Jackman Flats Provincial Park

History

The adjacency of dry sand dunes and wet swamp areas make this area rich in biological diversity. Fire has played an active role in shaping the composition of species over time. While many of the parks sand dunes have been colonized by a variety of plant species and remain relatively intact, many are undergoing wind-induced change that constantly alters the composition and structure of the area.

The historic role that wildfire played in natural succession and diversity has been eliminated due to public safety issues. As a result of this lack of natural disturbance events, many Lodgepole Pine (Pinus-contorta) are now at an age class that makes them candidates for insect and disease events.

These disturbance events will shape the landscape and species composition of Jackman Flats in the future.

Cultural Heritage

While recognized as part of the traditional territories of the Shuswap Nation (North Thompson Band) and the Carrier Nation (L’heidli T’enneh band), Jackman Flats Provincial Park has no known archaeological sites. It would, by it’s open, flat nature, have been well used by indigenous peoples to access the Fraser River drainage and it’s incredible salmon runs.

Conservation

The park lies within the Upper Fraser Trench (UFT) ecosection and is in the xeric (dry) site series of the sub-boreal (SBS dh) biogeoclimatic sub zone. The Robson Valley Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP) recognized the provincial significance of the Jackman Flats area early on in the process by proposing to make it a Class A Provincial Park.

A rich mosaic of living things can be found here. Lichens, from common species to the extremely rare, mushrooms, mosses and a huge array of vascular plants thrive in this harsh yet inviting landscape. BC Parks has taken steps to protect the integrity of Jackman Flats by regulating access, relocating trails from sensitive areas and working with the locals to foster an understanding of the areas uniqueness. From a conservation perspective, Jackman Flats proves that “good things do indeed come in small packages.”

Wildlife

The dry, relatively open nature of Jackman Flats Provincial Park is not considered to be prime wildlife habitat, although it is recognized as important winter range. Caribou are no longer present in the valley bottom but in years gone by, they played an important role in the diversity and distribution of the areas many lichen species.

While the caribou have since called the higher elevations home, a number of species indicative to the west slopes of the Rocky Mountains can still be found in Jackman Flats Provincial Park. Birds in particular use the relatively open spaces and diversity of plant life in Jackman Flats. Many species can be found here throughout the seasons.

The sandy nature of Jackman Flats makes animal tracks quite apparent and one can easily determine a who’s who of the area’s species by observing tracks adjacent to the many walking trails.