News/Reports

Columbia Lake Ecological Reserve Management Plan

Posted September 21, 2004 | Categories : 20,Management,Maps,Reports,Species List |

Context

  • Designated by Order in Council #1582 under the Ecological Reserve Act in 1971 and is presently listed and described in Schedule B of the Protected Areas of British Columbia Act

For the full Management Direction Statement see this PDF:columbia_lk_er_managment-direct
See the PDF for MAPS:

Columbialake

Photo: View north-west up Columbia Lake from the Ecological Reserve

  • The 29 hectare ecological reserve is situated in both the East Kootenay Trench Ecosection (13 ha.) and the Southern Park Ranges Ecosection (16 ha.).
  • Surrounded by the 8,576 hectare East Side Columbia Lake Wildlife Management Area which protects essential habitat for ungulates and wildlife.
  • Located on the east side of Columbia Lake, 5 km north of the community of Canal Flats.
  • Four provincial parks and two ecological reserves are located within a 40-kilometre radius of Columbia Lake Ecological Reserve.
  • Protects regionally significant hydrological and terrestrial features associated with limestone stratification within the East Kootenay Trench and Southern Park Ranges ecosections.
  • Contains special grassland habitat that supports species at risk.

Ecological Reserve Attributes Conservation

  • The plant communities associated with the mineral springs and calc-tufa/limestone deposits are unusual and provincially significant.
  • Rare and endangered flora and fauna have been recorded/observed within the ecological reserve, namely, five vascular plants (Gastony’s cliff-brake, Hooker’s townsendia, annual paintbrush, giant helleborine, and marsh muhly) and vertebrate species such as Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and the flammulated owl.
  • The East Kootenay Trench Ecosection is very poorly represented1 in the province wide protected area system (0.68%). Columbia Lake is the only designated ecological reserve in the East Kootenay Trench Ecosection, but contributes negligibly (0.41%) to the overall representation of this ecosection.
  • Contributes minimally to the representation of the Interior Douglas Fir Kootenay Dry Mild (IDFdm2) and Montane Spruce Dry Cool (MSdk) biogeoclimatic subzone/variants within the protected area system (0.5% and 0.3% respectively).
  • The bulk of MSdk biogeoclimatic subzone/variant protected province wide (90%) exists in national parks (Kootenay and Yoho).Education and Research
    • Study and research of unique vegetation associated with calcareous seeps and springs.
    • Research and monitoring of avian and mammal species listed as endangered,threatened or of special concern.
    • Research of hydrological processes associated with tufa formations (hardeneddeposits of calcium carbonate).Cultural Heritage
    • The entire east side of Columbia Lake was used extensively by First Nations groups in the pre-colonial period.
    • The Spirit Trail (8000 year old First Nations’ trade/travel route) passes within one kilometre of the ecological reserve.Significance in the Protected Area SystemSpecial Natural Features

• Contains hydrological and geological features unique to the Columbia Valley.

  • The East Kootenay Trench Ecosection has minimal representation in the provincial protected areas system (0.7%) and the IDFdm2 biogeoclimatic subzone/variant is a remnant ecosystem in the East Kootenay Trench (0.9% protected).
  • Contains several known flora species at risk and provides essential habitat for rare/endangered vertebrate species in the grasslands portion of the reserve.
  • Complements linkage zones for wildlife within the East Side Columbia Lake Wildlife Management Area.Cultural Heritage Significance
  • Immediate area supports a large number of known archaeological and traditional usesites.
  • Preserves natural landscape features adjacent to the Spirit Trail.Land Use, Tenures and Interests AccessColumbia Lake Ecological Reserve is located 5 km north of Canal Flats. A rough 2WD Forest Service Road parallels the western boundary of the ecological reserve. No formalized trails exist within the ecological reserve.

    Existing Tenures, Alienations and Encumbrances

• None identified.
Adjacent Patterns of Land Use

  • East Side Columbia Lake Wildlife Management Area surrounds the ecological reserve. Vehicle and hunting (i.e., MU-25) restrictions are in effect within the wildlife management area.
  • Lots 4401483 and 10TU872 (immediately west of the park) are utilized by the Canadian Broadcast Corporation as a transmission site.
  • Sublot 72 (north) contains an inactive mineral claim.
  • Sublot 72 (south) is held by the Nature Trust of British Columbia.
  • Trapping territory #0425T006 and Guide/Outfitter Territory #400807 abut theecological reserve.
  • A Conditional Water Licence is issued for Tower Creek (Licence #68011).
  • A Forest Service Road (non-gazetted) abuts the western boundary of the ecologicalreserve (i.e., not within the ecological reserve). The road serves as connector to theKootenay Forest Service Road.
  • Invermere Timber Supply Area borders the reserve (licencee- Tembec Inc.).First Nations Interests

• Management of the ecological reserve will require ongoing consultation with the Ktunaxa Nation and Shuswap Nation.

5

Columbia Lake Ecological Reserve: Management Direction Statement 2004

• It is the request of the Ktunaxa/Kinbasket Tribal Council that the Chief and Council of both the Columbia Lake and Shuswap (Secwepemc) Indian Band be consulted with reference to any future management planning of the ecological reserve

Other Agency Interests

  • Regional District of the East Kootenay (dealing with issues surrounding local government)
  • Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection
    • –  water protection, monitoring and reporting
    • –  enforcement of applicable acts and regulations
    • –  management of Wildlife Management Areas
  • Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management

– Kootenay Region of SRM (responsible for strategic planning and implementing

the Kootenay Boundary Land Use Plan)
• Land and Water British Columbia Inc. (responsible for adjacent Crown land tenures)

Private and Public Stakeholder Interests

  • Rocky Mountain Naturalists
    Interest: dedicated to the conservation and enjoyment of the Columbia Valley’s wildlife and natural habitats. Interest is focused on conserving the natural habitat in and around Columbia Lake Ecological Reserve.
  • Rocky Mountain Trench Natural Resources Society
    Interest: to encourage, support, participate in and initiate operations which will restore lost ecosystem function, with emphasis on the forage resource. Within Columbia Lake Ecological Reserve, the Society’s interest is the loss of native grassland habitat.
  • East Kootenay Conservation Program
    Interest: involvement with private land stewardship within the East Kootenay. The focus of the program is to encourage the preservation/conservation of natural tracts of land (especially private). Currently, the program is identifying 8 key habitats in lower valley bottoms that are essential to wildlife/native plant species.
  • The Nature Trust of British Columbia
    Interest: acquisition of private land holdings around Columbia Lake. Currently, theNature Trust has approximately 6,437 hectares (6,246 hectares on the west side of the lake above Hwy 93/95 and 250 hectares on the east side). This land has been set aside as essential wildlife habitat for perpetuity.
  • Friends of Ecological Reserves
    Interest: promote the interests of the ecological reserves program in British Columbia, by raising public awareness of the ecological reserve program and by raising funds that are used to support research and wardens in ecological reserves.

6

Columbia Lake Ecological Reserve: Management Direction Statement 2004

Ecological Reserve Role Statement

The primary role of the Columbia Lake Ecological Reserve is to protect regionally significant geological, hydrological and vegetation features associated with limestone strata. In addition, Columbia Lake Ecological Reserve is the only ecological reserve in the Kootenay Region that contributes to the representation of Interior Douglas-fir grasslands, a remnant ecosystem which contains essential habitat for numerous species at risk within the Columbia Valley.

Secondarily, the ecological reserve serves a research and education role by providing opportunities to study and learn more about calcareous mineral springs, their developmental history and associated plant communities.

 

For the full Management Direction Statement see this PDF:columbia_lk_er_managment-direct

Appendix B: Flora Species at Risk in the Rocky Mountain Forest District
(shading indicates confirmation in Columbia Lake Ecological Reserve).

Scientific Name

English Name

G Rank

Subnational

COSEWIC

BC Status

Adiantum capillus-veneris

southern maiden-hair

G5

S1

E (May 2000)

RED

Agoseris lackschewitzii

pink agoseris

G4

S2S3

BLUE

Arabidopsis salsuginea

saltwater cress

G4G5

S1

RED

Aster ascendens

long-leaved aster

G5

S2S3

BLUE

Astragalus bourgovii

Bourgeau’s milk-vetch

G5

S3

BLUE

Astragalus filipes

threadstalk milk-vetch

G5

S3

BLUE

Atriplex argentea ssp. argentea

silvery orache

G5T5

S1

RED

Bouteloua gracilis

blue grama

G5

S1

RED

Braya purpurascens

purple braya

G4G5Q

S2S3

BLUE

Calamagrostis montanensis

plains reedgrass

G5

S1

RED

Carex incurviformis var. incurviformis

curved-spiked sedge

G4G5T4T5

S2S3

BLUE

Carex rostrata

swollen beaked sedge

G5

S2S3

BLUE

Carex scoparia

pointed broom sedge

G5

S2S3

BLUE

Carex sychnocephala

many-headed sedge

G4

S3

BLUE

Castilleja cusickii

Cusick’s paintbrush

G4G5

S1

RED

Castilleja minor ssp. minor

annual paintbrush

G5T5

S1

RED

Delphinium bicolor ssp. Bicolour

Montana larkspur

G4G5T?

S2S3

BLUE

Delphinium sutherlandii

Sutherland’s larkspur

G?

S2S3

BLUE

Draba porsildii

Porsild’s draba

G3G4

S2S3

BLUE

Draba ruaxes

coast mountain draba

G3

S2S3

BLUE

Eleocharis rostellata

beaked spike-rush

G5

S2S3

BLUE

Epilobium glaberrimum ssp. fastigiatum

smooth willowherb

G5T?

S2S3

BLUE

Epipactis gigantea

giant helleborine

G3

S2S3

SC (1998)

BLUE

Erigeron trifidus

three-lobed daisy

G2G3

S2

RED

Gaura coccinea

scarlet gaura

G5

S1

RED

Gayophytum ramosissimum

hairstem groundsmoke

G5

S1

RED

Glyceria pulchella

slender mannagrass

G5

S2S3

BLUE

Helianthus nuttallii var. nuttallii

Nuttall’s sunflower

G5T5

S1

RED

Hypericum scouleri ssp. nortoniae

western St. John’s-wort

G5T?

S2S3

BLUE

Juncus arcticus ssp. alaskanus

arctic rush

G5T?

S2S3

BLUE

Lomatium triternatum ssp. platycarpum

nine-leaved desert-parsley

G5T?

S2

RED

Megalodonta beckii var. beckii

water marigold

G4G5T4

S3

BLUE

Melica bulbosa var. bulbosa

oniongrass

G5T5

S2

RED

Minuartia austromontana

Rocky Mountain sandwort

G4

S2S3

BLUE

Muhlenbergia andina

foxtail muhly

G4

S1

RED

Muhlenbergia glomerata

marsh muhly

G5

S3

BLUE

11

Columbia Lake Ecological Reserve: Management Direction Statement 2004

Scientific Name

English Name

G Rank

Subnational

COSEWIC

BC Status

Pellaea gastonyi

Gastony’s cliff-brake

G2G3

S2

RED

Phacelia lyallii

Lyall’s phacelia

G3G4

S2S3

BLUE

Physaria didymocarpa var. didymocarpa

common twinpod

G5T4

S2S3

BLUE

Plantago eriopoda

alkali plantain

G5

S1

RED

Poa laxa ssp. banffiana

Banff bluegrass

G5?T1

SH

RED

Potamogeton strictifolius

stiff-leaved pondweed

G5

S2S3

BLUE

Potentilla ovina var. ovina

sheep cinquefoil

G5?T5?

S2S3

BLUE

Salix boothii

Booth’s willow

G5

S2S3

BLUE

Scirpus pallidus

pale bulrush

G5

S1

RED

Scolochloa festucacea

rivergrass

G5

S2

RED

Schizachyrium scoparium

little bluestem

G5

S1

RED

Sphenopholis intermedia

slender wedgegrass

G5

S2

RED

Sphenopholis obtusata

prairie wedgegrass

G5

S1

RED

Sphaeralcea coccinea

scarlet globe-mallow

G5?

S1

RED

Stuckenia vaginata

sheathing pondweed

G5

S2S3

BLUE

Townsendia hookeri

Hooker’s townsendia

G5

S2

RED

Trisetum wolfii

Wolf’s trisetum

G4

S2S3

BLUE

12

Columbia Lake Ecological Reserve: Management Direction Statement 2004

Appendix C: Fauna Species at Risk in the Rocky Mountain Forest District
(shading indicates confirmation in Columbia Lake Ecological Reserve).

Scientific Name

English Name

G Rank

Subnational

COSEWIC

BC Status

Acrocheilus alutaceus

Chiselmouth

G5

S3

DD (1997)

BLUE

Aeronautes saxatalis

White-throated Swift

G5

S3S4B,SZN

BLUE

Ardea herodias herodias

Great Blue heron, herodias subspecies

G5T5

S3B,S4N

BLUE

Argia vivida

Vivid Dancer

G5

S2

RED

Asio flammeus

Short-eared Owl

G5

S3B,S2N

SC (1994)

BLUE

Botaurus lentiginosus

American Bittern

G4

S3B,SZN

BLUE

Buteo swainsoni

Swainson’s Hawk

G5

S2B,SZN

RED

Chrysemys picta

Painted Turtle

G5

S3S4

BLUE

Colias meadii

Mead’s Sulphur

G4G5

S3

BLUE

Dolichonyx oryzivorus

Bobolink

G5

S3B,SZN

BLUE

Falco mexicanus

Prairie Falcon

G5

S2B,SZN

NAR (1996)

RED

Grus canadensis

Sandhill Crane

G5

S3S4B,SZN

NAR (1979) G. canadensis tabida assessed

BLUE

Gulo gulo luscus

Wolverine, luscus subspecies

G4T4

S3

SC (1989) WESTERN POPULATION ONLY

BLUE

Martes pennanti

Fisher

G5

S3

BLUE

Melanerpes lewis

Lewis’s Woodpecker

G4

S3B,SZN

SC (NOV 2001)

BLUE

Myotis septentrionalis

Northern Long-eared Myotis

G4

S2S3

BLUE

Numenius americanus

Long-billed Curlew

G5

S3B,SZN

SC (1992)

BLUE

Oncorhynchus clarki lewisi

Cutthroat Trout, lewisi subspecies

G4T3

S3SE

BLUE

Otus flammeolus

Flammulated Owl

G4

S3S4B,SZN

SC (NOV 2001)

BLUE

Ovis canadensis

Bighorn Sheep

G4

S2S3

BLUE

Rana pipiens

Northern Leopard Frog

G5

S1

E (May 2000)

RED

Salvelinus confluentus

Bull Trout

G3

S3

BLUE

Tamias minimus selkirki

Least Chipmunk, selkirki subspecies

G5T1T3

S1S3

RED

Taxidea taxus

Badger

G5

S1

E (May 2000)

RED

Tympanuchus phasianellus columbianus

Sharp-tailed Grouse, columbianus subspecies

G4T3

S2S3

BLUE

Ursus arctos

Grizzly Bear

G4

S3

SC (MAY 2002)

BLUE