Regarding the importance of the Slocan River as a Heritage River and note that the 3100 year old pit house is at the base of Perry Ridge at the Slocan Narrows. To understand the Sinixt culture,the ridge and surrounding areas need to be protected. The Sinixt village at Vallican on the south end is proof that the area was very important Archaeology sites and the Sinixt homes are identified in archaeology reports. Of course the Sinixt used the entire landscape due to their hunting and gathering practices. Perry Ridge was used from top to bottom on both sides. The walls of the Slocan Valley are the true riparian zones from the top of the ridges to the river banks and Perry Ridge needs to be declared an Eco-Reserve. Criteria for an Eco Reserve below.
Eco Reserve Criteria
Perry Ridge Water Users Association and Sinixt Nation Ecological Reserve Proposal for remaining intact area on Perry Ridge, Slocan Valley.
Five Ecological Reserve criteria
1.Preservation of representative examples of British Columbia’s ecosystems
· Perry Ridge is a representative example of diverse ecosystems ranging from high elevation wetlands, dry rock faces, bedrock meadows, caves and bench land areas creating terrain known as gentle over steep terrain.
2. Protection of rare and endangered plants and animals in their natural habitat.
· Approximately 100 possible endangered species some not yet identified. New lichen species Claurouxia in bedrock meadows identified by Toby Spribille, Lichenologist.
· Sinixt Nation has identified the area as a Cultural Wetland and archaeologists have identified two important village sites and burial grounds. One at the base of Perry Ridge, across from Lemon Creek (Slocan Narrows) and the other at the south end of Perry Ridge at Vallican.
· The creeks along Perry Ridge also have important cultural areas. Up Hird creek on the ridge is an elk breeding area. Grizzly bears have returned to the ridge. The caves are used for hibernation.
3. Preservation of unique, rare or outstanding botanical, zoological or geological phenomena.
· Perry Ridge has been identified as unique for the botanical and zoological habitats . Amphibians, including the western toad, salamander and alligator lizards require these diverse ecosystems.
· Bats, including the endangered Big Eared Bat make Perry Ridge their home in crevices and caves
· Perhaps the most important unique phenomena is Perry Ridge’s unique geological landform. Dr. June Ryder identified unique piping features as well as other landforms created during the recent glaciation (the Fraser Glaciation) which began approximately 21 000 years ago when alpine glaciers descended into and started to flow down the Slocan and other major valleys- Geological Hazards Mapping of the Slocan Valley Report.
· Hydrologically the creeks are interesting. They have wide headwater areas, descend to the valley bottom through a “chimney” and then widen again on the alluvial fans. Some creeks have fish but even the creeks without fish, according to the scientific literature indicates that, with the exception of fish presence, fishless streams are ecologically similar to fish-bearing streams.
· Many creeks have water monitoring data collected for years and are now updating the data to reflect climate change effects. Done by local residents, adding to information for classroom study as related to climate change.
4.Perpetuation of important genetic resources.
· The Perry Ridge forests and wetlands offer important genetic resources. There are healthy species of many tree species known as the Kootenay mix, including a yellow cedar patch. The climax forest of Cedar and Hemlock are healthy and offer excellent seed stock.
· There is also healthy white pine and old growth ponderosa pine on the drier areas. These pine withstood fires years ago as seen by the fire scars on their thick bark. The lichens, fungi and vascular plants also offer genetic resources.
5.Scientific research and educational uses associated with the natural environment.
· Perry Ridge is a perfect “outdoor classroom”. Selkirk College archaeology classes already have a summer field school at Lemon Creek. https://vimeo.com/346457275/description
· To fully understand history, the natural environment surrounding these areas would further complete the history of use of the area and need to keep the ridge intact.
· Since the last Petitioning was done there has been a road that runs from the south end of Valhalla Park to midway along the ridge to Hird Creek offering access for study and scientific work.
· The hydrology of Perry Ridge also offers an opportunity to study tributaries into the Slocan River.
*Protection of Perry Ridge is well supported by the local community as well as support throughout Canada and BC, including signature of prominent Canadian Maude Barlow. Over the years many petitions and hundreds of letters and signatories to various petitions as well as professional support
There is new evidence that as a result of climate change, Perry Ridge requires protection for the many species relying on the habitats on the ridge and would have the added benefit of protecting homes and residents along the valley bottom from landslides, resulting from forest removal and roads diverting subsurface water.