Silvertip Ranch wetland restoration project
At 341 acres, The Nature Trust of British Columbia’s Silvertip Ranch is a conservation property located within the Bull River drainage that provides a key wildlife linkage and possesses significant ecological values. The ranch’s 2011 acquisition was linked to a life estate agreement, in which the Logan family continues to live and ranch on the property. The project seeks to restore a naturally appearing and functioning wet meadow and ephemeral wetland along the historic location of Douglas Creek, which is currently used as a hayfield. The project will restore a natural sub-irrigation regime, including the construction of up to 14 ephemeral wetlands alongside the floodplain of the restored Douglas Creek. A wide diversity of plants and animals will be enhanced by the proposed works.
Update: Length of Douglas Creek restored
Over 560 metres of Douglas Creek in the Bull River drainage near Fernie were restored to a functioning wetland ecosystem to support a diversity of plants and animals, including Columbia Ground Squirrels and American Badgers. Funded by the FWCP, the project transformed a hayfield into functioning creek channel and floodplain, and saw the establishment of 14 ephemeral wetland basins.
Final report: executive summary
The Nature Trust of British Columbia (NTBC) and its partners planned and implemented a stream and wetland restoration project at its Silvertip Ranch Conservation Property, in an effort to reverse the loss of a productive stream and wetland complex.
Located approximately 7 kilometres east of the community of Bull River, the property possesses a mosaic of habitat types that provide important wildlife habitat and biodiversity values. Douglas Creek bisect the property, an ephemeral creek that has been moved 2-3 times since European settlement for agricultural productivity. Prior to the restoration project, the creek was confined to a metal flume and a series of eroding ditches, with impaired ecological health and function. It is believed that a series of wet meadows and ephemeral wetlands would have been historically connected to Douglas Creek but, were lost decades ago to a hay field.
The restoration project took place in October and November 2018, after almost two years of planning and preparation, supported by a number of funding partners, consultants and contractors.
Click the provincial database link below to read the full final report for this project.