October 30, 2017

Cranbrook, BC (October 30, 2017) – Invasive willows are set to be significantly cut back to stumps from a section of Joseph Creek by City of Cranbrook Public Works staff before the end of year, in advance of a planned creek restoration project in 2018. 

The section of Joseph Creek set to be treated is located along 1A Street South, between Balment Park and Mount Baker Secondary School, weather permitting.   This is the first of many sites along Joseph Creek that are in need of channel restoration and the removal of these invasive golden willows.

“The tree cutback will greatly improve the creek channel capacity here where chronic seasonal flooding issues have been experienced,” says Mike Matejka, Project Manager with the City of Cranbrook.  “These particular willows are not a native species and over the decades since their introduction have choked out the creek channel in many locations, causing flooding and habitat degradation. Cutting down the willows in the late fall ensures there is no conflict with any nesting season and will allow easier access to the site next summer, where the remaining stumps will be removed when the channel work happens.”

The City of Cranbrook will be working closely with Columbia Outdoor School and its Joseph Creek Management framework partners to plan the ecosystem restoration aspect of these projects.

“This will help define the revegetation and habitat upgrades needed in order to improve the overall health of Joseph Creek,” Matejka adds. “Both the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the BC Ministry of the Environment will be engaged for all the necessary permits and approvals as part of the project.”

The Columbia Outdoor School has a group of community partners involved in the management framework including: the College of the Rockies, School District #5, the Ktunaxa Nation, Aq’am Community, the City of Cranbrook and the Regional District of East Kootenay.

The complete Joseph Creek Management Framework can be downloaded here from the Columbia Outdoor School website.

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