Trout Creek ER Management Plan, 2016
BC Parks is indebted to Ecological Reserve Warden Laurie Rockwell for his years of dedication in monitoring and record collection in Trout Creek Ecological Reserve. Further thanks to ecologist Don Gayton and environmental consultant Alison Peatt for providing additional information on landscape features and characteristics of the ecological reserve. Jeremy Hiebert allowed permission to use several of his professional quality photos of the ecological reserve.
BC Parks also recognizes James Pepper (Natural Resource Department) of the Penticton Indian Band for coordinating the information gathering (i.e., Traditional Ecological Knowledge Initial Enquiry) from band members and elders regarding the important cultural, spiritual and traditional values of the ecological reserve and surrounding land area.
W.T. (Tom) Roos prepared an earlier draft version of this management plan and conducted important background research required for the plan’s development.
The purpose of the vision statement is to identify the future state and management regime that is desired for Trout Creek Ecological Reserve over the next 25 to 50 years. The management vision provides long-term direction for protected area managers, while aiding them in making decisions regarding current issues. It is based on currently prevailing environmental and socio-economic attitudes concerning protected areas. However, the vision statement is also dynamic and conceptual and therefore allows for change due to evolving ideas regarding conservation and evolving ecosystems due to climate changes.
Trout Creek Ecological Reserve is an area of healthy, dynamically functioning semi-arid, open-forest ecological communities. Despite its small size, the ecological reserve provides a safe and nurturing home to a wide diversity of wildlife, especially reptiles and birds. Its vulnerability to non-native plant species has largely been eliminated by effective management, limiting vectors that promote invasive species, and by the regular hands-on assistance of dedicated local nature enthusiasts.
Ongoing fencing protects the ecological reserve from encroachment of livestock and infringement by motorized recreational activities, so natural processes have been able to flourish. Natural and prescribed burning and small-scale vegetation removals (when necessary) have restored and maintained the fire-dependent characteristics of the landscape. The Ecological Reserve Warden and BC Parks staff regularly monitor the ecological reserve, record observations, and facilitate ongoing study and research of this ecologically rich, “living” laboratory of grasslands and open forest.
First Nations, in particular the Penticton Indian Band, have continued interest in the ongoing management of the ecological reserve. Traditional and cultural uses of the ecological reserve have been well documented and serve not only as an important management tool, but reinforce the pre-historical, historical and contemporary connection this ecological reserve has with First Nations.
See the full management plan here