Cougar Canyon Ecological Reserve Purpose Statement
COUGAR CANYON ECOLOGICAL RESERVE
Purpose Statement For the full PDF see cougar_canyon_purposestatement
The 553 hectare Cougar Canyon Ecological Reserve is located on the east side of Kalamalka Lake, about 13 km south of Vernon. The ecological reserve is part of a block of protected areas which includes Ka lamalka Lake Provincial Park and Kalamalka Lake Protected Area. The ecological reserve is bounded on 3 sides by the protected area with private land lying on its southern boundary. A locally popular rock climbing area in the protected area is located adjacent to the northern boundary of the ecological reserve. The major physical feature of the ecological reserve is a narrow, relatively straight, sometimes canyon-like valley the length of the ecological reserve. This appears to be a structural fault further eroded by glacial meltwater. A chain of six elongated lakes, two of which have three basins separated by wetlands, lie in the canyon bottom.
The nearest motor vehicle access is via a short dirt road off Cosens Bay road that leads to the climbing area . A rough trail, established by the naturalists before climbing began, passes through the climbing area and extends south through the ecological reserve where it ends on private property. Little use of the trail occurs beyond the climbing area. Nonmotorized visitors
can get glimpses of the ecological reserve from the rough Fortis power-line road which runs along the top of the western side of the canyon in the protected area. The steepness of the canyon discourages visitation of the ecological reserve from the road.
The ecological reserve receives very little use. The bottom of the canyon is some distance from the climbing area and is heavily vegetated making access difficult. The ecological reserve has limited suitable climbing terrain and the local climbing club discourages climbers from using the reserve.
The primary role of Cougar Canyon Ecological Reserve is to protect a portion of the Interior Douglas-fir ecosystem, its chain of 11 small water bodies and associated wetlands and associated plants and animals. The steep walled canyon creates a cooler, wetter climate resulting in thick vegetation over much of the canyon bottom. The ecological reserve is restricted to scientific and educational purposes related to reserve management only.
Representative values are low. Known rare species include the blue-listed painted turtle and western yellow-bellied racer.