Liumchen ER #143 Biological and Physical Overview

Posted February 7, 2002 | Categories : 143,Management,Rare Species,Reports,Species List |


To protect an area of montane and subalpine flora and fauna representative for the North West Cascade Ecosection and protect rare species and special karst habitat.

Physical: The reserve consists of the three south/north-draining valleys and headwaters of Liumchen Creek, between the international border and their confluence. The two western of these parallel valleys are V-shaped and flanked by forested mountain ridges. The upper part of the eastern valley is glacially modified into a cirque and contains Liumchen Lake. The stream draining the lake initially falls steeply through an incised canyon and then continues as another V-shaped valley towards the mainstem of Liumchen Creek, outside the reserve. The northeastern edge of the reserve and the slopes facing the cirque show limestone outcrops and limited karst features. Non-calcareous substrates prevail over the majority of the reserve further west.

Biological: All but the north-eastern portion of the reserve has a continuous forest cover dominated by amabilis fir, western and mountain hemlock The cirque basin in the northeast, its surrounding ridges and slopes, and the ridge connecting to Mount Liumchen in the extreme southeast are interspersed with subalpine meadow and shrub communities, avalanche and slide paths, and open rock areas.

Discontinuous subalpine fir stands occur in addition to the above tree species at the highest elevations and particularly on the limestone substrate. Several rare plant species are on record from this area, most likely connected to the limestone habitats.

The reserve contains one of the larger remaining continuous old forest areas which are essential for the protection of the Northern Spotted Owl.

The normal complement of large mammals, including Black-tailed Deer, American Black Bear, Cougar, Grey Wolf and Coyote, is expected to occur.

Cultural: The reserve falls within the traditional territory of the Sto:lo First Nation.

BC List status

cliff paintbrush ,  Blue listed

Spotted Owl,  Red listed

oldgrowth specklebelly, Blue listed

alpine anemone, Blue listed

Fendler’s waterleaf, Blue listed

rusty cliff fern Blue listed



anemone, alpine (Anemone drummondii var. drummondii)

fern, rusty cliff (Woodsia ilvensis)
fir, amabilis (Abies amabilis)
fir, subalpine (Abies lasiocarpa var. lasiocarpa)

hemlock, mountain(Tsuga mertensiana)
hemlock, western (Tsuga heterophylla)
oldgrowth specklebelly (Pseudocyphellaria rainierensis)

paintbrush, cliff (Castilleja rupicola)
waterleaf, Fendler’s (Hydrophyllum fendleri var. albifrons)


Cougar attacking Black-tailed Deer -photo by Jim Bryan



Bear, American Black (Ursus americanus)
Cougar (Puma concolor)
Coyote (Canis latrans)
Deer, Black-tailed (Odocoileus hemionus ssp. hemionus)