Lower Mainland Ecoreserve Warden Concerns, Oct 7, 2011 Field Trip

Posted October 7, 2011 | Categories : 21,48,74,76,89,99,Issues,Management,Warden Meetings,Warden Reports |

Lower Mainland Ecological Reserve Warden Concerns

– for discussion with BC Parks staff (compiled by Bev Ramey for October 7, 2011 Field Trip)

ER #21 Skagit River Forest and ER #22 Ross Lake

Warden John Riley

  • not much human impacts on these two reserves
  •  see comment re communication with BC Parks under Reserve #89

BC Parks Area Supervisor Darryl Paquette;; 604-824-2306

ER #48 Bowen Island (near Apodaca Provincial Park) 

Warden Alan Whitehead

  • This ecoreserve is fortunate to be relatively isolated due to being surrounded either by private property or steep topography, and the absence of existing roads or trails. Also, there are no panoramic views on any summits within the reserve. As a result, visitation is limited to infrequent recreational hiking by nature enthusiasts, and human impacts are very low. No hunting is allowed on Bowen Island’s public lands.
  •  The threats that exist elsewhere on the island, such as mountain biking and ATV/4×4 riding have not arrived on the reserve’s doorstep yet. However, these uses are increasing elsewhere on the island, so vigilance needs to continue.
  •  Invasive species have not been assessed, although the risk is considered low so far due to the very low visitation.
  •  A residential subdivision is proposed on previously logged private property to the south (The Benchlands, part of the Cowan Pont development); it is down-gradient from the reserve. The development activity has been very slow to date, limited to roughing-in a roadway along a former logging track between 2002 and present. There is a risk that, eventually, the Benchlands may become an access point for mountain bikers and ATV riders. An earlier phase of the Cowan Point project, which backs onto the west boundary, has not resulted in any incursions or damage to date.
  • The reserve is not being used for research: it remains as an untouched reservoir of relatively low elevation maritime inland flora and fauna that can serve as benchmark or control for comparison with other areas in the lower mainland.
  • Probably the main issue at present is the potential for a change in ownership. Parks Canada (PC) is conducting a feasibility assessment to possibly establish a National Park Reserve on Bowen Island. The current park concept (version 2.0)  include all or most of the Crown lands, the ecoreserve, Apodaca Provincial Park, Crippen Regional Park  and some though not all of the Islands Trust Fund nature Reserves and Municipal parks. PC has indicated that any existing management plans (e.g., ecoreserve, Apodaca Park) would continue under PC management. This is an issue to watch over the next few months/years.

BC Parks Area Supervisor Dave Zevick;; 604-898-3678, ext. 2232

ER #74 UBC Endowment Lands, within Pacific Spirit Regional Park

Warden Terry Taylor

  • dog impact on Cutthroat Creek. The park has done a fairly good job of fencing it off, but dogs still get in the creek. This short section of the creek has the spawning gravels. I thought the trout population had died off, but saw a fish a few months ago, so they are still surviving. The numbers, though, I suspect are probably very low.
  •  Warden does not hear from BC Parks staff at all. Send in an annual report each year, but no reply or acknowledgement is returned
  • need to clarify management through an agreement with Metro Vancouver Parks?

BC Parks Area Supervisor Larry Syroishko;; 604-924-2246

ER #76 Fraser River Islands      

Fraser River Islands interior channel


Wardens Bev and Bill Ramey

  • need to list this Ecological Reserve as a “no fixed-wing aircraft landing” under the Park Act regulations.  Presently fixed wing aircraft are landing along the gravel bars during periods of lower water, to the detriment of shore birds and possibly also damaging gravel beds where salmon spawn (will be interesting to hear the fisheries folks comment on site)
  • boundary extension proposed to include newly forming islands, to better encompass the erosion and accretion processes of these undyked islands and manage the entire unit for its wildlife values
  • thoughts on removal of invasive species:  Himalayan blackberry is growing throughout about half of the island vegetated areas, not in monoculture, but the blackberry grows under the cottonwood trees together with other shrubs.  Perhaps with the shade, the blackberry is not as vigorous and will not take over?  Hand removal of blackberry seems not possible due to its extent.  A couple of locations on the islands have English ivy, which could be fairly easily removed
  • unauthorized camping, largely by people fishing during sockeye salmon runs in late August.  Camping occurs mostly along gravel shoreline of upper islands on the southeast side, with some fire pits, some garbage but overall not much impact.  This camping would be extremely difficult to forbid, and possibly no ecological reason to do so?
  • In the past a grow-op was found with much infrastructure (watering pipes and water reservoir);  with assistance from BC Parks staff and boat, equipment was removed.
  • Another issue a few years back was extensive harvesting of straight stemmed equisetum (horsetail) for sale to commercial florists (stems had to be 24” and longer), but this use seems to no longer occur.

Below a picture of the eroding shoreline of the Fraser River Islands

Click for enlargement..

BC Parks Area Supervisor Tom Blackbird;; 604-824-2314

ER #89 Skagit River Cottonwoods

Warden John Riley

  • illegal human activities ongoing;  activities such as camping, fire pits, garbage and mountain biking
  • lack of communication with BC Parks staff;  back a few years if there was an enforcement or clean-up needed, then warden could easily contact the BC Parks staff by phone and problem would be dealt with;   area supervisor would often come out and have a look
  •  back a few years, the warden would also take (new) Park Rangers into field to introduce the reserve and show on site the problem areas for camping

BC Parks Area Supervisor Darryl Paquette;; 604-824-2306

ER #99 Pitt Polder (within Pitt Polder WMA) 

Warden Duanne Vandenberg

  •  concerns noted during field trip with BC Parks staff last month

BC Parks Area Supervisor Tom Blackbird;; 604-824-2314

ER #106 Skagit River Rhododendrons 

Warden John Riley

  •  no issues with human activities
  •  reserve difficult to access as necessary to cross the Skagit River to reach the reserve

BC Parks Area Supervisor Darryl Paquette;; 604-824-2306

ER #116  Katherine Tye  (Vedder Crossing)

Denis Knopp and Lee Larkin

  • Chervil is invading the site and should be controlled
  • as site had more phantom orchids when kept clear by grazing, might be interesting to try creating a small clearing of the regenerating brush next to the orchid sightings.  It will be a long process for the site to regenerate from field to mature forest. In the meantime, numbers of orchids occurring in the regenerating brush are low.

BC Parks Area Supervisor Darryl Paquette;; 604-824-2306


Not able to attend, and concerns not yet all submitted:

ER #2 East Redonda Island

  • is this reserve in Lower Mainland region?;  no known warden

ER #28 Ambrose Lake (Pender Harbour)

John Field

BC Parks Area Supervisor Dylan Eyers;; 604-924-2226

ER #69  Baynes Island Ecological Reserve, Squamish River

Victor Elderton and Garry Cotter

Apologies that could not make Friday tour, due to work commitment at North Vancouver Outdoor School

  •  difficult to access reserve as island in the river;  wardens have not been there for a few years.  Previously BC Parks did invite warden during one of their occasional helicopter tours to the island; or occasionally access was provided by other contact via raft.  Would appreciate discussing with BC Parks staff assistance in accessing the reserve.

BC Parks Area Supervisor Dave Zevick;; 604-898-3678, ext. 2232

ER #98  Chilliwack River ER

Brian Walton

Apologies that 10 day work week schedule did not allow him to join the field trip.

BC Parks Area Supervisor Darryl Paquette;; 604-824-2306

ER #121 Francis Point

No known warden;  Nature Conservancy of Canada does check on site?

ER #143 Liumchem Ecological Reserve (east of Cultus Lake Provincial Park)

No warden

ER #144 Yale Garry Oak

Need clarification on who warden is.

BC Parks Area Supervisor Tom Blackbird;; 604-824-2314