Blog Post 1
This is Lac Du Bois grasslands, which is adjacent to Tranquille Rd. in Kamloops BC.
This area is characterized by volcanic cliffs and serpentine soils that show up as red outcroppings, which has given rise to the name Cinnamon Ridge.
The area in question is a little over 1 hectare (10,000 m2)
Bunchgrass Ecosystem (BPPE)
This area was designated in 1995 as Lac Du Bois Grasslands Protected Area as its formal name under the BC Parks Act.
Sunday January 13, 2019 at approximately 12:30 pm
I hiked through muddy tracks to reach the test area and remained there until about 2:30
The weather was overcast & -1oC, with little snow left on the ground.
I was driving by Cinnamon Ridge composting area and noticed a patch of land that appeared to have a disturbance. In 2009, from what I have been told, there was a spark from the CN railway in a very hot summer day that started a grass fire that spread up into the Lac Du Bois grasslands. As the provincial fire control center by the Kamloops Airport was close by, they responded immediately and the fire did not spread too quickly. Being a naturalist, I walked through the area, making observations about the differences in two areas. What I observed was somewhat surprising, where there was a distinct edge where on one side there were many plant varieties growing, including sagebrush, and the other side where there were less vegetation and little to no sagebrush. There was a distinct trail that people use for hiking and biking on one edge separating the two areas. There were burnt out stumps of sagebrush scattered throughout the disturbed area. Although it has been 10 years since this fire occurred, it is surprising to see how slowly this area has taken to recover from such a disturbance. I observed cactus, sagebrush, a variety of different grasses that grew in different bunches like funnels, and patches of lichen & mosses scattered over the ground that formed a “crust”, as well as some early stages of weeds such as knapweed. This crust that was covering the soil was curious, and after speaking to others about this area I learned this crust served to keep the moisture in the soil, and seemed to only grow where the sagebrush is growing. The smaller sage had foliage that smelled quite nice and fragrant.
- Why are there no sagebrush growing in the burned area and why is the bunchgrass able to grow so well in the disturbed area?
- How different are the two areas in respect to other vegetation, without consideration for sagebrush?
- Are the differences seen in this site similar to other sites in the same region that have experienced such a disturbance?