The river flows from high on the east side of the watershed divide between the
Muskwa, Kwadacha, and Akie rivers. Its entire course spans over 250 km before
joining the waters of the Muskwa River just west of Fort Nelson.
The Prophet demonstrates characteristics similar to many of the major
wilderness rivers of this northern region. Glacial meltwater tumbles through
high alpine valleys collecting in a fast and seasonally-variable flow before breaking
out into the foothills country and changing to a more meandering course.
Within the Rocky Mountains, the Prophet River contributes to a large and
complex ecosystem, rich in biodiversity and supporting extensive wildlife
populations of caribou, elk and moose along with their predators, wolves
and grizzlies. Other major species in this system include: Stone sheep, mountain goat, deer,
coyote, fox, black bear, lynx and wolverine. This diversity of wildlife and the
scenic qualities of the area form the basis for the area's outstanding wilderness
Beyond the mountains, the character of the river valley and the focus
of human activity changes. The riparian areas in the valley bottoms are
one of the most highly-productive sites for growing timber. The potential for forest management
activities in the zone is high and forest companies have a number of operating
units identified in the area. The forests in these areas are generally dense
and moist with areas of large, mature stands with understories dominated by shrubs
and forbs. This makes them excellent habitat for migratory songbirds. Coarse
woody debris from large fallen trees and snags and seasonal flooding provide
areas for fur bearers and bats, stabilized stream banks and protective cover
for fish. The riparian zone also provides high-capability winter habitat
and corridors for wildlife migration and daily travel.
Oil and gas exploration and development also occur within the valley,
including tenured parcels of land. The area has proven medium to high potential
for oil and gas reserves. There is also high potential for sand, gravel,
and industrial mineral extraction.
The Prophet River is used as a major recreation corridor for all types
of boating activities as well as hiking, fishing, camping, picnicking, and
hunting. Home of the Prophet River First Nation, many camps and trails from
decades past provide a cultural perspective for visitors who are coming
in increasing numbers.
The Fort Nelson Land and Resource Management Plan for the area has been
important for developing an effective approach that takes advantage of the
economic opportunities provided by the resources of the region while recognizing
and protecting outstanding ecological values. The plan has addressed this
balance and provides direction for integrated resource use of the watershed.
Control of access is an important objective of the plan. This recognizes
the importance of avoiding road construction and activities that would negatively
impact valuable riparian areas. Maintaining good water quality is also very
important, as many of these rivers are domestic water sources.
The upper portion of the Prophet River is within the Special Management
Zone of the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area.
Proclaimed B.C. Rivers: