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Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Park

Area: 6706 sq km. Location: The Spatsizi Plateau is located in North western British Columbia and is the headwaters of the mighty 535 km long Stikine River. The Stikine drains much of the plateau. On the southern boundary is the Skeena River. It is 325 km north of Hazelton between the Stikine Plateau and Skeena mountains on the west, the Cassiar mountains on the north and Omineca mountains on the east. The north western corner is bounded by the abandoned British Columbia Railway "Dease Lake Extension" which was abandoned in the 1970's. The park is 6,567.85 sq km, or 656,785 hectares, one of the largest parks in all of British Columbia.

Terrain: The Spatsizi Plateau is known for its wildlife and many remote fishing lakes, as well as spectacular mountain terrain. Due to its latitude and relatively high elevation, there is extensive alpine tundra, containing glorious meadows that go on forever. Apart from the tundra, the plateau is forested black spruce, willow, birch. Spatsizi Plateau and Eaglenest Range form the two broad physiographic regions. The Plateau ranges from 1600 m to 2000 m, while the Eaglenest Mountains are rugged, steep and the highest peak is 2500-m Mount Will, which towers over Gladys Lake.

The park is known for its populations of grizzly bears, wolves, moose, mountain goats, and Stone's sheep, a type of mountain sheep. It also has BC's largest herd of woodland caribou. More than 140 species of birds are also found here. Gladys Lake ecological reserve in the west central portion of the park, was established to help protect sheep and goat populations. In the western portion of the park the Eaglenest Range reaches elevations of 2,500 m. The plateau itself is high, rolling upland broken by wide glaciated valleys . History: It includes Gladys Lake Ecological Reserve. It is the third largest park in British Columbia. The park was created largely through the efforts of a guide named Tommy Walker and his wife Marian. Tommy Walker was born in 1904 in England, and settled on the Antarko River east of Bella Coola. In 1948 they established a guiding operation at Cold Fish Lake, and lobbied for the protection of the wilderness area. Finally in 1975 the park was created. The word Spatsizi means "red goat" in the Tahltan language, a reference to the reddish colour taken on by mountain goats when they roll in the red dust near Cold Fish Lake. Cold Fish Lake is about 15 km due north of Mount Will, the highest mountain, draining into the Spatsizi R. and the Stikine.

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