Chickens Neck Mountain ER 57 Management Direction Statement 2003

Posted February 7, 2003 | Categories : 57,Reports |

The provincial government established Chickens Neck Mountain Ecological Reserve (E.R. #57) as an ecological reserve on February 6, 1975 by Order-in- Council #440/75 under the authority of the Ecological Reserve Act. The Protected Areas of British Columbia Act provided legislated status to the ecological reserve boundaries on June 29, 2000.

See the full MDS in the PDF chickens_er

This 680 hectare ecological reserve protects climax stands of spruce – subalpine fir forest in the Boreal White and Black Spruce (BWBS) Biogeoclimatic Zone. Climax forests are rare in this region because of the high frequency of forest fires. The ecological reserve is also within the Cassiar Ranges Ecosection. Kaska Tribal Council, Laird First Nation, Ross River Dena Council, and the Tahltan First Nation have identified Chickens Neck Mountain Ecological Reserve as being part of their traditional territory.
The ecological reserve is located on a relatively steep north-facing slope of Chickens Neck Mountain which is part of the Stikine Ranges. The ecological reserve includes some rounded sub-summits (or outliers) of Chickens Neck Mountain. Chickens Neck Mountain Ecological Reserve ranges from 760 metres to 1,512 metres in elevation. Alpine glaciers and stream erosion have not sculpted the mountain’s slopes, resulting in relatively smooth, though sloping terrain. Botanists have identified four spruce-dominated forest communities on the lower slopes of the ecological reserve, with sub-alpine fir often being co-dominant or sub-dominant. The Spruce-Willow-Birch (SWB) Biogeoclimatic Zone occupies a band above the BWBS, with the Alpine Tundra (AT) Zone occupying the rounded summits.
Chickens Neck Mountain Ecological Reserve is located 53 kilometres north of Dease Lake adjacent to Highway 37. Boya Lake Park, which protects a spectacular kettle-esker glacial deposition landscape, is located 72 kilometres further north along Highway 37. Tuya Mountains Park is a relatively small
wilderness park 35 kilometres to the west that conserves rare sub glacial volcanic features. Stikine River Park, one of the “Stikine Country” protected areas, is 90 kilometres south. Other “Stikine Country” protected areas include Mount Edziza Park, Gladys Lake Ecological Reserve and Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Park, all conserving internationally significant wildland, diverse ecosystems and fully intact, functioning predator/prey systems.
Ecological Reserve Attributes Conservation
•    Protects 0.5% of the total protected area within the poorly represented Cassiar Ranges Ecosection. About 0.63% of the Cassiar Ranges Ecosection is represented in six protected areas, and 2.5% of the protected BWBSdk1 in the Cassiar Ranges Ecosection.

Picture of the whitish rush ( from an image by Ryan Batten)

•    Lies within the BWBSdk1 (Boreal White and Black Spruce Zone, Dry Cool Subzone, Stikine variant [310 hectares]), SWB (Spruce Willow Birch [186 hectares]), and AT (Alpine Tundra [184 hectares]) biogeoclimatic zones.
•    Protects an area with climax stands of spruce – subalpine fir forest; this type of forest is rare in this area because of the frequent forest fire disturbance regime.
•    The rare plant species, whitish rush (Juncus albescens), blue-listed, global rank – G4, provincial rank – S2S3, may be present in the ecological reserve.
Education and Research
•    Provides opportunities to conduct research of climax forest dynamics in the Boreal White and Black Spruce biogeoclimatic zone.
•    Provides educational opportunities into the successional patterns of boreal spruce forests. Commercial Business Opportunities
•    Due to the sensitive nature of the ecological reserve, human use activities, except for research and limited education, should be discouraged. There are no opportunities for commercial use.
Cultural Heritage
•    The Archaeological Inventory Data Centre has no records of archaeological sites within the boundaries of the ecological reserve.
•    First Nations may have completed traditional use studies and, if so, these studies may provide additional information.
Significance in the Protected Areas System
•    Protects a good representation of a provincially uncommon forest type, a climax spruce forest in a boreal area.
•    Protects potential habitat for at least one plant species-at-risk (whitish rush).