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Vladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve Management Direction Statement 2004

CONTENTS:

VLADIMIR J. KRAJINA ECOLOGICAL RESERVE APPROVALS PAGE……………………………………………………………….I INTRODUCTION ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1

PURPOSE OF THE MANAGEMENT DIRECTION STATEMENT …………………………………………………………………………………. 1 CONTEXT ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1

ECOLOGICAL RESERVE ATTRIBUTES ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….4

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CONSERVATION……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 4 RESEARCH AND EDUCATION …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 6 RECREATION AND COMMERCIAL USE……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………6 OTHER VALUES OF IMPORTANCE…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..7 SIGNIFICANCE IN THE PROTECTED AREAS SYSTEM …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 7

LAND USES, TENURES AND INTERESTS ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….7

ACCESS…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 7 EXISTING TENURES, ALIENATIONS AND ENCUMBRANCES…………………………………………………………………………………….7 ADJACENT PATTERNS OF LAND USE……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..7 FIRST NATIONS INTERESTS……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 8 OTHER AGENCY INTERESTS………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 8 PRIVATE AND PUBLIC STAKEHOLDER INTERESTS………………………………………………………………………………………………… 8

ECOLOGICAL RESERVE STATEMENT…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..8

CONSERVATION ROLE……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 9 RESEARCH AND EDUCATION ROLE ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 9

MANAGEMENT COMMITMENTS AND ISSUES ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 9

MANAGEMENT DIRECTION FROM PREVIOUS PLANNING………………………………………………………………………………………. 9 MANAGEMENT ISSUES…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 9

MANAGEMENT DIRECTION…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..12

PRIORITY MANAGEMENT OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIES……………………………………………………………………………………12

CONSULTATION AND FUTURE PLANNING…………………………………………………………………………………………………………13

FIGURES

Ecological Reserve Location Map …………………………………………………………………………………………2 Ecological Reserve Map………………………………………………………………………………………………………3 Acceptable Activities / Uses Matrix……………………………………………………………………………………..14

Introduction
Purpose of the Management Direction Statement

Management direction statements (MDS) provide strategic management direction for protected areas that do not have an approved management plan. Management direction statements also describe protected area values, management issues and concerns; a management strategy focused on immediate priority objectives and strategies; and, direction statements from other planning processes. While the MDS identifies strategies, the completion of strategies is dependent on funding and funding procedures. All development associated with these strategies is subject to the Parks and Protected Areas Branch’s Impact Assessment Policy.

Context

Vladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve is located on the middle west coast of Graham Island, the large northern island in the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii), approximately 35 kilometres west of Juskatla. The 9,834 ha ecological reserve was established on May 29, 1973, to protect representative ecosystems, rare genetic resources, and outstanding biological phenomena in a remote coastal setting.

The ecological reserve protects representative ecosystems within the Queen Charlotte Mountains, which contains a hyper-oceanic climate that is wetter than other parts of the archipelago. Vladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve conserves internationally significant wildlife and plant species that are endemic to the Queen Charlotte Islands, and protects provincially significant ecosystems, wildlife, vascular and non- vascular plant species and plant communities.

The Haida have identified the Queen Charlotte Islands, which Vladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve lies within, as asserted traditional territory.

 

Ecological Reserve Attributes Conservation

  • Vladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve is situated in the Windward Queen Charlotte Mountains Ecosection. This ecosection is well represented (33.28%) in the protected areas system. Vladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve contributes 6.78% of the overall representation of this ecosection.
  • Vladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve is situated in the Coastal Western Hemlock, Central Very Wet Hypermaritime (CWHvh2), Mountain Hemlock, Wet Hypermaritime (MHwh) and Alpine Tundra (ATunp). The MHwh is under-represented in the protected areas system (5.18%). Vladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve contributes 5.16% of the protected areas system representation of this variant, placing it second overall behind South Moresby National Park Reserve.
  • Vladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve protects two large islands, a fjord (Port Chanal) and 60 kilometres of marine shoreline that contain a complete estuary and an undisturbed littoral environment.
  • Vladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve is the only provincial protected area that lies within the Continental Shelf Marine Ecosection; though its contribution to total representation is very minimal. 4.6% of this marine ecosection is protected. The majority of the representation is provided by the proposed Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve. Vladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve and the proposed Gwaii Haanas National Marine Conservation Area Reserve are the only protected areas in this marine ecosection.
  • The marine portion of the ecological reserve is considered a special feature as it protects an estuary and transitional marine habitat at the edge of the continental shelf. The sockeye population in the Mercer watershed are unusual being positioned so close to the continental shelf.Northern abalone (COSEWIC listed threatened) are thought to occur within the ecological reserve.
  • The ecological reserve is an internationally significant refuge for all endemic bird and mammal species that are known to occur in the Queen Charlotte Islands.
  • The ecological reserve contains two (2) provincially blue-listed biogeoclimatic subzone variants, two (2) rare marine environments, 40 rare plant species including one provincially red-listed and four (4) blue-listed species and six (6) blue-listed bird species.Flora
  • The ecological reserve contains an elevational gradient of three biogeoclimatic zones – Coastal Western Hemlock, Mountain Hemlock and Alpine Tundra.
    ß Two(2)ofthebiogeoclimaticsubzonevariantsareprovinciallysignificant

    • −  The blue-listed CWHvh2 (Coastal Western Hemlock – Central Very Wet Hypermaritime).
    • −  The blue-listed MHwh (Mountain Hemlock – Wet Hypermaritime).
  • Two provincial red- and 10 blue-listed plant communities are associated with the significantbiogeoclimatic subzone variants (Table 1). The communities may be located in the ecological reserve, however, inventory data are lacking.

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  • The ecological reserve contains blanket bogs and old-growth coniferous forests, including a lowland Sitka spruce forest that show remarkable variation in composition.
  • Over 40 rare plant species, including one (1) provincially red-listed and four (4) blue-listed species have been recorded in Vladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve (Table 2):
    ß The ecologica lreserve is the only known location in British Columbia for the northern butterweed (Senecio cymbalaria) which is blue-listed.
  • Two (2) sphagnum moss species that are new to science are found in the ecological reserve.
  • Several plant species that are endemic to the Queen Charlotte Islands, such as the Queen Charlotteisopyrum, are found in the ecological reserve.
  • The ecological reserve is extremely rich in liverworts and mosses.Table 1: Endangered (Red list) and threatened (Blue list) plant communities that may be located in the Vladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve

Scientific Name

Common Name

BEC

Provincial Rank

Provincial List

Picea sitchensis / Trisetum canescens

Sitka spruce / Trisetum

CWHvh2/09

S2

Red

Picea sitchensis / Maianthemum dilatatum Wet Hypermaritime 1

Sitka spruce / false lily-of-the- valley Wet Hypermaritime 1

CWHvh2/08

S2

Red

Alnus rubra / Maianthemum dilatatum

Red alder / false lily-of-the-valley

CWHvh2/10

S3

Blue

Picea sitchensis – Tsuga mertensiana / Calamagrostis nutkaensis

Sitka spruce – mountain hemlock / reed grass

MHwh1/03

S3

Blue

Picea sitchensis / Calamagrostis nutkaensis

Sitka spruce / reedgrass

CWHvh2/16

S3

Blue

Picea sitchensis / Carex obnupta

Sitka spruce / slough sedge

CWHvh2/18

S3

Blue

Picea sitchensis / Malus fusca

Sitka spruce / Pacific crabapple

CWHvh2/19

S3

Blue

Picea sitchensis / Polystichum munitum

Sitka spruce / sword fern

CWHvh2/17

S3

Blue

Thuja plicata – Picea sitchensis / Oplopanax horridus Very Wet Hypermaritime 2

Western redcedar – Sitka spruce / devil’s club Very Wet Hypermaritime 2

CWHvh2/07

S3

Blue

Thuja plicata – Picea sitchensis / Polystichum munitum

Western redcedar – Sitka spruce / sword fern

CWHvh2/05

S2S3

Blue

Thuja plicata/Picea sitchensis – Lysichitum americanum

Western redcedar/Sitka spruce – skunk cabbage

CWHvh2/13

S3

Blue

Tsuga heterophylla – Picea sitchensis / Rhytidiadelphus loreus

Western hemlock – Sitka spruce / lanky moss

CWHvh2/04

S3

Blue

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Table 2. Endangered (Red list) and threatened (Blue list) plant species located in the Vladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve

Scientific Name Common Name Provincial Rank Provincial List

Salix reticulata ssp. net-veined willow S2 Red glabellicarpa

Senecio cymbalaria northern butterweed S2S3 Blue

Pedicularis verticillata whorled lousewort S2S3 Blue

Helictotrichon hookeri spike-oat S2S3 Blue

Enemion savilei Queen Charlotte false rue- S2S3 Blue anemone

Fauna

  • Two (2) provincially blue-listed birds have large nesting colonies in Vladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve:ß Ancientmurrelets(Synthliboramphusantiquus,and ß Cassin’sauklets(Ptychoramphusaleuticus)
  • Four (4) provincially blue-listed endemic bird species reside in the ecological reserve:
    • ß  TheQueenCharlotteIslandsub-speciesofnorthernsaw-whetowl(Aegoliusacadicusbrooksi),
    • ß  Stellar’sJay(Cyanocittastellericarlottae),
    • ß  Hairywoodpecker(Picoidesvillosuspicoideus);and
    • ß  Peregrinefalcon(Falcoperegrinuspealei).
  • Four (4) salmon species spawn in the ecological reserve.
  • A Stellar sea lion haul-out is located in the ecological reserve.
  • Nesting birds found in the ecological reserve include peregrine falcons (pealei subspecies); fork-tailed petrels, bald eagles, black oystercatchers and pigeon guillemots.Research and Education
  • Promotes scientific research and educational uses in a natural environment.
  • Provides opportunities for scientific study of rare and endemic plant species.
  • Provides opportunities for scientific study of endemic bird and mammal species.
  • Provides opportunities for archaeological research and studies of the Haida use of the area.Recreation and Commercial UseRecreationaluseisneitherprovidedfornorencouraged. Opportunitiesassociatedwitheducationtours that are consistent with the Ecological Reserve Act and Vladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve are considered to be very limited.6

Other Values of Importance

• Vladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve is within the asserted traditional territory of the Haida First Nation.

ß ThereisaknownFirstNationssustenancefishingareaatthemouthofMercerCreek. ß Asignificantarchaeologicalsiteisrecordedwithintheecologicalreserve.
ß OtherculturalheritageattributeshavenotbeenidentifiedtoEnvironmentalStewardship

Division.

Significance in the Protected Areas System

  • Protects valuable habitat for rare and endemic wildlife, plants, and plant communities, many of which are only found in the Queen Charlotte Islands.
  • Conserves unique genetic resources and uncommon biological phenomena.
  • Protects representative ecosystems in an area that is virtually undisturbed by humans.
  • Protects an elevational gradient of biogeoclimatic zones in the Windward Queen CharlotteMountains Ecosection.Land Uses, Tenures and Interests Access

• Access to the ecological reserve is limited to boat and foot access. Other means of access must receive prior approval..

Existing Tenures, Alienations and Encumbrances

  • The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has a small cabin near Empire Anchorage.
  • Canadian Coast Guard navigational lights are in the ecological reserve – under permit.
  • There is a shipwreck on Hippa Island, the Clarksdale Victory – 1942.
  • There are research use permits for scientific study.
  • The marine waters of the ecological reserve are open to commercial fishing and shellfish harvesting.
  • No other formal facilities exist.Adjacent Patterns of Land Use
  • One guide outfitter is licensed for surrounding areas.
  • One Trapping License 613T024 is adjacent to the ecological reserve.
  • Provincial forest within the Queen Charlotte Forest District and Timber Supply Area, surrounds theecological reserve on the eastern, northern and southern boundaries.
  • Forest harvesting activities are noted as occurring in the Mercer Creek watershed.

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First Nations Interests

  • The Haida have identified the Queen Charlotte Islands, which Vladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve lies within, as their traditional territory. The Haida have advised that:
    ß Haida culture represents evidence of Haida activity over millennium and into the present modernage.
  • The Council of the Haida Nation has expressed an interest in cooperative management of allprotected areas within their traditional territory and have advised that:
    • ß  ThatproposedplanninganddevelopmentactivitiesshouldcarryHaidaprotectiveclausesandmonitoring of activities that include the Council of the Haida Nation.
    • ß  TheHaidawouldliketoseeallresearchmethodsdesignedandapprovedbytheCounciloftheHaida Nation.
    • ß  ArchaeologicalcontentshouldbecontrolledbytheCounciloftheHaidaNation.
    • ß  ResearchersselectionshouldbecontrolledbyCounciloftheHaidaNation.
    • ß  AllresearchersshouldsigntheCounciloftheHaidaNation’sArchaeologypaperthatrecognises Council of the Haida Nation’s ownership.
  • The Haida would like to see “Haida Occupancy and Resource Use” noted as an existing tenure.Other Agency Interests
  • The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has an interest in managing salmonid stocks.
  • Ministry of Forests has an interest in adjacent forest land and forest harvesting activities outside ofthe ecological reserve.Private and Public Stakeholder Interests
    • Canadian Wildlife Service participates in seabird colony monitoring programs in the area
    • Parks Canada
    • Environment Canada
    • BC Wildlife Federation
    • Local residents
    • Pacific Biological Station
    • Scientific communities
    • Friends of Ecological ReservesEcological Reserve StatementVladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve achieves all four conservation (representation, special features, research and education) goals for ecological reserves as identified in BC Parks Conservation Program Policies.

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Conservation Role

Vladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve protects internationally significant wildlife and plant species that are endemic to the Queen Charlotte Islands, and protects provincially significant ecosystems, wildlife, vascular and non-vascular plant species and plant communities.

Special features include rare genetic resources and outstanding biological phenomena in a remote coastal setting. Habitat for rare and endemic plant and animal species are present throughout the ecological reserve. In particular, there are large nesting colonies of Cassin’s auklets and ancient murrelets (both are blue-listed species) present in the ecological reserve. As well, there are over 40 species of rare plants, including two mosses new to scientific study within the ecological reserve.

Research and Education Role

The ecological reserve protects a terrestrial and marine environment that is virtually undisturbed by humans. The ecological reserve offers a unique opportunity for scientific research and education on internationally and provincially significant wildlife, plant species, plant communities and natural ecosystem processes.

Management Commitments and Issues Management Direction from Previous Planning

Scientific studies gathered data of biological phenomena and established the presence of rare plant and animal communities. Consequently, in 1973, Vladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve was established. In 1982, Hippa Island was added to the existing ecological reserve.

An Ecological Reserve Management Statement was approved on March 6, 1990 for Vladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve. In addition an annual management plan is prepared detailing current year activities. This management direction statement will provide more up-to-date management direction.

Management Issues

Environmental Stewardship Division identified the following management issues.

Theme

Issue

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Theme

Issue

Protecting ecological values

  • Ecological reserve boundaries not clearly marked.
  • Inventory of natural features is incomplete.

• Concern that adjacent uses may be impacting vegetation communities and wildlife populations within the ecological reserve (e.g. fragmentation / disturbance during critical life-stages, such as nesting). Identified concerns include:

  • ß  Forestry activities on adjacent land and the impact on seabird colonies and vegetation communities.
  • ß  Roe harvesting in kelp beds and potential relationship with depleting marine derived nutrients and impacting sea bird colonies.
  • ß  Activities of sportfishers adjacent to the ecological reserve have been reportedly impacting bird populations (e.g. reports exist of ancient murrelets being run over by small fishing boats).

• Introduced species
ß Raccoons are having a detrimental affect on seabird colonies,

particularly on Hippa Island.
ß Increased deer grazing will impact native plant species

− There are no natural predators for introduced species (deer and raccoons).

Protecting Ecological Values (continued)

  • Unknown amount of visitors use (marine access, floatplane and helicopter access, beachcombing, kayaking, hiking).
  • Unknown/unregulated use of the ecological reserve by fish charter companies.
  • Unknown effect of recreational access and hiking on the ecological reserve’s vegetation.
  • Illegal access by air charter companies taking tourists heli-hiking in area.
  • Unknown access/use in adjacent waters.
  • DFO cabin (near Empire Anchorage).
  • Unknown harvesting of natural resources from:ß Tourists using floating homes in Nesto Inlet for fishing purposes.
    ß Fish guiding (base camp) located on the water in Nesto Inlet.
    ß Fish guiding camp located in waters around the ecological reserve. ß Commercial harvest of fish and shellfish within ecological reserve.

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Protecting cultural heritage values

  • A significant archaeological site has been identified within the ecological reserve and must be protected from visitor use and indirect research.
  • Cultural features have not been identified to the Environmental Stewardship Division.
  • The Council of the Haida Nation would like control of archaeological and cultural materials.

First Nation Involvement

  • Fishing occurs at the mouth of Mercer Creek.
  • The Council of the Haida Nation would like to co-manage the ecologicalreserve.
  • The Haida assert historic use of the area and would like all necessaryresearch to be conducted with the Council of the Haida Nation direction and control of content.

Public Safety

• Breakers and reefs near Hippa Island are a safety hazard.

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Management Direction
Priority Management Objectives and Strategies

Objective

Strategy

Protecting ecological values

Implement a management approach that will conserve biodiversity and allow natural processes to predominate.

Continue annual monitoring of the ecological reservef or introduced species/predators (e.g. beavers and deer)
− Develop and conduct control strategies for introduced species

as necessary. Continue monitoring the health of the seabird colonies. Conduct an inventory to identify sensitive and critical habitats and red- and blue-listed wildlife and plant communities.
− Develop special management plans for rare, threatened and

endangered species as required. Monitor the effects of scientific research and study andl imit access if research is impacting the conservation values of the ecological reserve.
Prepare a fire management plan. Determine if the DFO cabin (near Empire Anchorage) should be tenured or removed.

Develop a non–extractive research program for known internationally and provincially significant species in the ecological reserve.

ß Ensure that research permits (non-extractive) are issued for all acceptable research.

ß

ß ß

ß

ß ß

• Access and use
ß Post signs identifying ecological reserve boundaries.
ß Monitor visitor use.
ß Consider closing high value areas of the ecologicalr eserve to entry

(e.g. nesting colonies on Hippa Island).

− Minimize impacts on vegetation and nesting colonies.
ß Identify companies that may use the ecological reserve for guiding

purposes (heli-hiking, fishing, hiking, etc) to advise them what

activities are not permitted within the ecological reserve.
ß Increase management presence (e.g.increased number of visits;

recruit and retain an ecological reserve warden).
ß Work with other agencies to conduct joint patrols in the area(e.g.

DFO, Coast Guard, Conservation Officer Service, Parks Canada).

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Objective

Strategy

Use of adjacent land and water Liaise with Ministry of Forests to ensure harvesting practices on neighbouring forest land does not impact the integrity of the ecological reserve. Liaise with Land and Water BC to ensure future developments do not impact the ecological reserve. Develop mechanisms to monitor incidental use of the ecological reserve from sport and recreational fishers. Identify and talk with commercial operators tha tare operating near the ecological reserve to ensure ecological reserve values are considered and respected. Work with DFO,local tourism operators, and roe harvesters to limit use of marine waters immediately surrounding the ecological reserve.

  • −  Investigate options and usefulness of implementing a marinecomponent to the ecological reserve through land use planningprocesses or treaty negotiations.
  • −  Investigate options and support for an area closure in tidalfishing regulations. Liaise with DFO regarding management of fisheries within ecological reserve and adjacent waters.Establish a working relationship with the Council of the Haida Nation to preserve the conservation values of the ecological reserve.

ß

ß ß ß

ß

ß

Protect cultural heritage values

  • Investigate and collate existing information on cultural heritage values.
  • Prepare a Cultural Features Information Summary (based on Haidainterests and desires).
  • Work with the Council of the Haida Nation to identify culturalheritage sites and traditional use in the area.
    ß Work to determine how the Council of the Haida Nation andEnvironmental Stewardship can work together on issues related to archaeological and cultural materials.

First Nations Involvement

  • Through the treaty process or other mechanisms in place, investigate options for a more formal relationship with the Haida. Relationships should facilitate increased First Nation involvement in the stewardship and protection of the ecological reserve.
  • Work with the Council of the Haida Nation to develop cultural heritage information for the public and define protective measures for their culture.
  • Honour established aboriginal rights subject to conservation and safety concerns.

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Objective

Strategy

Public Safety

• Continue to permit the Canadian Coast Guard to service navigational lights in the ecological reserve.

Consultation and Future Planning

Environmental Stewardship Division will continue consultations with the Haida First Nation to design and implement research programs that properly identify and locate heritage and cultural values while ensuring their protection. The division will also work with other agencies to ensure that the values within the ecological reserve are considered in adjacent future development and forestry harvesting activities. Internally, the Parks and Protected Areas Section will continue to work with the Fish and Wildlife Science and Allocation Section, Conservation Officer Service and Ecosystems Section to ensure effective protected area management within Vladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve.

See The complete PDF at:vladimer_krajina_management