Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

Cranberry Marsh/Starratt Wildlife Management Area

About This Wildlife Management Area

Date Designated: March 28, 2013

Purpose: Conservation of a marsh and adjacent terrestrial habitat that provides habitat for waterfowl and a variety of other wildlife species.

Size: 319 hectares

Region: Omineca

Location and Maps

1.8 km south of Valemount, west of Highway 5

Nature and Culture


Cranberry marsh has long been recognized as a valuable wildlife area with regional significance for bird breeding and migration. Approximately 200 hectares was originally the R.W. Starratt Wildlife Sanctuary. It is located at the junction of the Columbian and Thompson-Okanagan migration corridor and is a staging area for Swans, Canada Geese, and many species of ducks. Blue-listed American Bittern use the marsh, and both the marsh and upland habitat are frequented by beaver, muskrat, moose, and a variety of shorebirds, perching/song birds, woodpeckers, and raptors. The area likely also supports breeding amphibians and small mammals.

Physiography, Climate and Vegetation

Cranberry Marsh is the remnant of a flat bottom lake which now drains the lower east slopes of the valley. It has dense growth of bullrush, sedges, and cattails, with some open water areas. The shorelines slope into willow and aspen stands along with some pine trees on the sandy soils.

Compatible Resource and Recreation Uses

Wildlife viewing, bird watching, hiking, and canoeing are the major recreational activities that take place in the WMA. Several First Nations have access for traditional uses within and around the marsh. Ducks Unlimited Canada has implemented habitat enhancements that include dyke control, ditching, floating nesting islands, inlet channel modifications, and trail improvements. Further trail work and wildlife viewing towers were installed by the Village of Valemount.

Management Planning

Information on management direction is available from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations regional office.

Management Partners:

Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation

Ducks Unlimited Canada

Nature Trust of British Columbia

Village of Valemount