Species at Risk
The Redstreak Restoration Project
3000 hectares have been converted from grasslands to other cover and land use types annually in the Rocky Mountain Trench over the last century.
More than 30% of BC’s threatened or endangered species depend upon grasslands to survive. This includes: bighorn sheep (provincially blue-listed in British Columbia), American badger (COSEWIC endangered), rubber boa (COSEWIC Species of Special concern), flammulated owl (COSEWIC Species of Special concern), the western snowberry/Idaho fescue plant community (provincially red-listed in British Columbia), and approximately 35 provincially red- and blue-listed plants.
© Parks Canada / A. Dibb / 2005
Ecosystem and Natural Process Restoration
Initial restoration work in the Radium area has included forest thinning in the winter of 2001 on provincial lands and has continued in 2002 (provincial lands) and 2003 (national parks lands), totaling 240 ha (126 ha provincial, 114 ha federal). Treatments have also included brushing, piling and burning, non-native plant control, and limited planting of native grass plugs.
In spring 2005, portions of the restored grasslands were treated with a low intensity prescribed fire providing the final touch to the initial phase of the restoration project.
Research and Monitoring
Monitoring of vegetation and wildlife demonstrates that grassland species are using the restoration area. This suggests there is potential for other species at risk to inhabit the area as well. We have also proposed the creation of an interpretive trail to manage human use in order to maintain the habitat effectiveness of the restored area.
Educational programs have been developed and implemented for local schools and students.
Local initiatives exist such as the Bighorn in our Backyard (BIOB) program, which is an outreach program that is funded in part by Parks Canada, and has been an important part of gaining support for restoration in the Columbia Valley, particularly for the project undertaken by Parks Canada.
Outreach has helped local communities to see the economic value of healthy, functioning ecosystems, and the neighbouring village of Radium Hot Springs had adopted the Bighorn Sheep as a community icon. The village also appreciates the tourist draw that the Bighorn Sheep present, and recognize that the project helps protect the village from wildfire.
Working with Partners
The Radium-Stoddart Bighorn Sheep Working Member Group consists of more than 30 partners that have been engaged in multi-jurisdictional ecosystem education and conservation activities related to the Redstreak Restoration Area.