I was lucky to get the opportunity to fly over the South Chilcotin Mountains Provincial Park in a helicopter. I hadn’t yet been in the park and it was amazing to see the initial bird’s eye view. Canadian scenery at its finest; the mountains are so beautiful, scattered with lakes, rivers and creeks. Just how I imagined Canada to be.
We flew past an amazing waterfall and over Spruce Lake. On the edge of the lake is the Spruce Lake cabin that was built to accommodate guests to the park and the Wilderness Stewardship Foundation Park Stewards. BC Parks has two park rangers to support over 100 parks in British Columbia. This means that they have little chance for presence in the parks. The Wilderness Stewardship Foundation has a goal to keep a more constant presence in the park, with park stewards providing information and education to visitors and monitoring visitor use and concerns. We have also proposed to study the Rainbow Trout in the lake, collecting fish creel reports and scales implementing a citizen science project to collect data on fish diet, size and age in the lake. We collect wildlife sightings from visitors to build a database of sightings for the area. We also collect grizzly hair samples from rub trees for a Kamloops biologist, Francis. The samples help to add to his dataset for DNA analysis of the grizzly population. Spruce Lake wilderness area is a protected area important for many species of wildlife. We aim to create a process of management in the area to protect the wilderness and the wildlife it supports.