Traditional field for Sandhill Cranes to land and feed during spring and fall migrations.
Somewhere in here is an old logging road that connects the Rabbit Road with the Lyon Creek Trail.
This trail connects the Telkwa Highroad with the Gramophone Creek FSR. It is part of a Wet'suwet'en heritage trail that was identified by Wah'tah'keght (Henry Alfred) in the 1990s. The licensees of woodlot 1505 maintain it.
You find a big map, with notes like this all over it. The handwriting indicates many different people were involved, and on many different days. Some of the notes are faded, some are fresh, perhaps from yesterday. There are little X's or arrows next to them, lines drawn and places circled.
The single largest western hemlock tree measured in the Bulkley Valley. Tsuga heterophylla, circumference 3.22 m, diameter 1.02 m, crown width 14.1 m, height 30.3 m.
It's clearly a treasure map. But what treasure! Knowledge about interesting places of the valleyfun places, meaningful places, historical places, beautiful places. Yet it's more than an inventory of treasures. There are ideas about things that could be doneand things that shouldn't be done.
Osprey nest. Illegal to destroy or disturb under Wildlife Act.
This is a section of private land that breaks the continuity of public access around lake. If an opportunity occurs in future (rezoning, sale, covenant etc) to add this as public, or a right of way, it would greatly enhance use of park for public.
You want to add some comments to the map. But, it's not in a dusty trunk,
in the attic of a house on the Telkwa High Road, or at the Smithers Library.
It's at a workshop in your neighbourhood, a community mapping workshop
put on by the Bulkley Valley Stewardship Coalition. And the map itself
exists only on-line.
There are notes about how popular places are:
Twin Falls Recreation area. Very heavily used by residents and visitors alike. Both easy and difficult trails, plus viewing platform and picnic area.
And there are questions unanswered:
This is a trail I discovered recently, but
don't know its status. It's a great place to walk the dog.
Good biking trail, but very steep
Out of this came the vision of a comprehensive map of the Bulkley Valley,
a map that would show what residents knowand what they thinkabout
the crown lands adjacent to where they live. It would be made, and continually
updated, in the hope that bottom-up knowledge could be used in top-down
This is the main, ridge-top trail that follows the edge of the rare ecosystem (steep southwest-facing slope) and starts at Mountain View Rd and finishes at Hyland Rd. Excellent views.
This southeast-facing saskatoon savannah is both a fine viewpoint (for the Telkwa Range) and prime wintering range for moose and deer.
Arriving at a BVSC workshop, you find a computer display projected onto
a screen at the front of the room, and a pile of your neighbours seated
around, talking about what they know.
This is the main take-out spot for paddlers on the Telkwa. This run from the 8KM bridge to here is the major Telkwa Run. It is well used.
Maybe youre a new valley resident, and you meet someone who's been
in the valley a lot longer than you have, who laughs, Did you know
that waterfall just below the road is called Raymond's Leap? It's because
Paul Raymond came around that corner so fast... and went right over it.
Starting from our old barn meadow, heading uphill to the East boundary, climbing over wire fence into Private Hay fields... fabulous telemarking when there is BASE ON THE SNOW in the spring
Information offered about private land has always given the Stewardship Coalition a hard time. On the one hand, Hetherington points out that it makes sense to identify a wish-list of greenways, even across private land.
Once potential commuter routes for bike and walking trails are
identified, if someone puts in for re-zoning or subdivision, it can be
done. We have opportunities to make greenways in subdivisions.
Western red cedar (Thuja plicata) and old cabin site. This is the only known cedar growing in the wild near Smithers (closest known are in the Kitseguecla Lake Rd area). It may have been planted by whoever lived in the little cabin. The cedar is used by bears as a marker tree.
It is an unfolding and ongoing discussion that may ultimately preserve a trailway through a new subdivision, or keep public access to a river from being lost.
For more information about the community mapping project, contact the BV Stewardship Coalition at firstname.lastname@example.org
Smithers, BC, July 2008
© Copyright 2010, Morgan Hite
This piece was originally published in Northword April/May 2010