Natural history guide book to Williams Lake River Valley now available

A natural history guide to Williams Lake River Valley is now available for the public.

Anna Roberts with a copy of the guide book to the Williams Lake River Valley which she created with Ordell Steen.

Anna Roberts with a copy of the guide book to the Williams Lake River Valley which she created with Ordell Steen.

A natural history guide to Williams Lake River Valley is now available for the public.

Stepping into Nature: A Guide to the Williams Lake River Valley, was co-authored by Ordell Steen and Anna Roberts and produced by the Williams Lake Field Naturalists. The 86-page guide is illustrated with colour photographs and maps, and is jam-packed with useful information.

The guide is a convenient size for people to pack with them on the 12-kilometre trail that extends from Scout Island to the Fraser River.

“We hope people will put the guide in their pocket and take it hiking with them,” Roberts says. “It’s got maps that explain how to get into the valley and where the trails go.”

Roberts says the guide is something she and other members of the Field Naturalists have been working on for at least 10 years. She says Steen took the bull by the horns and finally finished the project.

“We want people to look around when they are exploring the valley. It’s a very diverse place,” Roberts says. “The guide documents what people can see down there.”

She says the Williams Lake River Valley provides an outstanding opportunity to experience nature in a near-urban location. “The upper part of the valley lies within the city boundaries.”

The guide notes that improvements to the main trail along the valley bottom, include construction of 20 bridges, numerous interpretive signs, benches, parking lots, and two side trails. The guide will also help expand the experience and make this excursion into nature more user friendly.

The guide is conveniently colour-coded to highlight the various parts of the book, which include sections on geology, wetlands, the river, forests, clearings, grasslands, first people and an index.

Steen wrote the geology section, which reaches back millions of years, describing how Alberta was once the western coastline of North America. “Most of the bedrock we see in the lower valley originated in an ancient tropical ocean closer to China than Canada,” Steen writes.

During later ice ages, glaciers formed a big lake over present-day Williams Lake that sent the flow of the Fraser River north, and deposited huge volumes of sand and silt into the valley.  Over the centuries Williams Lake River has eroded the valley, making it deeper and deeper.

Anna describes the different plants and creatures, great and small, that utilize the different habitats in the valley – the river, wetlands, forests, and dry, sun-parched slopes. The habitat is very diverse.

Ecologist Ray Coupe, who also contributed to the project, describes the valley as an incredible resource right next to the city. “It’s a little gem we have right here.”

He says that while the valley sits in a single dry interior Douglas fir biogeoclimatic zone, its diversity is reflected in at least eight distinct sub-zones or forest ecosystems. “It is very diverse with east and west-facing slopes. The south-facing side which gets more sun is grassland. The valley bottom and north-facing slopes are forest.”

The appendices in the back of the book list 140 plants species, 19 mammals, and 25 species of birds.

The book is laid out with an overview of information printed in black ink on a white background, while more detailed information is presented in shaded sidebars.

All proceeds from the guide book go to the Williams Lake Field Naturalists. “We wrote it for them,” Roberts says.

Copies of the guide can be purchased at the Scout Island Nature Centre, the Open Book or at the Station House Gallery.

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

The City of Williams Lake is asking for public feedback on whether it should explore the opportunity to host a Greater Metro Hockey League team in Williams Lake. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake GMHL expansion questions, concerns, to be discussed later this month

If approved, the team would begin play in the fall of 2021

Cariboo Memorial Hospital emergency doctor Sarah Dressler comes off a night shift on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Our Hometown: The doctor is in the house

Cariboo Memorial Hospital emergency doctor Sarah Dressler was born and raised in Williams Lake

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

(File photo)
Kamloops Mountie bitten while arresting woman

The assault on March 1 is the latest in a string of incidents that have left local officers injured

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
B.C. mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

Most Read