Gingietl Creek Er # 115 Overview: Biological and Physical
To conserve an undisturbed coastal watershed of wide elevational range for forest ecology, vegetation, wildlife ecology and hydrology studies.
Access: Access by helicopter, or by logging road from the village of Gitwinksihlkw on the north side of Nass River.
Physical: The reserve comprises the steep southeast facing drainage of Gingietl Creek and a series of lower northeast oriented ridges in its southeast corner. Gingietl Creek is partly fed by waterfalls from steep tributaries. The lower part of the reserve is characterized by gently sloping alluvial fans merging with the Nass River floodplain. Glaciers and small alpine tarns are present in the alpine zone. Snowfall is heavy in this area.
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Biological: Western hemlock forests dominate the lower slopes, but less extensive forests of western redcedar and Sitka spruce, the latter including deciduous trees, are also present. On the low ridges in the southeastern portion of the reserve, seral forests of lodgepole pine and hemlock stands dominate at elevations above the previous forest types and a Sitka alder community occupies slide and avalanche slopes. Subalpine willow (shrub) communities and alpine tundra are also found at higher elevations, but have not yet been surveyed.
In the lowlands, hybrids between Engelmann spruce and Sitka spruce, and the rare Anderson’s holly fern are present.
The presence of Bald Eagle, Grizzly Bear and Black Bear has been reported. Moose occur along the Nass River valley. The reserve is an excellent location to study wildlife species adapted to mature, coastal coniferous forests.
Cultural: The reserve is located within the territory of the Nisga’a Nation. The area is used for traditional harvesting of resources.
lodgepole pine – kinnikinnick association—-Red listed
Dolly Varden—Blue listed
Grizzly Bear—Blue listed
western hemlock – kinnikinnick – Cladonia association—Blue listed
amabilis fir-western redcedar – oak fern association—Blue listed
amabilis fir-western redcedar – devil’s club association
Sitka spruce – salmonberry association
hybrid white spruce – paper birch – devil’s club association—Blue listed
hybrid white spruce – twinberry – sweet coltsfoot association
mountain hemlock-amabilis fir – blueberry association
Climate Change: As the climate changes, the distribution of the diverse ecological communities represented in this reserve may be altered. Research projects timberlines to rise due to warmer temperatures and the shifting of suitable forest habitat, resulting in a decrease in alpine and subalpine areas.
Forestry: Adjacent logging is eliminating the buffer zone protecting the reserve.
Harvest: Mushroom harvesting within the reserve is suspected.
RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES: The reserve includes the entire drainage system of Gingietl Creek, and an elevational sequence of three biogeoclimatic zones
SCIENTIFIC NAMES OF SPECIES MENTIONED IN THE GINGIETL CREEK ER ACCOUNT
alder, Sitka (Alnus viridis ssp. sinuata)
birch, paper (Betula papyrifera var. commutata and var. papyrifera) blueberry (Vaccinium sp.)
colt’s-foot, sweet (Petasites frigidus var. frigidus, var. nivalis, var. palmatus) cottonwood, black (Populus trichocarpa ssp. trichocarpa)
devil’s club (Oplopanax horridus)
fern, Anderson’s holly (Polystichum andersonii)
fern, oak (Gymnocarpium spp.)
fir, amabilis (Abies amabilis)
hemlock, western (Tsuga heterophylla)
kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)
pine, lodgepole (Pinus contorta var. latifolia)
redcedar, western (Thuja plicata)
salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis)
spruce, Engelmann (Picea engelmannii)
spruce, Sitka (Picea sitchensis)
spruce, white (Picea glauca)
twinberry (Lonicera sp.)
willow (Salix sp.)
Bear, American Black (Ursus americanus)
Bear, Grizzly (Ursus arctos)
Dolly Varden (Salvelinus malma)
Eagle, Bald (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
Moose (Alces americanus)