17 July 2009

Rough Roads and Point Counts

Many hours were spent on some pretty rough roads this past month - scouring hillsides for the exact spot matching the UTM of the recommended point counts.

'De-commissioned' logging roads come in various levels of de-commissionment! Thank goodness the return trip always seems shorter than the neck-jarring, bladder-pounding ride to the 'point (just short) of no return' - that final wash-out you really really really cannot pass.

"Thou shalt not pass!" declared Gandalf in the caverns of Kazadum. But the Balrog was not convinced, not until the rock bridge was smote from under him and he tumbled into the rent of his revenge.

"De-commissioning" in British Columbia seems to mean simply ripping out all the culverts leaving wide, deep, muddy rents every 50 metres in other-wise sedate old roads. Someday, trees will grow on those roads, but not this day.

Twenty years from now, when the next Breeding Bird Atlas is proclaimed, saplings will hinder any chance of finding these point counts again, won't they? Can you picture this septuagenarian on a dirt bike? A tough leather jacket will be my only defence against prickly pine needles whipping past.

Never mind the roads the map says should be there but don't actually exist! We're already using game trails to find those ones!

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