Hiking Burned Areas - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 03-23-2005, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 28
Default Hiking Burned Areas

From hiking the Skyline in Manning Park I found that the views and extra sunshine afforded by the cleared vegetation make for an interesting outing. The BC government posts the location and size of forest fires each year. Knowing where they are, I was wondering how many years go by before the shrub layer brings in deer and, more importantly, bears?
Any other observations about hiking burned areas welcome.
jupitermininginc is offline  
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 03-23-2005, 12:52 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 289

Burned areas are in a sensitive state of regeneration, so perhaps hiking through them might not be a good idea. Lots of shrubs and new growth may be damaged. Give it some time and let the land recover. My 2 cents.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 03-23-2005, 02:28 PM
Off the Beaten Path
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: summerland, bc, Canada.
Posts: 654

Morels are plentifull for the first couple of years after a fire althoe I dont think you can pick them if the area is in a park.
robert cramer is offline  
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 03-23-2005, 03:38 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 69

Here's a few other considerations independent of this particular area.

: burn areas are excellent sites to find native artifacts (quartz chips, teepee rings, etc.)

: good to also see animal remains ( white bones, antlers). Small rodent bones become visible against charred background.

: study cycle of vegetation growth from pioneer species to mature

: usually first years after burns are absent of most insects and allow more comfortable hiking in mosquito season

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 03-26-2005, 08:13 PM
Off the Beaten Path
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Salmon Arm, BC, Canada.
Posts: 971

Well, living in the Shuswap and working in the Okanagan, I'm getting pretty familiar with fires! Anyways, deer come back right away, eating the fresh green shoots that come up within a few weeks. As for bears, probably they would do some grazing on grasses and forbs in the spring, but it would take quite a few years for any substantial amount of berries to come back to attract them at that time of year.

The fire above Salmon Arm (1988) came back very heavy to grasses for the first few years, but now the shrubs are taking over in many areas, especially deerbrush ceanothus (excellent winter food for deer), snowberry, willows, and aspen.

Morels are abundant for about 2 years after a fire. Like berries, in parks there's no law against picking them for personal use--you can't pick them for commercial harvest in parks. Mmm, morels are great!

By the way, Okanagan Mtn Park and Myra-Bellevue Park (where the Myra Canyon KVR trestles used to be) are still closed, perhaps they will be open in 2006 or later this fall. Right now they are busy building a bypass trail around the canyon, and falling danger snags along that route. Meanwhile, in the canyon itself they've rebuilt trestle #18 (the first one on the east end of the Canyon), trestle #1 at the west end was saved, and they will be rebuilding 5 more this year. I think their plan is to work from both ends towards the middle over the next year or so until it's finished.
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