Golden Trails & Tales
Columbia River & Wetlands
Alpine Meadows Lodge
News - Canada names new Ramsar site in British Columbia
The Secretariat is delighted to announce that the Canada has designated its thirty-seventh Wetland of International Importance, effective as of World Environment Day, 5 June(2005). The Columbia Wetlands (15,070 hectares, 50°41'N 115°13'W) is a Wildlife Management Area. The largest wetland of its kind in British Columbia, it qualifies under all eight Criteria and comprises a regionally unparalleled diversity of 16 habitats and shelters around 216 species, of which the bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus), peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) and badger (Taxidea taxus) are endangered. A nesting and rearing habitat for over 180 species of birds, total counts in excess of 10,000 swans, geese and ducks have been recorded in spring, 15,000 ducks in autumn, and up to 1200 tundra swans (Cygnus colombianus) in single day counts (1977). Several indigenous and introduced fish species spawn and feed in the area, 31% of which is composed of standing and flowing water. Despite having a management plan in place, human intervention has been on the rise in the past few years. Ramsar site no. 1463.
See also - Friends of the Columbia Wetlands
Protected as a Wildlife Management Area, the Columbia River Wetlands are 180 km(110 mi) of natural and enhanced wetlands & lakes. Sustaining a healthy landscape is important for over 260 species of birds and wildlife.
Guided interpretive float tours on the river are a great way to see nature and wildlife. The marvelous image of osprey nest was taken by a guest(thankyou Mr Gitter). See Eagles, osprey, great blue heron and more birds that migrate and reside as part of the Pacific flyway. An evening or morning tour offered by Kinbasket Adventures travels for two hours from Nicholson to the Golden Airport.
Stay at Alpine Meadows Lodge and have a great view of the wetlands and the Columbia River. We keep our binoculars handy in the dining room and lounge ready for viewing wildlife. At breakfast, we look for Waldo(Bald Eagle) usually sitting on a tall tree by the river, and in fall or winter we often see elk grazing on the wetlands.
A special heritage interpretive trip was arranged using a 34 foot voyageur canoe to explore the river & wetlands. Our route traced explorations by David Thompson and North West Company furtraders. Known as the "Mapmaker", Thompson crossed the Great Divide at Howse Pass to discover the Columbia in June 1807. Over many years, he explored the Columbia Basin, mapped and traded with First Nations people along the river to the Pacific Ocean near Astoria, Oregon. Little has changed on the Upper Columbia, where the river and a vast network of wetlands cover valley bottom, and are upstream of the many hydro dam developments on the Columbia River.