Habitat

A Management Strategy For Species At Risk In A Semi-Urban Landscape On The Shuswap Reserve Lands At Invermere, B.C.

LandscapeThe Shuswap Indian Reserve lands are part of a semi-urban landscape in a major second home development area near Invermere, B.C. Concerns over American Badger and other species at risk have arisen for the Kinbasket Development Corporation (wholly owned by the band) as they have proceeded with real estate development options on the reserve. This led to a realization that an overall plan for conserving species at risk was required for the reserve lands. Funding from the Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk was provided for this project, to look at the entire range of species at risk (both aquatic and terrestrial) that occur in the area and the development of an overview, strategic plan for species at risk on reserve lands. A total of 53 species were considered. Most were federally or provincially listed but we also considered species that were of local concern. Two species were of special concern to band members, Chinook Salmon and Sharp-tailed Grouse. Based on this assessment, we identified the following major concerns:

  • The loss of Chinook salmon spawning in the Columbia River adjacent to the reserve as a result of downstream dams.
  • The loss of grassland habitat due to a variety of factors that has resulted in the loss of Sharp-tailed Grouse and impacts on the populations of other grassland species such as American Badger and Long-billed Curlew.
  • The loss of Northern Leopard Frog in adjacent wetland areas, apparently as a result of the continental scale impact of a fungal disease affecting amphibians.
Badger
Badger

Land use zoning was initiated by the band in 2007 and this was used as a basis for planning for species at risk and their habitats on the reserve. This zoning exercise and habitat mapping were used as a framework for discussing options for retaining species at risk. The plan also addresses the functional ecological processes that drive habitat quality in the long term (nutrient flows in aquatic habitats, long term fire regimes and exotic weed issues in grassland habitats, etc).

  • Draft zoning for the reserve lands, for fish and wildlife species that provides habitat patches and movement corridors throughout the reserve.
  • Mapping of nine habitat types on the reserve lands, for assisting in future planning.
  • Options for maintaining a range of species at risk through habitat enhancement on reserve lands.
  • A set of best management practises (BMP’s) for activities in these habitat zones.
  • An implementation strategy for further work on species at risk issues.
  • A proposal to create large, managed grassland areas in the traditional territory, on crown land, to provide options for maintaining grassland species in the long term.
  • A proposal to establish a position of environmental inspector to assist all parties in expediting the environmental review process on reserve lands.

 

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A Management Strategy For Species At Risk In A Semi-Urban Landscape On The Shuswap Reserve Lands At Invermere, B.C.