted range and habitat which is subject to destruction by development.' A web site for BC information is: http://srmapps.gov.bc.ca/apps/eswp/
Sidalcea hendersonii is on the 'Watch List' for Washington. The species has not been formally tracked since 1981, although the Washington Natural Heritage Program maintains paper files on all Watch species, including S. hendersonii. Approximately 30 'recent' (since 1977) sites are known from the state. Counts per site vary in specificity, but the 30 sites in the Washington Natural Heritage Program files supported a total of at least 3,000 plants. S. hendersonii has been seen in estuarine systems in Pacific, Grays Harbor, Clallam, Island, Snohomish, Whatcom, and San Juan Counties, and was collected historically in King County. Most sites are in Pacific and Grays Harbor Counties. There was extensive inventory from 1980-1987, but little since that time, so the current status of most of the Washington populations is not known. The ownership of most of the sites is also not known, although it appears that many are on private land. I have pictorial evidence that one of these populations is healthy. (Possible seed source for future re-introductions in Oregon?) For details of distribution in Washington State in the 1980s, contact Florence Caplow, Washington Natural Heritage Program, PO Box 47014, Olympia, WA [email@example.com]
In Oregon, Sidalcea hendersonii lacks state listing. I will petition the Oregon Department of Agriculture to add the species to the Candidate List. To see the list of state-protected species visit: http://www.oda.state.or.us/. The Oregon Natural Heritage Program places the species on List 2 = 'Threatened or Endangered in Oregon, more common elsewhere.' Technically this is true, but globally the plant is extremely uncommon, with a range of a few scattered populations (perhaps as few as 50-60) in estuaries from Reedsport Oregon (if it still exists there) to north of Campbell River, BC. Recent ONHP publications list S. hendersonii as G-3 'Threatened or uncommon throughout its Range'; or G-4 'Not rare; apparently secure.' This should be changed to G-3, the present global rank. See: http://www.natureserve.org/ The species currently has no Federal status but should be designated a Federal Species of Concern with all haste. I will petition the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service for such a rating. This species requires immediate listing, attention, and research. For information about Federal status contact Kathy Pendergrass, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Portland [firstname.lastname@example.org], or visit: http://www.endangered.fws.gov/
We are dealing here with a fascinating and beautiful wildflower which has a habitat unlike all other members of its genus. Not only is it gorgeous to look at, but it lives in an environment between salt and fresh water, thus its distribution throughout its global range is essentially one-dimensional -- it is restricted to estuaries and islands along the Pacific coast of southern British Columbia, Washington and the northern half of Oregon. I believe it is safe to say that on a world-wide basis there are now far fewer than one hundred sites for this species - perhaps fewer than half that many.
The species' historic sites should be visited throughout its range to ascertain its health. This is especially crucial in Oregon where reasons for its demise should be ascertained and steps taken to reintroduce it into appropriate habitats.
Here is a review of the status of Sidalcea hendersonii in Oregon:
(1) Historic site: Type locality. 'Near Clatsop Bay, Oregon' L. F. Henderson (#1413) 7/3/1887. (Exact site unknown.) May be in or near present-day Fort Stevens State Park; the species at one time appeared on a plant list for the park. Has not been seen recently. Look for in 2003! (Jean Siddall thinks the site may have been Clatsop Spit.) Probable threats: development, changes in hydrology.
(2) Historic site: "Seaside." LeRoy Abrams (#8917) 7/11/1922. Exact site not known. Jean Siddall gives coordinates as: T6N R10W Sect. 16 or 21. Has not been seen for years. Look for in 2003. Threat: development, highway construction.
(3) Historic site: "Moist hollows in sun, Elk Creek (Ecola Creek?) Cannon Beach." L. F. Henderson (#11360) 8/1/1929. Jean Siddall coordinates: T5N R10W Sect. 19 or 30. Has not been seen for years. Look for in 2003. Probable threats: development, draining of wetlands.
(4) Historic site: Cannon Beach. Morton Peck (#13274) 7/1/1924. "Small swamp island just above bridge, Cannon Beach." Jean Siddall gives coordinates as: T5N R10W Sect 20. Has not been seen for years. Look for in 2003. Probable threats: development, changes in hydrology, highway construction.
No historic reports. Sites to check: Yaquina Bay (Newport), Alsea Bay (Waldport).
Where: Camosun College, Victoria, British Columbia
When: May 17-18, 2003
Host: Native Plant Society of BC (NPSBC)
Instructors: Dr. David Blundon (Camosun College) and Perry Grilz BC Ministry of Forests)
Objective: This Grass Identification Workshop has apllication to participants throughout all of BC. The main objective of this workshop is to give the basic knowledge and skills required to use a taxonomic grass key (Volume 7: Illustrated Flora of BC) so that participants will be able to begin idebtifying grasses anywhere in BC. The workshop will use a combination of both lab and field sessions. Grass identification is not as hard as you may think.
Required equipment: Please bring appropriate field wear for all weather conditions, a hand lens, and notebook plus scotch tape.
Cost [CDN$]: Non-members of NPSBC - $100.00, Students - $70.00, and Members of NPSBC - $80.00. All participants will receive a free copy of Vol. 7: Illustrated Flora of BC (a $40.00 value). Students and Non-members a 1-year paid membership to NPSBC.
Registration: Don't be disappointed, register early (limited to 24 participants). Deadline for registration is May 5, 2003. Reserve your seat by e-mailing or phoning Perry Grilz and then send your registration to: Perry Grilz, BC Ministry of Forests, 1011 4th Avenue, Prince George, BC, V2L 3H9. Make cheques payable to: NPSBC (Mark envelope: Grass Identification Workshop).
Inquiries: e-mail: Perry Grilz [Perry.Grilz@gems2.gov.bc.ca] or Phone: 250-565-6100 (Perry Grilz)
This book includes articles representing the new data on the flora and climatic conditions in different remote areas of the North Pacific that are still poorly investigated. Readers are introduced to the flora of some islands under the influence of the Pacific Ocean. Data on oceanic areas can be compared with data on climatic conditions and flora in continental areas also included in the book. The diversity of mushrooms in a transitional area is given. Special attention is given to: interrelations between vegetation and sea birds; the germination of seeds of Russian Far East plants; the effects of the Okhotsk Air Mass on summers in Japan; and ethnobotanical traditions in Kamchatka, Chukotka and Alaska. Data on the flora of the active Avachinsky volcano in Kamchatka will give a baseline from which changes can be monitored after eruptions.