Charlie Cole Creek Overview: Biological and Physical
To preserve three cold-water mineral springs, associated landforms, and vegetation, on the Kawdy Plateau
Physical: This reserve, the only protected area located in the BC portion of the Yukon River basin, features three cold-water mineral springs, a rather unique phenomenon in northern British Columbia. Of the three springs, one is most conspicuous, having formed a small, perfectly circular cone elevated about 6.5 m above surrounding terrain and having a water-filled crater about 20 m in diameter. Mineral water bubbles up from the centre of the crater, escapes through a narrow break in the rim, and trickles down the west slope of the cone. Below the crater this small stream forms a fan-shaped bog of grey muck. Rock forming the crater is known as “calc-tufa”. This is rusty in colour, crumbly, light in weight, and is formed by deposition of calcium carbonate on roots and other plant material. Eventual rotting of the plant matter has left the calc-tufa honeycombed and sponge-like.
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Two other mineral springs are present but have not formed any cones. They trickle above ground, forming shallow pools with red and yellow encrusted deposits around them for some distance downstream from their sources.
The glacially shaped landforms have subdued, undulating relief with general exposure to the southwest. Drainage is via Charlie Cole Creek into the Teslin River.
Biological: Forest cover is quite sparse, but stands of immature spruce and lodgepole pine, about 15 m tall, occur on high ground in the central part of the reserve. Shrublands dominated by willows and scrub birch cover much of the site, including slopes of the mineral spring cone. Monkey flowers are conspicuous in
July along the stream flowing from the crater. The springs are evidently visited by moose, which have heavily browsed local willow stands, especially around the cone.
SPECIES———BC LIST STATUS
Bay-breasted Warbler:Red listed
Cape May Warbler:Red listed
Black-throated Green Warbler:Blue listed
upright primrose : Blue listed
whitish rush : Blue listed
birch, scrub (Betula nana)
monkey-flower (Mimulus spp.)
pine, lodgepole (Pinus contorta var. latifolia)
primrose, upright (Ludwigia decurrens)
rush, whitish (Juncus albescens)
willow (Salix spp.)
Moose (Alces americanus)
Warbler, Bay-breasted (Dendroica castanea) Warbler, Black-throated Green (Dendroica virens) Warbler, Cape May (Dendroica tigrina)