Warden’s report for Gilnockie Creek Ecological Reserve # 104 Oct 2022
Wayne L. Stetski Ecological Reserve Warden
Ecological Reserve Warden Trip Report
ER Name: Gilnockie Creek Ecological Reserve, Ecological Reserve #104 Trip Date: October 20, 2022
Warden Names: Wayne Stetski, Jenny Feick, Ian Hatter
BC Parks Staff: Marika Welsh, East Kootenay South Area Supervisor
Patrick Moser – Park Ranger
Number of Volunteer Hours Logged: 4 hours at the ER. 4 hours Safety Briefing plus travel.
• Reserve established in 1981 by Order in Council #1531 under the Ecological Reserve Act and is listed and described in Schedule B of the Protected Areas of British Columbia Act.
• 58 hectares in size.
• Located at the confluence of Gilnockie Creek and the Yahk River southeast of Yahk in SE
BC in the Kootenay Region.
• Management Direction Statement (MDS) approved in September 2004 by Wayne
Stetski, Regional Manager – Kootenays and Nancy Wilkin, Assistant Deputy Minister, Environmental Stewardship Division, BC Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection. MDS is on the list for updating but is down the priority list.
• The original intent of the ecological reserve, along with Gilnockie Provincial Park, was to retain old growth representativeness in the McGillivary Range Eco-section (1% protected province-wide) and the Interior Cedar Hemlock Moist Cool (ICHmk) bio- geoclimatic subzone variant ( 4% protected province-wide).
• The primary role of Gilnockie Creek Ecological Reserve is to protect provincially rare old growth stands of western larch (Larix occidentalis). The ER complements riparian and wetland values in a watershed that has undergone extensive logging. It also serves a research and education role by providing opportunities to study a remnant old growth ecosystem and its associated plant communities.
• A long term-photo monitoring project (two photo points) was established on August 26, 2010 to monitor the effect of climate change on a small seasonal wetland area. surrounded by western larch and lodgepole pine. Photos are updated every three years unless a significant natural event occurs.
• A red-listed species, sweet-marsh butterweed (Senecio hydrophiloides) was identified in the ER in 2019 and again in 2021 (0.1 ha) from potentially two locations in the wetland and reported to the BC Conservation Data Centre.
• The Rocky Mountain Naturalist Club have indicated an interest in potentially undertaking a bio blitz of the ER in the spring or early summer of 2023.
Field Trip Notes/Observations
• Eco-Reserve (ER) was accessed by turning-off of Hwy 3 on to the Sunrise Forest Service Road across from Eagle’s Nest Resort west of Moyie. Follow the gravel road for 45 km – truck or 4 – wheel drive vehicle recommended.
• ER location is not identified along the road – GPS required. This is a mixed blessing as it means the public is not attracted into the reserve, but it would be difficult to prove in court that someone engaging in illegal activity in the reserve could know that they were in the ER. There are at least two ER signs within the Reserve in the immediate vicinity of the giant larches.
• No trespasses were observed.
• Extensive blowdown area has occurred within the reserve but has not directly impacted
the ancient larch trees.
• Wetland area is dry to the point of being walkable. It is not known if that is because of
the extensive dry period this summer or is “normal” for October.
• Two types of signs are present in the reserve. One was placed there when ERs were in
the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection.
• There were no invasive weeds identified during our walk through the reserve – good
• Hunting was happening near the reserve. Two gunshots were heard and grouse hunters
were encountered along the road close to the reserve. It is feasible that hunters would wander onto the reserve.
See the complet report in PDF Gilnockie Creek Ecological Reserve