Wetlands provide numerous ecosystem services, including flood control, groundwater replenishment, reservoirs for biodiversity, and water purification. These services benefit people and wildlife all along the Columbia River Valley, making the protection of wetland ecosystems very important.
Not only is Columbia Lake North – Wetlands in a biogeoclimatic zone of conservation concern – the very dry cool Interior Douglas-fir (IDFxk), it will increase the resiliency of adjacent conservation lands including critical staging areas for waterfowl, important winter range for ungulates, and vital habitat for numerous other species.
The wetlands in the Columbia Valley are of continental significance to waterfowl under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and are designated as a Wetland of International Importance (Ramsar) – one of only 37 sites in Canada and three in BC. This conservation area provides habitat for several waterfowl species including American Wigeon, Trumpeter Swan, and Common Goldeneye.
This conservation area will protect a variety of species and ecosystems of concern. The Blue-listed Great Blue Heron and Red-listed American Badger (Endangered under the federal Species at Risk Act [SARA]) have both been observed on the property, while the Barn Swallow and Common Nighthawk (both Threatened under SARA), Red-listed California Gull, and Western Painted Turtle (Special Concern under SARA) have been observed nearby. Both the Bank Swallow (Threatened under SARA) and American Badger have designated Critical Habitat on the property.
There are two plant communities of concern within this conservation area; Aspen – Dogwood – Water Birch mid-bench floodplain occurs along a portion of Dutch Creek, and a small area of Blue-listed Swamp Horsetail – Beaked Sedge occurs near the south end of the property. The conservation area contains a provincially identified Ungulate Winter Range supporting Moose, Elk, Mule Deer and White-tailed Deer. It is also within an important movement corridor for Grizzly Bear, Elk, Mountain Goat, Wolverine, and Badger.
The acquisition of this conservation land demonstrates The Nature Trust’s commitment to protecting ecologically vulnerable ecosystems in BC. We look forward to protecting this fascinating landscape in perpetuity.