Native Orchid Conservation Inc
by Doris Ames and Eugene Reimer
(as presented at the 2005 NOC Conference 2005-July)

Native Orchid Conservation Inc is a non-profit organization whose mission is the conservation of rare native plant species and the unique mini-ecosystems in which they live. This mainly involves native orchids but can also include other rare plant species and medicinal plants of interest to First Nation people. Today we would like to show you some slides of our activities since our beginning in 1998.

Brokenhead Wetland Project: The first project we undertook was the protection of a huge wetland near Lake Winnipeg that contains a rare calcareous fen. It is located off Highway #59 about 40 miles north of Winnipeg. It contains 28 of Manitoba's 36 orchid species.

01: This is a picture of the cedar swamp taken in June, which is the entrance to the fen. This area is on a piece of Crown Land adjacent to what is now a 563-hectare ecological reserve. We take people here to see native orchids and other rare plants. Plans are underway to install boardwalks in this area.

02: Here is a picture of the fen in late July.

03: Dragon's-mouth (Arethusa bulbosa)

04: Pitcher-plant (Sarracenia purpurea)

05: Ram's-head lady's-slipper (Cypripedium arietinum)

Sandilands Selective Cutting Project: this was a 5 year project we undertook to study the effects of elective cutting on the growth of native orchids in a cedar forest in the Sandilands Provincial Forest in Manitoba about 50 miles southeast of Winnipeg.

10: We set up study plots, and each August, we counted and measured the growth of native orchid species in these plots.

11: We also photographed the plots

12: We estimated canopy closure using a wide-angle photograph taken straight up from the middle of each test-plot; the 2nd image is the same photo converted to black and white pixels for computerized counting.

13: Fairy-slipper (Calypso bulbosa)

14: Lesser Rattlesnake-orchid (Goodyera repens)

15: Using the spherical-densiometer to measure the canopy closure; we photographed it and did the counting back in the office

South-East Timber-sale Survey (SETS) Project: a 3-year project doing plant-surveys within Timber-sales in South-Eastern Manitoba. We did an inventory of crown lands slated for clear-cutting and other areas slated for peat-moss extraction. If we found large populations of rare plants and their habitat we notified the department of forestry so they could put this information into their plans for forest management. We identified dozens of plant species of special concern (S1-S3) and saved 400 hectares of their forest habitat as a result of these surveys.

20: this is a 300ha decommissioned peat-moss harvesting area that we managed to have set aside with the cooperation of SunGro Horticulture to protect the habitat of ragged fringed-orchid (Platanthera lacera).

21: this is a slide of clear-cutting in winter when we carried out the habitat surveys.

22: mapping and making out the reports after a day in the field

23: Bloodrooot (Sanguinaria purpurea) a rare plant in the Hadashville area.

24: Sweet Flag (Acorus calamus) a medicinal plant used by First Nations people as an all-around panacea and specifically to treat high cholesterol.

25: Showy lady's-slipper (C.reginae) in woodland habitat,

26: Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) at Whitemouth Lake

27: Bloodroot

28: Winter logging

29: Orchid habitat in winter showing Hooker's Orchid (P.hookeri) seed capsules.

North and West Plant Survey Project: We conducted another survey in Northern and Western Manitoba, during 2002-August to 2004-July. We identified 44 locations with rare and uncommon plants (S1-S3), where according to the province S1 means very rare, S2 means rare, and S3 means uncommon, and with 3 species of medicinal plants.

30: This is Least Mousetail (Myosorus minimus) we found in an old pasture near Fisher Branch. It hadn't been seen in the province for 53 years.

31: we also found Sparrow's-egg lady's-slipper (C.passerinum) in Duck Mountains Provincial Park after a tip from one of our members.

32: Fairy-slipper (Calypsos bulbosa) we found at Churchill last summer more than 500 miles outside of its previously known range on a tip from a Churchill resident.

33: Pisew Falls on the Grass River near Thompson. At 42.7 feet it is Manitoba's highest accessible waterfall and a beautiful site.

34: Double Sparrow's egg lady's-slipper near Hargrave River.

35: Small round-leaved orchid (Amerorchis rotundifolia)

Salvage Project: As well as our other projects we conduct ongoing Salvage operations.

40: Here are some Yellow lady's slippers (Cypripedium parviflorum) we rescued from a ditch about to be deepened near Anola in 2004-June and transplanted to the Fort Whyte Nature Centre. You can see they were doing well there last month.

Fieldtrips: NOCI conducts Field-trips for its members every summer.

50: Here is a group visiting the Brokenhead Wetlands.

51: This is the famous Komarno mosquito. We stopped to visit it on our way back from a field trip near Fisher Branch. This gives you some idea of the size of the bugs in Manitoba.

52: Here is Samantha, one of our youngest members photographing a crocus with her Grandpa's camera.

Displays: We also do Displays of native orchids for the general public.

60: Here is our display at the 2005 MOS orchid show.

Book Project: A project we have just finished was the publication of our book "Orchids of Manitoba".

70: Here we are at Richard Reeves's home reviewing the lay-out.

71: One of the many book committee meetings we had at Lorne Heshke's home.

72: reviewing printer's proofs at Lorne Heshke's home.

73: Here is Joan Heshke preparing the treats that kept us going.

Video Project: Our latest project is the making of a public education Video on the need for orchid conservation for use in schools etc.

80: Here they are filming on location with director Keith Neimor, actor Al Simmons, and cameraman Carl Simmons.

81: L-R: cameraman Carl Simmons, director Keith Neimor, actor Al Simmons.

Attending a Native Orchid Festival in Tobermory ON in the Bruce Peninsula in 2003:

90: NOCI members John Neufeld, Eugene Reimer, Doris Ames, and Peggy Bainard Acheson at the Bruce Peninsula

91: a clump of Ram's-head from the Bruce Peninsula

92: people on the escarpment trail in the Bruce Peninsula

Attending the 2004 NOC Conference in Conway SC:

95: NOC conference in Conway - NOC president David McAdoo leads the group.

96: Long leaf Pine savannah in the Carolinas, 2004 NOC conference

97: Yellow fringed orchid (Platanthera ciliaris) from the Carolinas, 2004 NOC conference

Brokenhead Wetland declared an Ecological-Reserve 2005-June24:

A0: Drum group at the announcement of the Brokenhead-Wetland Ecological Reserve 2005-June24

A1: Doris Ames and Premier Gary Doer at the BWER-announcement

A2: BWER Wetland Tour - L-R: Kelly-Anne Richmond, Peggy Bainard Acheson, Doris Ames, Premier Doer, Conservation Minister Stan Struthers, and Richard Reeves.

Our Book gets Launched 2005-July06:

B0: Doris Ames autographing books at McNally Robinson's book launch for "Orchids of Manitoba"

B1: people at the book launch.

B2: people at the book launch.

B3: people at the book launch.

B4: The authors enjoying a glass of the bubbly after the launch.
L-R: Ian Ward, Richard Reeves, Peggy BainardAcheson, Eugene Reimer, Doris Ames, John Neufeld (missing: Lorne Heshka, Bob Joyce)

About tomorrow: We will be taking you to the Brokenhead Wetlands to see some of the orchids and other plants there. Please remember to stay on the trails so as not to damage the plants. Try to avoid stepping in any holes or pools of water as they are often very deep. You will need rubber boots or old runners, because it is wet, as well as a hat, bug repellent, sunscreen, and water, as it is very hot and humid.

Now we'll show you the Video we've just completed for public education about orchid conservation.