Evans Lake ER #32 Overview, Physical and Biological
To protect one of the few known stands of yellow-cedar in interior British Columbia for future research.
The spectacular and rugged Valhalla Ranges of the Selkirk Mountains are the location of this reserve. The area was heavily glaciated by Pleistocene ice sheets and more recent alpine glaciers, resulting in deep steep-sided valleys and angular peaks with sharp narrow interconnecting ridges. The reserve is entirely on a steep (45o) south-facing slope at the west end of Evans Lake. There is considerable exposed bedrock at higher elevations, as well as talus and colluvium at all elevations. Soil cover is thin and discontinuous. Snow avalanches are frequent and affect the entire elevational range of the reserve.
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The occurrence here of yellow-cedar is of considerable interest because this species, common in coastal subalpine forests, occurs in very few interior locations. Specimens here occur near the Evans Lake shoreline community. Yellow-cedar may also be a sub-dominant species in adjacent Engelmann spruce-Subalpine fir-falsebox communities. Typical spruce-Subalpine fir forest, mostly found on lower slopes near Hird Creek, may have an understorycharacterized by either devils club and Sitka valerian, or by white rhododendron and black huckleberry. A small relatively wet area beside lower
Hird Lake has scattered spruce trees with an understory of bog-laurel, sedges and sphagnum moss. Shrubby avalanche slopes cover large areas, with typical components such as Sitka alder, black gooseberry, red elderberry and Sitka valerian.
Alpine communities within the reserve have not been described but are limited in extent due to steep unstable terrain and extensive bedrock.
The fauna has not been surveyed, but signs of Pika and Mountain Goat have been noted.
alder, Sitka (Alnus viridis ssp. sinuata)
bog-laurel, western (Kalmia microphylla)
devil’s club (Oplopanax horridus)
elderberry (Sambucus racemosa)
gooseberry, black (Ribes lacustre)
huckleberry, black (Vaccinium membranaceum)
rhododendron, white-flowered (Rhododendron albiflorum)
Sphagnum (Sphagnum spp.)
spruce (Picea spp.)
valerian, Sitka (Valeriana sitchensis)
yellow-cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis)
Goat, Mountain (Oreamnos americanus)
Pika, American (Ochotona princeps)