Wildlife Management and Projects
Investing in stewardship
Chilcotin Holidays also invests in stewardship. The stewardship of nature is more than an activity; it is a responsibility which improves our lives. We do important activities like Grizzly bear hair DNA research, invasive plant pulling, wildlife winter range habitat improvement and wildlife population counts. Stewardship is woven into all work, every trip and recreation activity as part of horse pack trips, guest ranch rides, horse logging and much more.
Stewardship is a big part of every activity due to the nature of the business. Stewardship activities range from consultation for other resource users of the territory, policy input, woodlot improvements, government regulations, and wildlife counts for species in the territory including: grizzly, sheep, mountain goat, moose, black bear, mule deer, wolf, cougar, and predator management – as a result, wilderness stewardship is second nature to Chilcotin Holidays.
Stewardship Foundation Mission Statement
We support the principle to guide all resource management in the Timber Supply Area so that the population size of each species of wildlife can reach the carrying capacity of its habitat.
Chilcotin Holidays supports the North American Wildlife Conservation Model (NAWCM) which is a unique system of conservation applied only in Canada and the United States. It is properly referred to as a “model” because it consists of components that are interrelated and transferable between regions. The model originated in the mid-19th century after the near extinction of several species and sportsmen became concerned. The model is now widely accepted among ecologists, teaching institutes, and US state agencies.
The two core principles of the model:
- Our fish and wildlife belong to all North American citizens,
- Our fish and wildlife are to be managed in such a way that their populations will be sustained at optimal levels for future generations.
Responsible implementation of this model, along with efforts to protect wildlife habitat, restored decimated game populations and brought many of our best-known wildlife species back from the edge of extirpation.
The wildlife diversity and abundance we enjoy today is nothing else than the result of successful implementation of the NAWCM.
Chilcotin Holidays actively participates in management plans of the area, and undertakes a number of scientific research projects. Areas of resource management that we work on are:
- Wildlife Management
- Forestry Management
- Park Management
- Range Management
- Watershed Management
Conservation: Ongoing Projects
Chilcotin Holidays possesses extensive knowledge of the wildlife and habitat within our territory. We understand the value of this information, which is why we invest our hard-earned wisdom in many conservation projects. Here are a few examples of our ongoing efforts:
Grizzly Bear Research
As we travel through the backcountry, we collect grizzly bear hair samples from their territory marker rub trees. Through DNA analysis of these samples, scientists can determine important data like the bears' movement, maps of their home ranges, and population trends. The data from this research allows biologists to make conscientious resource management decisions that will promote the health of our grizzly bear population.
Mountain Goat Population Studies
The Lillooet Timber Supply Area has one of the healthiest mountain goat populations in British Columbia, thanks in large part to our solid working relationships with wildlife biologists. Through our combined efforts, we complete annual mountain goat population surveys. This allows us to track population statistics and identify home ranges of family units. As we monitor the impact of activities in the territory, we act on this information to protect the habitat of our mountain goat population.
There is a healthy population of moose in the Lillooet Timber Supply Area. To preserve such abundance, we are driven to maintain habitat and forage quality for these animals. Currently we are promoting two projects to achieve this goal: Selective forest thinning in Pearson Pond area to enhance and preserve important moose wintering habitat; and planting of moose browse on mudflats at the West End of Carpenter Lake Reservoir to restore historic wintering range, create wildlife habitat and increase wintering moose populations in the area.
Bighorn Sheep Studies
There are approximately 1300 Bighorn Sheep in the Lillooet Timber Supply Area. The limiting factor to the survival of this species is the availability of prime wintering and kidding ranges, which are usually in shorter supply than summer ranges. We are currently promoting two studies that aim to ensure quality habitat for this species: coordination of the actions and management of 2 different regions to get accurate population numbers for each group, of rams, ewes and lambs, as well as yearly lamb survival, migration patterns, winter ranges, summer ranges and predator impact; and enhancement of California Bighorn Sheep habitat by limiting ORV access to alpine areas of the Shulaps Mountains.
South Chilcotin Mountain Park
The South Chilcotin region was approved as a park in 2004 and Chilcotin Holidays played a significant part in the process. We established the ground for this area to be considered for Park status, and led the process in writing the first 20-page draft for the Park Management Plan in 2012.
Motor Vehicle Restrictions
We support the regulations for motor vehicle closure in alpine and sub-alpine areas (all areas above 1500-meter elevation) for the Shulaps and Cayoosh ranges; extensive motorized recreation has led to mountain goat and bighorn sheep displacement in over one-third of their summer range on the Shulaps Mountains. We also support the plan to limit motorized vehicles in low country areas that will have environmental damage, wildlife displacement, user conflicts or safety issues.