Object & Deliverables
This project was initiated to review the Marshybank Ecological Reserve in order to consider the expansion into the proposed Thunder Lake Special Area Nomination. A portion of the Thunder Lake SPN occurs within Weyerhaeuser’s Drayton Valley FMA. The study retained URSUS Ecosystem Management Ltd. to: 1) summarize the scientific approach and criteria used to select the original Marshybank ER, Thunder Lake Environmentally Sensitive area and Thunder Lake Special Area Nomination, 2) assess and compare the local and regional significance of landscapes occurring in the Marshybank ER and the Thunder Lake proposal and 3) provide an ecological basis for potential boundary adjustments to both areas if warranted.
The project found that the Thunder Lake SPN would contribute to the Natural History Theme Target for the Upper Foothills Lakes. Expansion of the SPN boundary to the northeast to include additional G2would better meet the objective of concerving this unique ecosection. The eastern portion of the Marshybank ER does not contain ecologically significant or rare features in the contect of the Upper Foothills and does not warrant special protection in this context. Merchantable stands of timber within ecosections not of particular preservation concern could be excluded without compromising the objective of conserving the G2 ecosystem. Special managment considerations for timber harvest would need to be applied to these areas. The final report was submitted by John Kansas and Douglas Collister of URSUS Ecosystem Management Ltd., entitled, “Ecological Assessment ThunderLake Special Area Nomination, October 1999”