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Kinbasket Reservoir Watershed

The Upper Kinbasket Reservoir still contains intact watersheds and a huge amount of biodiversity including the endangered Mountain Caribou.

 

During the spring seasons of 2021 and 2022, locals in the area reported seeing mountain caribou or their tracks, which belong to the Columbia North herd. These important sightings have been reported to the provincial Mountain Caribou Recovery Team, yet road construction and logging in the area continues.

 

If you see mountain caribou, please keep your distance from these sensitive animals and report the sighting to us using our contact form.

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False protection is worse than no protection.

The new logging roads effectively connect existing barge-access-only roads into a road network that will greatly increase accessibility to humans and predators.  In order to fulfill government promises of protecting caribou, the basics of protecting caribou habitat must be a priority.  Additional protection measures (e.g.,  maternal penning, snowmobile closures), may put a bandaid on caribou population decline but will not work to recover Mountain Caribou; habitat protection is required.

(Photo shows Mountain Caribou tracks seen in 2022, in the area with active road building and logging.)

New roads in remote areas pose threats to biodiversity

New forestry roads pose direct threats to ecosystem health through habitat destruction, habitat fragmentation, increased hunting pressures, the introduction and spread of invasive species, altering predator-prey dynamics, and causing increased conflicts among people and wildlife.  Road density is directly linked to decreased biological diversity.  

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Watersheds

Intact watersheds are becoming more and more rare.  The Upper Kinbasket Reservoir still contains intact watersheds, as shown by the purple-blue overlay on this map.  New roads and cutblocks put this watershed at risk of becoming contaminated and altering the water supply.

Hamber Provincial Park

History: Did you know that Hamber Provincial Park, (~130 km north of Golden) was originally much, MUCH, larger? It could have, would have, effectively preserved much of the inland temperate rainforest around us. Today, more protection is needed to ensure this unique ecosystem continues functioning as it always has.  From Wikipedia: When the park was created in 1941, it constituted one of the largest protected wilderness areas in Canada. In the early 1960s, the provincial government reduced its size by 98% due to pressure exerted by the forestry industry, planned hydroelectric developments along the upper Columbia River and the re-routing of the Trans-Canada Highway away from the park.

Read about Hamber's history and changes at Wikipedia.

Drying out and other impacts

The more roads and cutblocks there are in the inland temperate rainforest, the greater the fragmentation of the landscape and the less resilient it becomes.  These changes also affect soil and erosion, the ability of the forest to hold moisture and remain cool,  thermal cover for animals, security for prey, food availability, wildfire frequency and severity, and more.

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