Name of the site: Kiloh Property
Address: Langley | Lower Mainland
Size: 4.5 acres
Type of production: Livestock (3 horses and 3 cows
Number of people employed: 1
Owned property: Managed property for 26 years
Enjoy it while you can, be part of something thats positive and you will personally feel a lot better about the environment and what you are doing and long-term its huge benefits. It enhances property too!
The following guides are relevant to this project site
Click to download the table for stewardship practices at the Okanagan Falls Biodiversity Ranch
A Rocha Canada
Jacobsen Creek runs through the Kilohs property. Adjacent to the creek is a man-made fishpond. The Kilohs have been working to improve the riparian areas around these waterbodies over the last decade and a half.
The Kilohs used to have a fence that prevented cattle and horses from feeding around the creek. Bruce was also carrying out a planting program in the riparian zones, planting coniferous and deciduous trees throughout the area. He has also used bioengineering techniques to stabilize the bank and prevent soil erosion.
A Rocha expressed interest in assisting the Kilohs and piggybacking on the work that they had completed in the past. Together, Bruce and A Rocha devised a plan to accelerate the work in the riparian area including the removal of large areas of Himalayan Blackberry that had taken hold. They also planted 365 native plants to revegetate the riparian zone and prevent the regrowth of invasive plant species. A few hundred metres of livestock fencing was also built to prevent cattle and horses from entering the riparian area.
Key Stewardship Actions
Bruce and Patty Kiloh
Bruce has always been interested in agriculture and the environment. In his previous job, as a geography teacher and principal, he would bring his class to the farm to showcase the importance of planting trees.
I would bring my geography class out here and we would plant trees, I would show them how to do it, we would talk about the process, the importance of trees, carbon, it was all part of what I did as a geography teacher, and I’ve just carried that process through to our own farm.
Family strongly influences how Bruce manages his land and it is part of why he uses stewardship practices and teaches his grandchildren about nature.
Family, strong family ties, we’ve got grand-children, you want them to see what you are doing. I take that personally, so it is a personal thing.
A Rocha and their program also increased his determination to complete riparian restoration on his property.
The assistance from A Rocha has been significant, upped the ante a bit, and have made improvements that were quite dramatic. With A Rocha they came with lots of people, which is incredible because you can see activity done in a short period of time, someone like myself you see the change its dramatic.
Bruce had minimal problems while working with A Rocha on the project as they supplied much of the labour and costs.
Time was a cost but most of the costs of this were born by the project partner, A Rocha. All we supplied was some equipment, and some manpower and that’s about it.
In the past, removing invasive species had been challenging giving the large amount of manual labour required to remove them without using pesticides. However, A Rocha had a useful tool for removing the Himalayan blackberries that made it a lot easier.
Jesse [A Rocha biologist] brought a blackberry puller, I hadn’t seen one of those before, I would use a planting spade, very laborious work, but they lever action with the device.
The Kilohs have also struggled with disposing of invasive plant material due to a lack of a green waste program in the area. Bruce is hesitant to compost the waste because of rats, while burning the waste also has adverse impacts.
Getting rid of invasive plants is an issue because you want plants, trees, shrubs to grow up in an area where you are trying to increase the diversity of that environment. Green waste would be good. That would be advantageous that would be something that the Township of Langley should look at.
The riparian and aquatic habitat is home to ducks, heron, mink, weasel coyote, deer, birds, racoons, and even a beaver. The removal of Himalayan blackberry, replanting of native riparian plants, and cattle exclusion fence has created healthier habitat for these species.
I haven’t done any studies, but overall there is clearly more growth, fewer blackberries, we can look at that, so there’s been that process.
Bruce has also noticed other neighbors using some stewardship practices after he had implemented them. He views education about the type of programs A Rocha runs as a crucial step in the process of stewardship.
Part of the process is not just admiring other people but spreading the word that there are programs and assistance available in the form of dollars. On the other side they saw what we were doing with the fence and goingalong the stream, where the horses are, thats not our property, so they’ve fenced that big area to prevent more soil erosion.
Overall, Bruce was really happy working with A Rocha and felt that his expectations had been exceeded.
Minimal expectations, I wasn’t expecting a great deal, but I was more than pleasantly surprised and after a period of time, than it was less of a surprise and more of wow this is so cool these guys are helping, they helping out me and they are helping out society. I didn’t have great expectations, at the beginning and now I have great expectations and they are being me