BC Nature History
- Over 50 years of knowing nature and keeping it worth knowing
In 2019, BC Nature celebrated 50 years of being a federation, having organized under the official title of Federation of British Columbia Naturalists in 1969. However, BC Nature’s expansive history can actually be dated as far back as 1957, when the Standing Committee of Federations was created by Dr. Clifford Carl. This was then followed to become the Council of Naturalists in 1962. They functioned on similar interests as we still do today, acting as a coalition on issues such as threatened species, land management, club affairs, summer camps and more.
In 1967, the Council of Naturalists began the move towards becoming a federation for society filings. In 1969, constitutions were accepted and registered under the name Federation of British Columbia Naturalists. There were nine founding clubs, which have grown today to over 50 member clubs! In 2005, BC Nature was adopted as an operating name, however Federation of British Columbia Naturalists still remains our legal name.
Acting as a federation creates a uniformed body that spans the province. A powerful presence when it comes to pressing issues while at the same time, builds an interesting community for naturalists. AGM’s and field camps bring people together from member clubs to share their knowledge and passion for nature.
For over 50 years, BC Nature has followed its mission “Know Nature and Keep it Worth Knowing” with two driving factors—education and conservation. BC Nature has done this through a number of different facilities over the last five decades. Education is a tool not only for members but also to the public. In conservation efforts the organization has acted as representatives for nature, raising awareness to government bodies and the public through resolutions, letters, advisory committees, conferences, meetings with government officials and in recent times even legal action.
In its combined efforts as a federation and in partnership the board, members, volunteers, and like-minded organizations, BC Nature has been able to celebrate some fantastic wins in the fight for nature, including the programs and issues listed below:
- “Return it” campaign 1968: ahead of its time BC Nature campaigned for deposits to be required in order to help facilitate the recycling of bottles across the province.
- BC IBA 1996 to present: working with Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas, supporting volunteers across the province to act as caretakers for these ecologically important areas.
- Wildlife Tree Stewardship Initiative (WiTS) 2001-2010: whose goal was to create and connect communities of people to become aware and invested in the monitoring of trees for local wildlife.
- In 2012, BC Nature took its first step in legal action against the government when opposing the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline in Prince Rupert. BC Nature is again taking a similar execution with the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline in 2019 with pro bono work contributed by pacific center for environmental law and technology.
BC Nature celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2019 at the FGM hosted by Burke Mountain Naturalists, plus the Fall 2019 BCnature Magazine was full of interesting historical accounts. An online history book was published:
With 2019 being the celebratory year for the federation, a book with nine chapters was published online. Its main author was Bev Ramey, who had help from a few other people with writing sections and chapters and from several additional people with editing. Their names are noted at the start of each chapter. Sheila Byers helped throughout the entire process and she authored the first chapter and conducted interviews with past presidents. Bev Ramey is a long time member of BC Nature and has served in multiple roles over the decades of her involvement, including two terms as president. The history book has nine chapters plus sixteen appendices that showcase BC Nature’s truly expansive commitments over the past five decades.
The history book includes nine chapters covering topics: Formation, People, Field Trips and Camps, Communication, Conservation, Education, Projects, NatureKids and the BC Naturalists’ Foundation.
Or download individual appendices as follows: