Cougar Canyon ER #108 1998-1999 Warden’s report

Posted February 3, 1999 | Categories : 108,Management,Research,Species List,Warden Reports |
Management and Visits


  • South end check. Track of light vehicle (mountain bike or trail bike) on north-west side of Lake 11; no damage; evidence disappeared by next visit.
  • Start made on vegetation classification.


  • Examination made of two small wetlands south of Lake 9 near the 800 m contour above and outside the ER to assess whether they were worth incorporating into the reserve. One was a 100 m x 50 m pond and the other a linear cattail marsh. They fall within a Forest Service grazing license and show moderate cattle impact. No special features were noticed that would give them special interest.
  • Start made on dragonfly survey. Vegetation classification on south side.


  • Check and vegetation classification along north side of Lake 10.

Chimaphila umbellata, pipsissiwa, included in the list below–
photo by Garry Fletcher


  • Vegetation classification from Hydro road along the west boundary and check of Lakes 1 and 2; no sign of entry.


  • Check at south end; dragonfly survey at every visit to Lake 11.


  • Vegetation survey on north-west slope and down towards Lake 5.


  • Check at south end; no disturbance.


  • Check at south end; salamander trap boards put in place for checking next spring.


  • Check at south end; no disturbance.


  • Visit to Lake Country Municipal Office in connection with OCP.




Two new metal gates have been placed across the West Kootenay Power road north of the reserve. These probably mark the points where the road intersects surveyed block #4678. Both were open when encountered but could be a restriction to access from the north in the future.


At the south end the owner has kept the gate strictly closed and prevents casual entry on foot.


Lake Country OCP


An OCP amendment application has been made by Terra West Investments, the Calgary-based company which owns the land immediately adjoining to the south of the reserve. This area, which they are calling Kalamalka Plateau, is presently zoned for large lots. First and second reading of a bylaw must take place, then the proposed rezoning and development will have a public hearing. No date has yet been set.


It appears that the owner is requesting approval of the project as a concept because no definite plans or projections have yet been put forward apart from a general comment that “about one third of the total land space would be allocated to a golf course, another third to low density resort cells or villages, and the other third would be used as public natural open space”. By getting the OCP changed to allow a development of this type, the property would become more saleable as a whole or easier to interest a developer in undertaking. Lake Country office staff mentioned a number of enquiries about the area had been made that may have been on behalf of potential partners or buyers.


I have asked to be informed of the timing of any meetings and open houses but it will be difficult as an outsider to comment if no detailed plans are put forth at that stage. As a land owner in the adjoining Central Okanagan Rural District rather than in Lake Country, the Crown probably has limited power to intrude in an OCP amendment in that municipality.


Direction from Parks would be appreciated.


Okanagan-Shuswap LRMP


One of the original proposals put forward by the Protected Area Strategy team was a large unit called Kalamalka Lake Park Extension (map and description enclosed) taking in more or less the whole area south of the park from the lake to the upper visual boundary as seen from Highway 97. Subsequent negotiation has eliminated most of this block however there is still a possibility of lesser additions on the west and north boundaries of Cougar Canyon ER.


If the LRMP process results in no change to land status there may still be an effect through regulation of future forestry activities by Visual Quality requirements. These are most likely to cover the view-scape from Highway 97 but some effort is being made to use the old weather station site as the reference point. Either would include land from the east side of Kalamalka Lake to the ridge top (i.e. more or less the west boundary of the reserve), and the steep slope running up the hill east of the reserve east boundary. As such they would be a positive development.


Reserve Condition


No human activities occurred to affect the reserve in the period covered, however weather did have a noticeable effect. Having been extremely hot with little precipitation during the period of greatest heat, there was an extreme water level decline of an estimated one metre in Lake 11 (and presumably in other lakes too). Young Douglas-fir trees up to about 2½ m tall growing in exposed locations or on thin soil throughout the reserve lost all their needles and may be dead.


Volunteer Committment


A total of 59 hours is estimated as having been spent on volunteer warden activities including 14 hours at home on specimen identification (dragonflies) and preparation of a vegetation report. Mileage amounted to 580 km.

Malcolm Martin,






Lichen Test Rock (Lake 10)


No sign of colonization.


Vascular Plants


The collection of 200 voucher specimens for deposit in a BC herbarium has been packaged and awaits means of delivery.


One new species was added to the reserve inventory list. This was a small number of Mountain ladyslipper orchid (Cypripedium montanum) – Yellow list- in woodland south of Lake 10.


Painted Turtle Monitoring


A slight change was made to the protocol for counting turtle numbers on Lake 11. Instead of a count from a vantage point on the north-west side supplemented by additions at the two lake extremities, the system now involves walking and counting the full length of the lake along the cliffs and slope above. The difference should be minimal but more likely to give better coverage.


Date                 time      condition                      air temp.           water temp.      #


April 14            pm   sunny        moderate wind                                                  20

May 15            pm   part cloud, brisk wind       64ºF                 60º                     7

May 29            pm   90% clear, fresh wind       22ºC                19º                   91

June 30            pm                     light wind        26½ºC             23½ºC             44

July 31             pm                     calm               32½ºC                                       8

Aug 28             am                                            27½ºC             24½ºC             56

Sept 21            pm   sunny,         light wind        21½ºC             18                    27

Oct 16             pm   80% clear             14½ºC               9                    16

Nov 6              am                                                                                              0


Count numbers were supplemented by weather and temperature data and the resulting report submitted to Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys Amphibian and Reptile Populations Survey (part of the Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Network).


If salamanders are reported in the Interior it is usually in spring. None have ever been reported for Cougar Canyon so several trapboards were put in moist, shaded locations between Lakes 10 and 11 for checking in the spring.



Two additions not previously recorded in this reserve are Great blue heron (28th August) and 16 Hooded mergansers (Lake 11, 6th November).


Vegetation Analysis



A previous report entitled An Inventory Study of Cougar Canyon Ecological Reserve

No. 108 was compiled in 1983 based on 13 visits through the season of that year. Since that time a number of additions and deletions have been made to the inventory list of species encountered and several names changed to reflect taxonomic revisions by various botanical workers. To accommodate these alterations an up-dated list is given below. In three cases an alteration is deemed necessary but no specimen is now available and the taxon is therefore shown as “sp.”. Information on date of record and habitat type should be obtained from the 1983 list.


Following the inventory is an analysis of vegetation of this reserve.


name                      common name       alien          distrib.      Raunkiaer


Equisetum arvense              common horsetail                 circum                    H

Equisetum hyemale              scouring-rush                                       NA                          H

Equisetum scorpoides         dwarf scouring-rush                            circum                    H



Lycopodium annotinum      stiff clubmoss                                       circum                    Ch



Selaginella densa                 compact selaginella                             NA                          Ch

Selaginella wallacei              Wallace’s selaginella                           WNA                     Ch



Cryptogramma acrostichoides parsley fern                                     WNA (a)                H

Cryptogramma stelleri         slender rock-brake                               circum                    H



Pteridium aquilinum             brackern fern                                         circum                    H



Athyrium filix-femina           lady fern                                                                WNA (a)                H

Cystopteris fragilis              fragile fern                                             circum                    H

Dryopteris carthusiana       toothed wood fern                               circum                    H

Dryopteris expansa              spiny wood fern                                   circum                    H

Dryopteris filix-mas              male fern                                                circum                    H

Polystichum lonchitis          mountain holly fern                             circum                    H

Polystichum munitum          sword fern                                             WNA                     H

Woodsia oregana                                Oregon woodsia                                   NA                          H

Woodsia scopulina             Rocky Mountain woodsia                  NA                          H


Botrychium lunaria              common moonwort                              circum                    H

Botrychium virginianum     rattlesnake fern                                     circum                    H

Botrichium sp.                      unidentified


Polypodium hesperium       western polypody                                WNA                     H



Juniperus communis            common juniper                                    circum                    Ph

Juniperus scopulorum         Rocky Mountain juniper                     WNA                     Ph

Thuja plicata                         western red-cedar                                                WNA                     Ph



Pinus contorta                      lodgepole pine                                      WNA                     Ph

Pinus ponderosa                  ponderosa pine                                    WNA                     Ph

Pseudotsuga menziesii        Douglas-fir                                            WNA                     Ph



Acer glabrum                        Rocky Mountain maple                       WNA                     Ph



Rhus glabra                           smooth sumac                                      NA                          Ph

Toxicodendron rydbergii    poison ivy                                             NA                          Ch



Lomatium ambiguum           swale desert-parsley                            WNA                     Cr

Lomatium dissectum            fern-leaved desert-parsley                  WNA                     Cr

Lomatium geyeri                   Geyer’s desert-parsley                         WNA                     Cr

Lomatium macrocarpum      large-fruited desert-parsley                                WNA                     Cr

Osmorhiza chilensis             mountain sweet-cicely                        NA                          H

Osmorhiza depauperata      blunt-fruited sweet-cicely                   NA                          H

Sium suave                            hemlock water-parsnip                        NA                          Cr



Apocynum androsaemifolium spreading dogbane                        NA                          H

Cannabis sativa                    marijuana (eliminated)         I



Aralia nudicaule                   wild sarsparilla                                      NA                          Ch

Oplopanax horridus             devil’s club                                            NA                          Ph



Achillea millefolium             yarrow                                                    NA                          H

Antennaria dimorpha          low pussytoes                                      WNA                     H

Antennaria howellii             Howell’s pussytoes                             NA                          H

Antennaria parvifolia          Nuttall’s pussytoes                              NA                          H

Antennaria pulcherrima      showy pussytoes                                                NA                          H

Antennaria racemosa          racemose pussytoes                            WNA                     H

Antennaria rosea                 rosy pussytoes                                    NA                          H

Antennaria umbrinella         umber pussytoes                                 WNA                     Ch

Arctium minus                      common burdock                 I                                               H

Arnica cordifolia                  heart-leaved arnica                              WNA                     H

Arnica latifolia                      mountain arnica                                    WNA                     H

Artemisia frigida                   prairie sagewort                                    circum                    Ch

Aster ciliolatus                     Lindley’s aster                                      NA                          H

Aster conspicuus                                showy aster                                          WNA                     H

Aster eatoni                          Eaton’s aster                                         WNA                     H

Aster modestus                    great northern aster                             NA                          H

Aster subspicatus                               Douglas’s aster                                     WNA                     H

Balsamorhiza sagittata        arrowleaf balsamroot                           WNA                     H

Bidens cernua                       nodding beggarticks                           circum                    H

Centaurea diffusa                 diffuse knapweed                 I                                               H

Cichorium intybus               chicory                                   I                                               H

Circium arvense                    Canada thistle                       I                                               H

Circium undulatum               wavy-leaved thistle                             WNA                     H

Circium vulgare                    bull thistle                             I                                               H

Conyza canadensis              horseweed                             I                                               Th

Crepis atrabarba                   slender hawksbeard                             WNA                     H

Erigeron compositus           cut-leaved daisy                                   NA                          H

Erigeron philadelphicus      Philadelphia fleabane                          NA                          H

Erigeron pumilus                  shaggy fleabane                                   WNA                     H

Erigeron subtrinervis           triple-nerved fleabane                         WNA                     H

Euthamia occidentalis         western goldenrod                               WNA                     H

Filago arvensis                     field filago                             I                                               Th

Gaillardia aristata                  brown-eyed susan                               WNA                     H

Heterotheca villosa              golden-aster                                          WNA                     Ch

Hieracium albiflorum            white hawkweed                                   WNA                     H

Hieracium scouleri

var. scouleri                       Scouler’s hawkweed                            WNA                     H

Hieracium scouleri

var. griseum                       hound’s tongue hawkweed                                WNA                     H

Hieracium umbellatum         narrow-leaved hawkweed                   NA                          H

Lactuca biennis                    tall blue lettuce                                     NA                          H

Lactuca serriola                    prickly lettuce                       I                                               Th

Madia exigua                        little tarweed                                         WNA                     Th

Matricaria discoidea            pineappleweed                     I                                               Th

Microseris nutans                                nodding microseris                              WNA                     H

Sonchus arvensis                                perennial sowthistle            I                                               H

Taraxacum officinale            common dandelion              I                                               H

Tragopogon dubius            yellow salsify                        I                                               H



Impatiens noli-tangere        common touch-me-not                        circum                    Th



Mahonia aquifolium            tall Oregon-grape                                 WNA                     Ch



Alnus incana

var. tenuifolia                     mountain alder                                      WNA                     Ph

Betula occidentalis              water birch                                            WNA                     Ph

Betula papyrifera                  paper birch                                            NA                          Ph

Corylus cornuta

var. cornuta                        beaked hazelnut                                   NA                          Ph



Hackelia deflexa                    nodding stickseed                               NA                          H

Lappula occidentalis           western stickseed                                                circum                    Th

Lithospermum ruderale       lemonweed                                            WNA                     H

Myosotis laxa                       small-flowered forget-me-not             circum                    H

Myosotis stricta                   blue forget-me-not               I                                               Th



Arabis x divaricarpa             spreading-pod rockcress                    NA                          H

Arabis exilis                          slender rockcress                                 WNA                     H

Arabis hirsuta

var. pycnocarpa                                hairy rockcress                                     circum                    H

Arabis holboellii

var. retrofracta                   Holboell’s rockcress                            NA                          H

Arabis microphylla              littleleaf rockcress                                                WNA                     H

Capsella bursa-pastoralis   shepherd’s purse                  I                                               Th

Cardamine pensylvanica     Pennsylvanian bitter-cress                 NA                          Th

Descurania sophia               flixweed                                  I                                               Th

Descurania pinnata              western tansy mustard                        WNA                     Th

Draba nemorosa                   wood draba                                           circum                    Th

Draba verna                          common draba                      I                                               Th

Lepidium densiflorum          prairie peppergrass                              WNA                     Th

Rorippa curvisiliqua            western yellow cress                           WNA                     Th

Rorippa palustris                  marsh yellow cress                              circum                    H

Sisymbrium altissimum        tall tumble-mustard              I                                               Th



Triodanis perfoliata             Venus’s looking-glass                         NA                          Th


Linnaea borealis                   twinflower                                             NA                          Ch

Lonicera utahensis              Utah honeysuckle                                WNA                     Ph

Sambucus cerulea                blue elderberry                                     WNA                     Ph

Symphoricarpos albus        common snowberry                             NA                          Ph



Arenaria serpyllifolia           thyme-leaved sandwort      I                                               Th

Myosoton aquaticum          water chickweed                   I                                               H

Silene antirrhina                   sleepy catchfly                                     NA                          Th

Silene latifolia

ssp. alba                             white campion                      I                                               H



Paxistema myrsinites           falsebox                                                 WNA                     Ch



Ceratophyllum demersum   common hornwort                                NA                          Cr



Chenopodium fremontii      Fremont’s goosefoot                           WNA                     Th

Chenopodium hybridum     maple-leaved goosefoot     I                                               Th



Hypericum perforatum        common St. John’s wort      I                                               H



Cornus stolonifera               red-osier dogwood                              NA                          Ph



Sedum stenopetalum           worm-leaved stonecrop                      WNA                     H



Shepherdia canadensis       soopolallie                                             NA                          Ph



Arctostaphylos uva-ursi    kinnikinnick                                           circum                    Ch

Chimaphila umbellata          pipsissiwa                                             WNA                     Ch

Gaultheria ovatifolia            Oregon wintergreen                             WNA                     Ch

Orthilia secunda                   one-sided wintergreen                        circum                    Ch

Pterospora andromedea      pinedrops                                              NA                          Cr

Pyrola asarifolia                    common pink wintergreen                  circum                    H

Pyrola chlorantha                 green wintergreen                                                circum                    H

Pyrola minor                          lesser wintergreen                                NA                          H



Astragalus miser                  timber milk-vetch                                  WNA                     H

Lathyrus ochroleucus         creamy peavine                                    NA                          H

Lotus denticulatus               meadow birds-foot trefoil                   WNA                     Th

Lupinus sericeus                  silky lupine                                            WNA                     H

Medicago lupulina               black medic                           I                                               Th

Medicago sativa                  alfalfa                                     I                                               H

Melilotus alba                       white sweet-clover               I                                               H

Trifolium pratense                red clover                              I                                               H

Trifolium repens                   white clover                          I                                               H

Vicia americana                     American vetch                                    NA                          H



Corydalis aurea                    golden corydalis                                  NA                          H



Geranium sp.                                                                         I                                               Th



Ribes cereum                        squaw currant                                       WNA                     Ph

Ribes lacustre                       black gooseberry                                 NA                          Ph

Ribes viscossimum              sticky currant                                        WNA                     Ph



Myriophyllum sp.                                                                                                                Cr



Hippurus vulgaris                                common marestail                                circum                    Cr



Philadelphus lewisii             mock-orange                                         WNA                     Ph



Phacelia hastata                   silverleaf phacelia                                                WNA                     H

Phacelia linearis                    thread-leaved phacelia                        WNA                     Th



Lycopus americanus           cut-leaved water horehound              NA                          H

Lycopus asper                      rough water horehound                      NA                          H

Mentha arvensis                  field mint                                                circum                    H

Physostegia parviflora        purple dragonhead                              WNA                     H

Lamiaceae (cont.)

Scutellaria galericulata        marsh skullcap                                      circum                    H

Scutellaria laterifolia            blue skullcap                                         NA                          H

Teucrium canadense           American germander                           NA                          H



Utricularia vulgaris              greater bladderwort                             circum                    Cr



Nuphar lutea

var. variegatum                  yellow water-lily                                   NA                          Cr



Circaea alpina                       enchanter’s nightshade                       circum                    H

Epilobium angustifolium     fireweed                                                 circum                    H

Epilobium brachycarpum    tall annual willowherb                         NA                          Th

Epilobium ciliatum                purple-leaved willowherb                   WNA (a)                H

Epilobium minutum              small-flowered willowherb                  WNA                     Th

Epilobium sp.                                                                                                                        H



Plantago major                      common plantain                  I                                               H



Microsteris gracilis              pink microsteris                                    NA                          Th

Polemonium micranthum     annual polemonium                             NA                          Th

Polemonium pulcherrimum  showy jacobs-ladder                          WNA                     H



Eriogonum heracleoides     parsnip-flowered buckwheat              WNA                     Ch

Polygonum amphibium       water smartweed                                  NA                          Cr

Polygonum aviculare           common knotweed               I                                               Th

Polygonum convolvulus    black bindweed                    I                                               Th

Polygonum douglasii          Douglas’s knotweed                            NA                          Th

Rumex acetosella                  sheep sorrel                          I                                               H

Rumex crispus                      curled dock                           I                                               H

Rumex maritimus  golden dock                                          circum                    H

Rumex occidentalis              western dock                                        NA                          H



Claytonia lanceolata            western springbeauty                         WNA                     Cr

Claytonia rubra                     red miner’s lettuce                                WNA                     Th



Dodecatheon pulchellum    few-flowered shooting star                                NA                          H

Lysimachia thyrsiflora         tufted loosestrife                                  NA                          H



Actaea rubra                         baneberry                                              NA                          H

Clematis columbiana            Columbia clematis                                WNA                     Ph

Clematis ligusticifolia          white clematis

Ranunculus aquatilis           white water crowfoot                           NA                          Cr

Ranunculus glaberrimus     sagebrush buttercup                           WNA                     H

Ranunculus gmelinii            small yellow water buttercup             WNA (a)                `Cr

Ranunculaceae (cont.)

Ranunculus macounii          Macoun’s buttercup                            NA                          H

Ranunculus pensylvanicus Pennsylvania buttercup                    NA                          Th



Ceanothus sanguineus       redstem ceanothus                              WNA                     Ph

Ceanothus velutinus           snowbrush                                            WNA                     Ch



Amelanchier alnifolia           saskatoon                                              WNA                     Ph

Fragaria vesca                      wood strawberry                                  NA                          H

Fragaria virginiana               wild strawberry                                     NA                          H

Geum macrophyllum            large-leaved avens                               WNA (a)                H

Geum triflorum                      old man’s whiskers                               NA                          H

Holodiscus discolor            ocean spray                                          WNA                     Ph

Physocarpus malvaceus     mallow ninebark                                   WNA                     Ph

Potentilla anserina               silverweed                                             circum                    H

Potentilla argentea               silvery cinquefoil                 I                                               H

Potentilla arguta                   white cinquefoil                                    NA                          H

Potentilla palustris               marsh cinquefoil                                   circum                    H

Potentilla recta                      sulphur cinquefoil                I                                               H

Prunus emarginata               bitter cherry                                          WNA                     Ph

Prunus virginiana                 choke cherry                                         NA                          Ph

Rosa acicularis                     prickly rose                                           circum                    Ph

Rosa canina                          dog rose                                                I                                               Ph

Rosa gymnocarpa                baldhip rose                                          WNA                     Ph

Rosa nutkana                        Nootka rose                                          WNA                     Ph

Rosa woodsii                        Wood’s rose                                         NA                          Ph

Rubus idaeus                        red raspberry                                        NA                          H

Rubus leucodermis              black raspberry                                     WNA                     Ph

Rubus parviflorus                thimbleberry                                          NA                          Ph

Sorbus scopulina                 western mountain-ash                         WNA                     Ph

Spiraea betulifolia                birch-leaved spirea                              WNA                     Ph



Galium aparine                      cleavers                                                 circum                    Th

Galium bifolium                     thin-leaved bedstraw                           WNA                     Th

Galium boreale                      northern bedstraw                               circum                    H

Galium trifidum                     small bedstraw                                      circum                    H

Galium triflorum                    sweet-scented bedstraw                     circum                    H



Populus balsamifera

ssp. trichocarpa                 black cottonwood                                WNA                     Ph

Populus tremuloides            trembling aspen                                    NA                          Ph

Salix bebbiana                       Bebb’s willow                                        NA                          Ph

Salix prolixa                           Mackenzie’s willow                              WNA                     Ph

Salix scouleriana                   Scouler’s willow                                    WNA                     Ph



Comandra umbellata            pale comandra                                      NA                          H




Heuchera cylindrica             round-leaved alumroot                        WNA                     H

Lithophragma glabra           smooth fringe cup                                WNA                     Cr

Lithophragma parviflora     small-flowered fringe cup                   WNA                     Cr

Mitella nuda                          common mitrewort                               NA                          H

Saxifraga bronchialis           spotted saxifrage                                  WNA                     Ch

Saxifraga nidifica                  meadow saxifrage                 WNA                     H

Saxifraga occidentalis          western saxifrage                                 WNA                     H

Tiarella trifoliata

var. unifoliata                     one-leaved foamflower                        WNA                     H



Castilleja hispida                  harsh paintbrush                                  WNA                     H

Castilleja thonpsonii            Thompson’s paintbrush                      WNA                     H

Collinsia parviflora               small-flowered blue-eyed Mary         NA                          Th

Mimulus guttatus                                yellow monkeyflower                          NA                          H

Penstemon fruticosus         shrubby penstemon                            WNA                     Ch

Verbascum thapsus             common mullein                   I                                               H

Veronica arvensis                                field speedwell                      I                                               Th

Veronica beccabunga

ssp. americana                   American brooklime                             NA                          H



Solanum dulcamara              European bittersweet          I                                               Ph



Parietaria pensylvanica       Pennsylvania pellitory                        NA                          Th

Urtica dioica                          stinging nettle                                      NA                          H



Viola adunca                         early blue violet                                    NA                          H

Viola canadensis                  Canada violet                                        NA                          H

Viola glabella                        yellow wood violet                              WNA                     H



Alisma plantago-aquatica   American water-plantain                     NA                          H



Lysichiton americanum       skunk cabbage                                     WNA                     H



Carex atherodes                    awned sedge                                         circum                    H

Carex bebbii                          Bebb’s sedge                                        NA                          H

Carex comosa                        bearded sedge                                      NA                          H

Carex concinnoides             northwestern sedge                             WNA                     H

Carex deweyana                   Dewey’s sedge                                     NA                          H

Carex feta                               green-sheathed sedge                         WNA                     H

Carex interior                         inland sedge                                         NA                          H

Carex lasiocarpa                   slender sedge                                       NA                          H

Carex retrorsa                        long-bracted sedge                              NA                          H

Carex rossii                            Ross’s sedge                                         WNA                     H

Carex stipata                         sawback sedge                                     NA                          H

Carex utriculata                     beaked sedge                                        NA                          H


Cyperaceae (cont.)

Eleocharis palustris             common spike-rush                             circum                    H

Scirpus acutus                      hard-stemmed bulrush                        circum                    H

Scirpus maritimus alkali bulrush                                        NA                          H



Elodea canadensis               Canadian waterweed                           NA                          Cr



Sisyrinchium montanum     mountain blue-eyed-grass                  WNA                     H



Juncus articulatus                                jointed rush                                           NA                          H



Lemna minor                         lesser duckweed                                   circum                    Cr

Spirodela polyrhiza              greater duckweed                                 circum                    Cr



Asparagus officinaliis         garden asparagus                                I                                               Cr

Calochortus macrocarpus   sagebrush mariposa lily                      WNA                     Cr

Disporum trachycarpum     rough-fruited fairybells                       WNA                     H

Fritillaria affinis                     chocolate lily                                        WNA                     Cr

Lilium columbianum             tiger lily                                                  WNA                     Cr

Smilacina racemosa              false solomon’s seal                             NA                          H

Smilacina stellata                  star-flowered false solomon’s seal    NA                          H

Streptopus amplexifolius    clasping twisted stalk                          circum                    H

Zygadenus venenosus       grass-leaved death-camas                  WNA                     Cr



Najas flexilis                          wavy water nymph                              circum                    Cr



Calypso bulbosa                  fairyslipper                                            circum                    H

Corallorhiza maculata          spotted coralroot                                 NA                          H

Corallorhiza striata               striped coralroot                                   NA                          H

Cypripedium montanum      mountain ladyslipper                           WNA                     H

Goodyera oblongifolia        rattlesnake-plantain                             NA                          H

Pipera elegans                      elegant rein orchid                               WNA                     H



Achnatherum nelsonii         Columbian needlegrass                       WNA                     H

Agrostis scabra                    hair bentgrass                                       WNA (a)                H

Agrostis stolonifera            creeping bentgrass              I                                               H

Alopecurus aequalis           little meadow-foxtail                             circum                    H

Apera interrupta                   dense silky bentgrass         I                                               Th

Aristida longiseta                                red three-awn                                        WNA                     H

Bromus hordeaceus             soft brome                             I                                               Th

Bromus japonicus                Japanese brome                    I                                               Th

Bromus tectorum                  downy brome                        I                                               Th

Calamagrostis canadensis  Canada reed grass                               circum                    H

Calamagrostis rubescens    pinegrass                                               WNA                     H

Cinna latifolia                        nodding wood-reed                             circum                    H


Poacaea (cont.)

Dactylis glomerata               orchardgrass                         I                                               H                             Deschampsia elongata                slender hairgrass                                  WNA                     H

Echinocloa crusgalli            large barnyard grass            I                                               H

Elymus glaucus                    blue wildrye                                          NA                          H

Elymus spicatus                   bluebunch wheatgrass                        WNA                     H

Festuca campestris              rough fescue                                         WNA                     H

Festuca occidentalis            western fescue                                     NA                          H

Glyceria striata                      fowl mannagrass                                  WNA                     H

Hordeum jubatum                foxtail barley                                         circum                    H

Koeleria macrantha              junegrass                                               circum                    H

Oryzopsis asperifolia           rough-leaved ricegrass                       NA                          H

Panicum capillare                 common witchgrass                             NA                          Th

Phalaris arundinacea           reed canarygrass                                  circum                    H

Phleum pratense                   common timothy                  I                                               H

Poa annua                             annual bluegrass                  I                                               Th

Poa compressa                     Canada bluegrass                                I                                               H

Poa cusickii                           Cusick’s bluegrass                               WNA                     H

Poa pratensis                        Kentucky bluegrass            I                                               H

Poa secunda                         Sandberg’s bluegrass                          NA                          H

Trisetum cernuum                nodding trisetum                  WNA                     H

Trisetum spicatum               spike trisetum                                       circum                    H

Vulpia octoflora    six-week fescue                    NA                          Th



Potamogeton pusillus         small pondweed                   circum                    Cr

Potamogeton zosteriformis eel-grass pondweed            NA                          Cr



Sparganium angustifolium narrow-leaved bur-reed       circum                    Cr

Sparganium natans              small bur-reed                                       circum                    Cr



Typha latifolia                      common cattail                     circum                    H




This area of the North Okanagan Basin ecosection is mapped under the Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification as falling in the Interior Douglas-fir very dry, hot sub-zone, Okanagan variant (IDF xh 1). At its highest along the east boundary the upper part of the reserve nears the slightly wetter and cooler Interior Douglas-fir moist, warm sub-zone

(IDF mw 1) and small sections of the canyon bottom at the north end have a resemblance with that category.




The inventory of higher plants as now comprised lists 336 species or sub-species in 74 families and 207 genera. Up-dated data for the whole province will await completion of the release of Illustrated Flora of British Columbia but for comparison purposes approximate figures would be in the order of 3,000 species and sub-species in 135 families and 750 genera.


Included in these figures are exotics introduced from elsewhere to the reserve totalling 52 species, compared with an approximate 575 for the province as a whole. Most are either at the south extremity of the reserve where cattle have access along both sides of Lake 11, or close to the West Kootenay Power transmission line right-of-way which follows the ridge top along the west boundary. From there and from pylon sites, some of which are within the reserve, weeds have expanded but only by short distances or where disturbance has taken place.


In allocating provenance to the 281 native species for which range is know (i.e. the total present of 336 less 52 exotics and 3 natives for which the correct taxonomic description is not available) the following categories have been used :


circumboreal                 = throughout the northern hemisphere but including a few                                                  that are cosmopolitan,

North American            = continent-wide but including a few that are also found in                                                South America,

Western North America= western provinces and states including those specifically                                                 referred to as amphiberingian (additionally annoted (a))

which have a range of western North America and east



The result of this analysis gives –


circumboreal                    58

North American              102

Western North American121

Introduced                        52

unallocated                      __3



One of the unallocated species is an unidentified Grape fern (Botrychium sp.) with a very restricted range. When a determination has been made it will almost certainly be placed on either Red or Blue List of the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks. Two other Blue Listed plants in the reserve are the sedges Carex comosa and Carex feta.


Raunkiaer Life Form Classes


In order to compare the structure of vegetation in relation to climate this system was produced some time ago and bases its divisions on the over-wintering habit of individual species according to where the perennation bud (i.e. the point from which the following season’s growth develops) is situated in relation to soil surface. Categories used are:

Ph        =   phanerophyte…..bud at least 0.25 m above soil surface (mostly trees

and shrubs;

Ch        =   chamaephyte…..bud between 0 and 0.25 m above soil surface (mostly

prostrate and low-growing shrubs);

H         =   hemicryptophyte…..but in soil surface (most herbaceous perennials);

Cr        =   cryptophyte…..bud below surface of soil or water (most bulbous and

aquatic plants);

Th        =   therophyte…..annuals i.e. bud contained in seed.


Of the plants listed for Cougar Canyon 58% are herbaceous perennials (H), 14% annuals (Th), 13% woody trees and shrubs (Ph), 9% perennials springing from below soil or water level (Cr) and 5% creeping or low shrubs (Ch).




Forest Cover     The first map has transposed information by species or combination of species from the most recent Forest Service cover map. It shows that practically all of the steep and exposed west side of the canyon facing south to south-east is covered by widely spaced Ponderosa pine (primarily) and Douglas-fir (secondarily) that would not be considered commercial from a forestry point of view. The east side slope with a west to north-west aspect is heavier in Douglas-fir. Deciduous trees occur mainly in the valley bottom – Paper birch at the south end and Aspen to the north as well as in gullies and a few damp sites on the ridge top. Forest Service coverage does not include Black cottonwood which is intermittent along some of the lakes, or Western red-cedar which is present at the north end of Lake 1 and more sparely at the ends of one or two other lakes.


Forest Age


Mapping by the Ministry of Forests indicates that over the greater part of the reserve trees are in the 141 to 250 age class. The agency recognizes only one older age class, that being 251 years and up, which for many species is regarded as old growth. The fact that tree height in the subject area falls into the three lowest classes, i.e. up to 28.4 m or 85 ft., shows that difficult growing conditions presented by steep slopes, rock outcrop, aridity and exposure have a pronounced effect considering the age of trees.


Tree age can also be used as an indicator of disturbance. Limited areas of a young class adjoining the east boundary outline routes of possible periodic destructive water run-off where Aspen, a short-lived tree, shows preference. On the west side between the reserve boundary and Kalamalka Lake one block aged 41 tp 60 years probably represents the focus of a fire about that long ago. As the full extent as remembered by observors at that time was larger than this one block it must have left sufficient veterans of the existing age class as not to require revision following the fire. There is no sign of its having reached into the present reserve except possibly on a very limited scale.


Environmental Sensitivity


In its mapping the Forest Service indicates areas considered as presenting environmental constraints to forestry according to its own categories. These have not been transposed because a map rendition does not provide much insight, however it should be noted that  the steeply angled canyon walls are mostly qualified as being sensitive on account of fragile or unstable soil, with additional qualifications to reflect moderate wildlife and recreational values.


Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification


The location of Cougar Canyon Ecological Reserve is within the Interior Douglas-fir very hot, dry sub-zone (IDF xh 1) however its orientation exposes it more to drier and warmer south-west wind circulation in its southern half than in the north, to the point where greater enclosure and channelling of cold winter air at the north end makes certain small sections there best regarded as belonging to the Interior Douglas-fir moist, warm sub-zone (IDF mw 1). Western red-cedar and Lodgepole pine are indicative of that higher and cooler category and would not normally be expected to occur in the IDF xh 1. These small areas in the bottom of the canyon do not correspond exactly with vegetation composition of any of the site units described for the IDF mw 1 but are noted on the accompanying map to the nearest similar unit.


The BEC system was devised by workers associated with forestry so its emphasis as a result is mostly on treed environments. Wetlands and grasslands are not dealt with in as comprehensive manner. Rather than make an allocation to the wettest site units in the IDF xh 1 to which they do not make a good match, wet areas are shown on the BEC map according to the main components, i.e. cattail and sedge beds between or fringing the lakes; alder scrub mainly at Lakes 5 and 6, with red-osier dogwood and hawthorn on the west side of Lake 1; and Aspen/willow scrub in damp spots on the ridge top. The IDF mw 1 wet areas occur north and south of Lake 1.


Physical Features


The final map numbers the individual lakes from north to south and shows prominent cliff outcrop.











Malcolm Martin,



February 1999