The pictures I am sending you of current logging on the Gilpin ungulate winter range are representative of an approximate 15km ark in three watersheds: Gilpin, Dan’Rae and Morrissey all of which cross Highway #3.
Remember the Gilpin Grasslands or Gilpin are located north of Highway #3 between Grand Forks and Christina Lake or more accurately Highway # 395 the highway to Spokane, Washington .
I am not up to speed on an accurate description of the legitimate grievance package that must be brought forward to challenge current Ungulate Winter Range Guidelines (UWR). To that end I have made arrangements with Fred Marshall, a professional forester to lead a field trip probably late April or early May.
I will also ask Brian Horejsi, Greg Utzig and Tim Coleman from Washington State to participate. I am a fanatical believer in transparency so everyone will be welcome. Yes, I will ask Les Johnson to film the event.
The following information is an appropriate start for any discussion in the province that demands more respect for ungulate winter ranges (UWR) and the significant number of animals large and small that need responsible (UWR) management to survive.
Ungulate winter ranges comprise three bioclimatic zones; Interior Douglas fir (IDF) ponderosa pine (pp) and grassland. So when I use the term Gilpin grasslands please remember there are three bioclimatic zones.
Kootenay Boundary Land Use Plan Oct. 1994
Ungulate Winter Ranges are low elevation winter habitats that are used by most ungulates during the late fall and winter months when deep snow accumulations restrict accessibility to other habitats. During this period the animals concentrate in high densities over a limited area and are totally dependent on the quality and quantity of the habitat for survival.
Essential ungulate winter habitat requirements include an appropriate combination of forage areas for feeding and forested areas for provision of snow interception, thermal cover and security cover.
The Boundary Deer Herd D.J. Spalding 1968
The Boundary or Management Unit 8 of southern B.C. comprises 31,800 square miles lying between Okanagan Lake to the west and the Arrow Lakes to the east.
The Boundary must be considered as one of the best mule deer and white-tail deer areas of the province. Precipitation is generally less than 20” annually.
The most important zone for wintering deer is the Interior Douglas Fir (IDF) with its associated understory of waxberry, kinnikinnik, mallow nine bark, Saskatoon berry, snowbush, red stem ceanothus, soopolallie and silver berry, squaw current, sumac, mock orange, willow and red osier dogwood.
The small areas of yellow pine (pp) and grasslands are important to deer herds in the spring.
British Columbia Order-Ungulate Winter Range #U-8-008 is a B.C. Liberal policy statement advertised in the Jan. 31, 2001 Kootenay-Boundary Higher Level Plan Order.
“The Kootenay-Boundary Higher Level Plan Order is being revised to reflect the required balance of social, economic and environmental values and is consistent with a request by the citizens of the Kootenay-Boundary Region.”
Had you sat at the table of 22 stakeholders during the 1993-94 Harcourt NDP West Kootenay Boundary Commission on Resources and Environment, then you would be fully aware that “a request by citizens” is a pathetic euphemism for private sector lumber, logging and mining interests.
The primary forest manufacturers hired former NDP MLA Chris D’Arcy to represent their interests and Chris’ response to Chair Bruce Fraser’s request for consensus on Protected Areas never changed-NO,NO,NO! Bruce’s performance as chair of the West Kootenay/Boundary CORE was remarkable considering the consistent bad feelings generously on display at meetings.
John Murray represented miners and his dower message never changed- minerals are where you find them-no parks.
The independent logger whose name I conveniently forgot put on a consistent nasty performance directed at a government who had the nerve to create parks contrary to the interests of his colleagues.
Dave Jukes the Pope & Talbot representative stood up and bellowed like a cut steer when the table was discussing what is now the Granby Wilderness Class A Provincial Park. Pope & Talbot quickly built a road adjacent to the NW corner of the park in the Goatskin Watershed.
A request by citizens -Not Hardly!
The NDP Kootenay/Boundary Land Use Plan was a result of a thoughtful educational approach to the management of our natural resources a point made by the legions of information given to the 22 stakeholders. The best way to make my point is to send you the two page copy of Ungulate Winter Range #U-8-008 and a representative table of facts that the NDP approach endorsed as essential parts of responsible management decisions.
There is plenty of information to share with you in the immediate future that will underscore why the Interfor Corporate logging agenda in the Interior Douglas Fir Zone adjacent to the Gilpin Grasslands must not go unchallenged.
The best source of information to put the next chapter in focus starts with a review of pertinent facts found in British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Boundary Timber Supply Rationale for Allowable Annual Cut, Effective January 1, 2002 ,Larry Pedersen Chief Forester.
Please note: Penticton provincial biologist, Rick McLean will be the guest speaker at the Rock Creek Wildlife Hall March 24 at 7PM to discuss whitetail/mule deer management. Yes it will be a civil meeting so if you care about wildlife and are within a reasonable driving distance, please attend! Barry Brandow Sr.