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New Ecological Reserve near Call Lake > News Archive > Valley Vision

Valley Vision | towards a comprehensive vision for the future of the Bulkley Valley

New Ecological Reserve near Call Lake

On October 20, 2009, the BC Legislation gave third reading to Bill 10 (2009) PROTECTED AREAS OF BRITISH COLUMBIA AMENDMENT ACT, 2009. The Act adds to BC’s parks, ecological reserves and conservancies.

Once the Act receives Royal assent, the Det san Ecological Reserve, near Smithers will receive legislative protection. Det san means “Juniper” in the language of the Wet’suwet’en people. The 5.8 hectare ecological reserve is on a dry Juniper-grassland ridge northwest of Call Lake.

Excerpt from a BC new release:

Det san Ecological Reserve (5.8 ha): This site, close to the Town of Smithers, is being established as an ecological reserve as a result of a private land acquisition. Det san is the Wet’suwet’en name for “juniper”, as it contains a regionally rare example of old-growth juniper. The area also protects rare and sensitive grassland and savannah ecosystems on a steep south-facing slope. This ecosystem provides critical winter and early spring range for deer, and excellent habitat for moose and resident and migratory songbirds.

  1. Posted by Len Vanderstar, 27 October 2009, 10:14

    Ministry of Environment requests that individuals avoid the area, at least until such time that a designated trail is established if deemed appropriate, given the ecological sensitivity of the area.

  2. Posted by Webmaster (Steve Osborn), 29 October 2009, 09:58

    When this article was first posted, it included a map that I produced from the legal description and public base maps. But feedback from a couple of sources raised a very valid concern that publicizing the location and access of this public land could threaten the values that are intended for protection by ecological reserve status. What do you think? Should these types of areas stay low profile or should we increase public awareness of their location?

  3. Posted by Morgan Hite, 29 October 2009, 20:55

    I’m as nervous as the next guy about sensitive areas being misused, but I also see another angle on it. If we don’t put up a map showing where this new ecological reserve is, we’re doing what’s always been done: making it hard for the public to know where these things are. What about a map that includes, right under it, a specific directive, like Len’s good comment above, to please avoid the area? In a way the map then becomes part of the mechanism whereby the information about how we’d like the public to treat the site gets disseminated.

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