(Brackendale Eagles Park,) Baynes Island ER (Tantalus Park) Management Plan, 2012
Baynes Island Ecological Reserve protects the black cottonwood floodplain ecosystem. Recreation is not encouraged on Baynes Island but opportunities for scientific study and research are permitted to enhance scientific knowledge of low elevation coastal floodplain ecology.
For the full PDF see: bebit_mp-1
Excerpts of the Plan are provided here:
1.5 Planning Process
This management plan was prepared with a high degree of public involvement. From 2000 to 2003, a public advisory committee helped prepare the draft management plan. Public open houses were held on the draft management plan in both North Vancouver and Squamish.
In recognition of the collaborative relationship, Squamish Nation reviewed the draft management plan in 2009 and provided input to strengthen the management plan’s direction with respect to Squamish Nation interests, and to better reflect the knowledge and interests of the Squamish Nation in these protected areas. At that same time, Squamish Nation and BC Parks collaboratively developed the management direction for Esté-tiwilh/Sigurd Creek Conservancy. The management direction for Esté-tiwilh/Sigurd Creek Conservancy has been considered in this management plan.
2.0 Values and Roles of the Protected Areas
2.1 Significance in the Protected Areas System
The roles of the protected areas as described below, together with the vision statement for the BEBIT protected areas (see section 3.1), guide the management activities outlined in this management plan. The BEBIT management planning area is comprised of two protected areas primarily protected for ecological values (Brackendale Eagles Park and Baynes Island Ecological Reserve) and one area primarily protected for recreation opportunities (Tantalus Park).
The BEBIT protected areas:
- contribute to protecting important cultural features and landscapes of the SquamishNation;
- protect floodplain areas that contain critical perching, roosting and feeding habitats thatsupport high numbers of wintering Bald Eagles;
- protect the significant wet subalpine meadow in the Niobe basin to the northwest ofOmega Mountain; and,
- complement the ecological and recreation values found in nearby parks by providingoutstanding wildlife viewing opportunities (Brackendale Eagles Park and Baynes Island Ecological Reserve) and backcountry recreation opportunities (mountaineering and hiking in Tantalus Park). The opportunity to access Tantalus Park by air also contributes to the variety of recreation opportunities available within the region’s protected areas.
2.2 Cultural Heritage
These protected areas are within the traditional territory of the Squamish Nation, and contribute to protecting important cultural features and landscapes of the Squamish Nation. Located in one of the most intensively used parts of Squamish Nation territory, the BEBIT protected areas conserve the natural environments of the lower Squamish River. These lands and waters, as well as hunting grounds within the forests and mountains of the Tantalus Range, have a long history of Squamish Nation use and occupation.
Numerous camps and several villages are found along the banks of the Squamish River, with intensive use of the river for salmon fishing and hunting in the upland forests. Higher elevation forests and mountains were accessed for hunting, especially for Mountain Goats. Numerous Indian Reserves are situated adjacent to the protected areas. The Squamish region contains numerous prehistoric, historic and culturally significant sites.
Several archaeological sites have been identified adjacent to Tantalus Park along the Squamish River. The ‘Squamish West’ Síiyamín ta Skwxwú7mesh cultural site is situated adjacent to the boundary of the park in the vicinity of the Lake Lovely Water access trail. This cultural site was established under the Sea to Sky Land and Resource Management Plan to maintain natural
Brackendale Eagles Park, Baynes Island Ecological Reserve and Tantalus Park Management Plan
areas for spiritual and cultural use. First Nations traditional use in higher elevation areas within the park is not well documented and further information is required.
First Nations’ traditional use within Brackendale Eagles Park and Baynes Island Ecological Reserve is not well documented and further information is required. There are no documented archaeological sites within the park or ecological reserve boundaries; however, there are several sites adjacent to the protected areas.
2.3 Biological Diversity and Natural Environment
Baynes Island Ecological Reserve and Brackendale Eagles Park
Brackendale Eagles Park and Baynes Island Ecological Reserve are bordered on the east by the Squamish River with several side channels and tributary creeks located within the protected areas. Water is a key resource for the park and ecological reserve. The ecology of the river floodplain and the Bald Eagles is dependent on maintaining high quality freshwater systems.
The shoreline and upland areas of Baynes Island are constantly evolving due to erosion, river channel movement and gravel deposition. It is difficult to predict the long-term effect of these natural changes but the integrity of the ecological reserve may be impacted at some future point.
The most significant wildlife occurring within the protected areas are the overwintering Bald Eagles. From mid-October until late March, large numbers of Bald Eagles congregate along the Squamish and Cheakamus rivers to feed on spawned salmon. In the 1990s, single day counts inventoried over 3,700 eagles in the Squamish and Cheakamus river systems. Annual Bald Eagle counts have shown declines in recent years, with number coming in under 1,000 birds in recent years While the park and ecological reserve protect critical wintering habitat for eagles, they also require significant habitat areas outside the park and ecological reserve to maintain healthy populations.
The protected areas protect the habitat of a number of other species including many associated with the floodplain and riparian areas. Further information can be found in the Background Report for Brackendale Eagles Park.
The Squamish River supports seven species of anadromous salmonids (e.g., Coho Salmon, Chinook Salmon) as well as resident salmonids.
The park and ecological reserve lie within the Southern Pacific Ranges Ecosection and the Coastal Western Hemlock biogeoclimatic zone. Forests are dominated by Douglas-fir, western redcedar and western hemlock. Floodplain areas adjacent to the Squamish River have a large deciduous component of red alder, black cottonwood, and bigleaf maple, as well as Sitka spruce, which provide the important roosting areas for Bald Eagles.