The Friends of Churn Creek Protected Area Society conducts a variety of large and small projects within Churn Creek Protected Area (CCPA), all with approval of BC Parks staff and under a Partnership Agreement with BC Parks.
Projects are chosen to assist BC Parks staff to implement the management plan for the protected area.
Projects fall primarily within three categories:
1. Enhancing Conservation Values in CCPA
Large areas of grassland ecosystems and open forests in CCPA are being lost to tree encroachment and ingrowth. FCCPAS is working with BC Parks and other partners such as the Cariboo-Chilcotin Ecosystem Restoration Committee and Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation to restore open grassland ecosystems by removing tree encroachment. Projects include grassland restoration at specific locations and development and implementation of a strategy for mapping and treating encroachment.
FCCPAS also assists BC Parks staff with removal of invasive plants in grasslands and open forests.
2. Enhancing Public Understanding of Ecological, Cultural, and Social Values
of Churn Creek Protected Area
FCCPAS works with BC Parks and other partners to enhance visitor appreciation of the ecological and cultural values of CCPA by producing interpretive signage and trails. For example, an information kiosk, designed to reflect a First Nation pithouse, was constructed near the CCPA entrance. Ten interpretive signs prepared by FCCPAS and placed in the kiosk describe geology, grassland ecosystems, wildlife, ranching history, First Nation occupation, invasive species, and other topics about CCPA. In addition, a fully accessible trail with interpretive signage and other visitor facilities was constructed by FCCPAS with the support of partners.
FCCPAS also organizes interpretive hikes within CCPA for members and other public organizations.
3. Research and Monitoring of Grasslands
FCCPAS conducts long-term monitoring of grasslands within CCPA to document current ecological conditions and trends. Projects include detailed monitoring of permanent vegetation plots and photo monitoring at established locations. Some projects provide assistance to BC Parks contractors while other projects are initiated and completed by FCCPAS members with BC Parks approval.
FCCPAS also monitors effects of specific management treatments and practices on grassland ecosystems. To date, monitoring of treatments has focused on effects of prescribed burning and manual tree removal on vegetation and wildlife use.
Monitoring project reports by FCCPAS are available for download on the Resources Page.