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Philip Sonterre Riparian Zone Biomes. A riparian zone or riparian area is the interface between land and a river or stream. Riparian is also the proper nomenclature for one of the fifteen terrestrial biomes of the earth. Plant habitats and communities along the river margins and banks are called riparian vegetation, characterized by hydrophilic plants.

Riparian zones are important in ecology, environmental management, and civil engineering because of their role in soil conservation, their habitat biodiversity, and the influence they have on fauna and aquatic ecosystems, including grasslands, woodlands, wetlands, or even non-vegetative areas.

This book describes the status, habitats and conservation aspects of smooth coated otter in Chitwan National Park. The otters are distributed in the areas of western channel of Narayani River from Giddeni to Bhosarghat, but are absent in other sections of the river due to several factors like habitat degradation, human disturbances, high depth of river, current, some patches of sandy and muddy islands along the shoreline, boulders and rocky cliffs on the edge, high fishing pressure, stagnant condition of river due to the impact from construction of Gandak barrage.

The tracks were observed in sandy and muddy substrate along the shoreline of shallow river course with dense cover of Saccharum, Phragmites and Typha sps. The lack of strict enforcement of parks rules and regulations, patrolling, awareness, over fishing, poisoning, use of gill net, grazing, sand and boulder extraction and the Tribeni dam are the serious threats effecting the otter populations.

The park management must adopt appropriate conservation measures and policies to ensure the protection of these mustelids in the river basins of Nepal. This book is the result of the study carried out in Narayani River of Chitwan National Park from to to investigate the habitats and abundances of the gharials. Altogether a total number of 38 gharials including 3 hatchlings, 8 juveniles, 12 sub-adults and 15 adults were recorded. However, should significant facility development be considered or complex issues arise requiring additional studies, more detailed management direction in the form of special protection measures, or a detailed Resource Management Plan, will be prepared with full public consultation.

Public and Aboriginal consultation occurred prior to the regulation of this conservation reserve and prior to the approval of this management document. Comments from the notification periods have been considered in the development of this document.

Nu River Conservation Studies: Biodiversity, Management, and Hydropower Development

Natural heritage areas are a key component in sustainable management of natural resources and require protection from incompatible activities if their values are to endure over time. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources OMNR has established conservation reserves as a tool to offer protection for these natural heritage areas on public lands, while still permitting many traditional uses to continue.

This conservation reserve lies approximately 70 kilometers north of the town of Cochrane and is situated entirely on unsurveyed Crown land. This conservation reserve was created to protect an esker complex, numerous string bogs and a chain of small lakes. The site additionally contains dense conifer forest, mixed deciduous forest and a small amount of sparse forest. Section 2. Section 3. Sections 4. Finally, Section 7.

Their primary role will be to provide public information and perform compliance monitoring to ensure adherence to current policies. In addition, staff of the Cochrane District will be responsible for evaluating any new proposed activities within the conservation reserve. The intention of a conservation reserve, as stated in Policy PL 3. It is the goal of this Enhanced Statement of Conservation Interest to provide the framework and direction to guide management decisions to ensure that the North of the North French River Conservation Reserve will meet that intention.

The following short and long term objectives have been identified for this ESCI as the means to achieve the above stated goal:. The short-term objectives for the ESCI , which will be accomplished upon approval of this document, are:. Long term objectives for this ESCI are:. The need to complete the parks and protected areas system has long been recognized as an important component of ecological sustainability. Following the regulation of a site, management planning for a conservation reserve begins. The plan additionally outlines the Ministry of Natural Resources' management intent for the conservation reserve.

An enhanced SCI is an intermediary document which is used when a site requires more detailed management direction than would be provided by a basic SCI , but does not have issues significant enough to warrant the preparation of a RMP. The Class Environmental Assessment for Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves OMNR , will be used to screen all project proposals and management activities occurring within the conservation reserve however, where cultural resources may be impacted, proposals may additionally be screened as outlined in section 6.

The planning area will consist of the regulated boundary for the North of the North French River Conservation Reserve as defined in section 4. This land base will form the area directly influenced by this ESCI. This plan will outline management direction for the protection of values within the planning area however, to fully protect values within the conservation reserve, additional consideration within larger land use or resource management plans may be required.

The Ministry of Natural Resources, in conjunction with other partners where appropriate, will work to ensure that the values of the conservation reserve are not negatively impacted during the planning and implementation of activities on the surrounding land base. The North of the North French River Conservation Reserve is the largest conservation reserve in Ontario and historically there has been significant interest in this area see section 4. Given the size of the conservation reserve, the historic interest in the area and the clarification required with respect to the overlapping local land use strategy, it was determined that management document for the site should be as detailed as possible and provide more site specific information than what would normally be found in a basic SCI.

There are, however, currently no complex issues relating to this conservation reserve which require resolution. As such, it was decided that the appropriate management document would be an Enhanced Statement of Conservation Interest. This document provides background information, identifies values to be protected and establishes management guidelines for the conservation reserve. Members of the public, aboriginal communities and industry were provided an opportunity to comment on a draft of this document. A public consultation period took place from July 29 — August 29, Notification of this review period occurred through a letter mailed to potentially affected stakeholders and through an advertisement that appeared in local newspapers.

Comments received were considered in the refinement of this document. Upon approval of this Enhanced Statement of Conservation Interest, public notification will occur via mail-out to stakeholders who submitted comments and a notice will appear in the local newspapers. This ESCI is a working document and therefore may require revisions from time to time. For further information on reviews and revisions please see Section 8. The North of the North French River Conservation Reserve is located approximately 70 kilometers north of the town of Cochrane and is situated entirely on unsurveyed Crown Land.

Historically, this area has been used by local First Nation communities. The area has been identified as being within the traditional lands of the Moose Cree First Nation who have generally used the area for game and fowl hunting, fishing and gathering. The DLUG stated that the area would have a priority toward the promotion and limited expansion of the commercial tourist industry however recognized that the area did have conflicting land uses from various resource users.

In , in an attempt to resolve conflicting land use issues, the OMNR brought together a committee of stakeholders from various industries including forestry, mining and remote tourism as well as representatives from outdoor associations, municipalities and government ministries.

The purpose of the committee was to develop a comprehensive strategy that detailed where and how remote tourism would receive protection within portions of Cochrane OMNR District. Under the RWS guidelines, forestry within the remote tourism management area was prohibited and restrictions surrounding mining exploration activities were imposed.

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Recreationally, snowmobiling was permitted to continue as was public access for fishing and hunting activities by traditional means air, foot or canoe. The proposed boundaries captured the RWS boundary and additionally included area to the north.

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Public consultation regarding this area a conservation reserve began in and included consultation with interest groups, local stakeholders, industry, and aboriginal communities. A letter, fact sheet and proposed boundary map were mailed to all interested parties and an advertisement was placed in the local newspapers. This site changed very little from its appearance in the LUS , with most boundary changes being made to follow natural features where possible.

Figure 1 illustrates past and present land use designations in the area as a result of the various planning processes. The legal description as found in the May 7 th , edition of the Ontario Gazette, reads as follows:. Figure 2 illustrates the final boundary for this site. Enlarged figure 2: Administrative Information. Since the proposal of this site as a conservation reserve, numerous inventories have been completed for this area.

Nu River Conservation Studies: Biodiversity, Management, and Hydropower Development

These inventories, in addition to preliminary work and gap analysis completed during the site identification phase, have been used to confirm and further delineate the values of the site. These values are summarized in Section 5. The benefits of protected areas for the people of Ontario include clean air, clean water, outstanding landscapes, natural diversity, recreation opportunities and social and economic well-being.

This section outlines both the key values protected within the North of the North French River Conservation Reserve as well as the quality and condition of those values. Completing the system of protected natural heritage areas is based on the concept of representation. This concept has developed worldwide over the past quarter century as a method to help conserve biological diversity. Its fundamental principal is that protected areas should included representative examples of known biodiversity within ecologically defined regions Ontario Parks, Values and representative features that the North of the North French River Conservation Reserve contributes to the protected areas system are further described below.

Through development and management of protected areas, Ontario attempts to identify and preserve examples of each known rock type, fossil assemblage, landform and geological process, as well as suites of features that define the significant geological events through time. Representative features can range in size from an individual outcropping of rock to a large glaciated landscape Ontario Parks, The late glacial and deglacial history of northeastern Ontario has resulted in many of the regional surficial landforms that currently dominate the area.

During the withdrawal of a glacial ice mass from the region, much of the area was inundated by a glacial lake known as Lake Ojibway. As the glacier continued to recede across the low lying land, a symmetrical and well-integrated meltwater drainage system developed. This drainage system conveyed an abundance of meltwater to the Lake Ojibway basin and substantial glaciolacustrine sediment was deposited within the lake.


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During a subsequent glacial event, referred to as the Cochrane re-advance, the area was again entirely overridden by glacier ice and then went through a similar pattern of deglaciation, inundation by glacial Lake Ojibway, and glaciolacustrine sedimentation. As deglaciation continued, increased meltwater would have caused the Tyrrell Sea, a massive body of water that covered the Hudson Bay and James Bay lowlands, to rapidly invade the area. Lake Ojibway subsequently drained into the invading Tyrell Sea and glaciomarine sediments were deposited throughout the area.

Ocean waters of the Tyrell Sea subsequently withdrew to form the shorelines we are familiar with today. These events in geological history have resulted in a topography strongly influenced by glacial activity and the dominant landforms throughout the region include eskers, sub-aquatic outwash fans, till deposits, drumlinoidal ridges and glaciolacustrine deposits Kristjansson, Like the regional geology, the local surficial geology of the conservation reserve has also been strongly influenced by past glacial activity.

Thick, generally continuous deposits of till immediately underlie most of the north part of the conservation reserve. In the east central and southern regions of the site, glaciolacustrine deposits dominate the surficial geology while the remaining central portion of the conservation reserve is underlain by organic deposits see Geology Map, Appendix D. The conservation reserve additionally contains glaciofluvial ice contact deposits which are most evident as esker systems.

Two esker systems associated with the Cochrane readvance are particularly noteworthy. One esker is located in the south west portion of the site Figure 3 and trends approximately north-south, the other is located in the central and south-east parts of the site and also trends north-south Kristjannson, The esker system is of particular note as it is the best example within the ecodistrict and is one of only three major north-south orientated systems in the ecodistrict Burdkardt, The esker systems exhibit well-developed, relatively continuous, individual esker ridges, with associated subaquatic outwash fans.

Relatively large kettle holes, many of which are occupied by small lakes, are associated with these esker systems. The conservation reserve additionally contains a number of glaciomarine deposits as a result of past inundation by the Tyrrell Sea. Elevations less than m above sea level would have been flooded and as a result various raised deltaic forms are present including distributary channels and bars. These range in elevation from m to m above sea level. Additionally, shoreline forms which have tentatively been interpreted as storm beaches are present in the extreme northwest part of the conservation reserve and range in elevation from to meters.

It is very likely that both the raised deltaic forms and the shoreline forms are representative of the Tyrrell Sea at levels near the marine limit Kristjansson, Alluvial landform development is present along sections of some rivers and their tributaries.


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  4. Kristjansson, The meandering styles, point bar development and occasional cut-off meander loops that are evident along some river sections add considerably to the local geological diversity of the conservation reserve. More research is currently being conducted by Rik Kristjansson, OLL Geologist, on the landforms present in this conservation reserve.

    There may be mega scale glacial lineation till present in the site which would make this site provincially significant from an earth science perspective Cudmore, The bedrock of this area largely consists of metasedimentary paragneisses and migmatites with smaller areas of granodiorite and granite. Additionally, some areas in the north of the conservation reserve are underlain by part of an east-west trending belt of mafic to intermediate metavolcanic rocks. Portions of two east-west trending belts of massive to foliated granitic rock also occur in the north portion of the site.

    Several rock outcroppings Figure 4 have been documented in the northern portions of the reserve and exposed rock is evident along the shorelines of larger rivers. Through the creation of parks and protected areas, Ontario attempts to preserve a wide variety of different landform vegetation units across the province. This concept groups regions together based on broad climatic patterns temperatures, precipitation. Ecoregions Ecoregion Map, Appendix E are further subdivided into ecodistricts which are delinated based on similarities in land formation and predominant vegetation Ontario Parks, This conservation reserve lies within ecodistrict 3E-7 Crins and Uhlig This ecodistrict is characterized as being an area of muskeg frequently broken by low ridges of shallow till with unmerchantable spruce.

    The occasional kame or esker is also present, and sandy ridges are generally apparent, usually with a mixed spruce-fir-poplar forest. A classification relating more specifically to the regional forest composition is based on the Forest Regions for Canada , which was established by Rowe in This classification is based on geographic zones having vegetation cover that is fairly uniform in terms of dominant species and stand types.

    This classification relies predominately on the nature of the vegetation and forest composition, unlike ecological classification which also uses climatic patterns and land formations. Section B4 Northern Clay is characterized by extensive black spruce forests on rising uplands and on lowland flats. Hardwood or mixed wood stands of trembling aspen, balsam poplar, balsam fir, white spruce and black spruce stand can be found where improved drainage has occurred.

    Jack pine is dominant on drier sites such as outwash deposits, old beaches and eskers while white birch is prominent on sandy soils. Section B5 Hudson Bay Lowlands contains marine clay and beach sand deposit, has a flat topography and is poorly drained. Rivers run roughly parallel to each other and the low alluvial banks provide conditions for good growth of forest.

    The vegetation in this Section can be considered 'subaquatic' due to the prominence of open expanses of black spruce and tamarack in the muskegs and patterned fens. The organic deposits can support dense cover of lichens. Similar to Section B4, forests of white spruce, balsam fir, trembling aspen, balsam poplar and white birch occupy better drained river banks Burkhardt, Much of the black spruce dominated stands are over years of age. Jack pine communities are also present in some areas, most notably on an esker system which runs along the Natogami River in the northwest corner of the conservation reserve.

    These jack pine communities are unique in that they are beyond their northern limit. In addition, there are stands of trembling aspen, balsam poplar, white birch and balsam fir. Several other stands occurring within the conservation reserve are over years old including some balsam fir true mixed stands and black spruce poplar true mixed stands see Age Distribution Map, Appendix E.

    Currently, the oldest known stand in the conservation reserve is a birch dominate conifer stands located east of Today Lake which was determined to be years old. The site is part of the Hudson Bay watershed system and is largely comprised of several quaternary watersheds flowing into the 4MF tertiary watershed of Moose River major basin.

    A divide between tertiary watersheds 4MF and 4NC occurs in the extreme northeast area of the reserve, with waters of the 4NC watershed flowing north and east into the Partridge and Harricanaw River systems. Kirkbride, The conservation reserve features several water bodies exceeding 1, hectares including McParlon, Natogami, Edgar and Piyagoskogau Lakes. The more upland sites in the south eastern and central portions of the reserve feature a significant concentration of small to mid-size lakes and chains of lakes, interspersed with permanent wetland areas.

    The boundaries of the conservation reserve additionally are made up of and capture numerous rivers. The Cochrane re-advance Section 5. Named rivers in the area include the Wekweyaukastik River Figure 6 , which bisects the reserve and forms part of both the northwestern and eastern boundaries and the North French River which forms part of the southwestern boundary. Wetlands play a dominate role in this conservation reserve and account for a large portion of this site Wetlands Map, Appendix E. Many of the open and treed muskegs have been classified as complexes consisting of open, semi-treed, treed or string bog Figures 7 and 8.

    Black spruce was found in semi-treed bogs with red sphagnum being the main ground cover species. Graminoids and shrubs were also found to be abundant in most bogs. Shore fens are located on the streams and rivers as either graminoids or low shrub and marshes are also present on some lakes within the conservation reserve. Lake surveys have been conducted on several of the mid-sized lakes including Sand, Unk nown, Tomorrow, Yesterday and Today, as well as the larger Piyagaskogau, McParlon, Natogami, Edgar and Ministik lakes.

    The water bodies within the reserve are generally cool-water, supporting viable populations of northern pike, walleye, and yellow perch. Sturgeon and sea run anadromou brook char have also been reported in the area. The Wekweyaukastik and French Rivers are cold water rivers and support brook trout, walleye and northern pike.

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    Although not confirmed through survey, some of the more northern river systems within the reserve are also expected to be cold-water bodies and brook trout angling has been reported anecdotally Kirkbride, The site also supports a variety of waterfowl and birds of prey including the bald eagle and osprey Kirkbride, Wildlife populations that are known to occur within and surrounding the conservation reserve include bear, wolf, beaver, marten, otter, fisher and lynx. In addition, cougar sightings have been reported however there has been no confirmation of their existence within the area.

    No bear management areas currently exist within the reserve boundary however the area is overlapped by portions of nine registered traplines Figure 9. Enlarge figure 9: Trap line boundaries PDF. Moose also inhabit this area. Many of the wetland areas and ponds feature preferred species of aquatic vegetation which provide feeding opportunities for moose.

    Additionally, the area is known to contain several moose concentration areas Kirkbride, Suitable early winter habitat for moose consists of mature or over mature mixed wood stands of relatively low stocking. Suitable early winter habitat is known to occur south of Little Wakwayowkastic Lake, through much of the middle of the conservation reserve and near Today Lake. Late winter habitat generally consists of dense stands of mature conifer with cedar, hemlock, balsam fir and white spruce being preferred over jack pine or black spruce.

    This type of habitat can be found in the balsam fir stands scatter through the site. Data collected in a radio telemetry study northeast of Cochrane indicates that the conservation reserve provides calving areas and habitat for these caribou. As well, significant areas of lichens Figure 10 , preferred by caribou, were identified during aerial reconnaissance in Kirkbride, The site is relatively inaccessible to the general public, however its attraction capacity for remote recreation remains high Kirkbride, There are currently three private recreation camps located within the conservation reserve and the site provides local users a remote protected area to enjoy outdoor activities which may include camping, hunting, fishing, nature appreciation, hiking, snow shoeing, and canoeing.

    Commercial tourism is prominent in this area and operations featuring a wilderness recreation experience and remote fishing opportunities are active on 39 lakes within the reserve. Tourism operations generally include outpost cabins, privies, dock facilities and boat caches See Figures 11 and Activities at the commercial tourism camps generally focus on those related to angling or hunting with some opportunities for recreational canoeing and leisure activities such as wildlife and bird watching Kirkbride, These commercial tourist operations also provide important economic benefit to the community.

    The most recent study, completed in , estimated that 1, persons used the remote tourism facilities in the North of the North French River area in Of these visitors, approximately 30 per cent were Ontario residents while the remaining visitors were from other provinces and countries. Remote tourist clients were estimated to have spent over 1. OMNR , d. The remains of a right of way for a former transmission line traverse the extreme southern portion of the reserve. This residual trail Figure 13 is not maintained but is accessible by ATV from Highway and provides access to the southern portion of the conservation reserve.

    This trail would additionally allow access to the site in the winter via snowmobile however winter activity within the conservation reserve has not yet been determined. The existence of established facilities may provide opportunities for winter recreational excursions however lack of trails and winter fishing restrictions on tourism lakes would limit activities Kirkbride, The entire conservation reserve area lies within the traditional lands of the Moose Cree First Nation and has been identified as a principal hunting, fishing and gathering area.

    The area features several waterway and overland travel routes of the Moose Cree First Nation. Camp sites, portages and grave sites which are a part of family histories of the Moose Cree people are also present in the area. Current traditional activities, such as food gathering, trapping, fishing and hunting will continue to be pursued in the future. Though the conservation reserve lies within the historical land use area of the Moose Cree First Nation, other First Nation communities have used this area as well.

    Though the area has historically been used by local First Nation communities there are currently no officially registered archaeological sites within the site Von Bitter, R. No known research activities have occurred within the boundary of the North of the North French River Conservation Reserve however given the large size of the conservation reserve and low disturbance, this site would pose excellent research potential.

    The quality of the resource or the current characteristics of the natural features found within the conservation reserve are as important as the overall representative features being protected. A number of factors are considered in evaluating a site and they include the following criteria: diversity, condition, ecological factors, special features and current land use activities. Diversity is evaluated in terms of the variety and evenness of landform vegetation units present within the conservation reserve.

    Variety refers to the number of different landform vegetation units. Evenness refers to the area each landform vegetation unit covers and it is generally preferable that each landform vegetation unit is consists of roughly the same area. The diversity rating Thompson, states that for a site greater than 2, ha of this size, a site is ranked with low diversity if it has less than 25 landform units, medium if it has between 25 and 35 landform units, and high if there are more than 35 landform vegetation combinations. The initial estimation for landform vegetation units range between 27 as a minimum to 49 depending on the data set used.

    In terms of evenness, communities in this site are strongly skewed. There are several features which contribute to the diversity of the site. The recent forest fires see Section 5. In addition, the topography, particularly the esker system, creates more forest stand diversity.

    The treed muskeg and open muskeg have been further classified into open, semi-tree and tree bog, string bog and poor fen as well. The landform vegetation classification described above would indicate that this site has a medium to high diversity depending on which landform vegetation interpretation is used. However, due to the excessively large size of this site and the strongly skewed nature of the forest communities, the diversity has been classified as low.

    As previously noted Section 5. Once completed, a more detailed description of the landforms within the conservation reserve should be completed to confirm the number of landform vegetation units. This would allow for clarification on the number of units and additionally determine whether any of the combinations are of provincial significance. Condition is the amount of disturbance that an area has experienced, whether naturally or human induced.

    Major natural disturbances in the Northeast Region could include fire, wind damage, floods, and insect or disease infestation. Human disturbances are wide ranging and could include activities and development relating to forestry, mining, recreation or other activities. The rating for condition is based on the amount of area currently under some form of known disturbance.

    With respect to natural disturbances, several forest fires have occurred in the recent past. The largest fire to affect this conservation reserve occurred in A large block in the north end was burnt during that time and is now regenerating to jack pine Figure In , a small fire occurred north of Little Wakwayowkastic Lake and east of Little Wekweyaukastik River however very little regeneration has been observed to date. Other fires that have disturbed the site are indicated in Figure With respect to human disturbances, nearly every lake of substantial size has a camp on it. Access to these camps is by air only however, and so no road construction has disturbed the site.

    Another human disturbance includes the remains of a hydro corridor which runs through the southern portion of the site. NRVIS Natural Resources Values Information System data indicates that a small network of trails or tertiary roads exist in the northern portion of the site, which were presumably used to access former mining claims. The only other known human disturbance is the remnants of an old drilling mining platform observed in one of the bogs.

    Due to the large size of the site and the limited amount of disturbance, the site has been given an overall disturbance rating of low and is generally in good condition. Ecological factors refer to the design of the conservation reserve as noted by its size, shape and its ability to buffer adjacent land use activities. Natural features should be used to delineate boundaries where feasible to ensure that the boundaries are readily identifiable and thus prevent unintentional disturbance to the site. The boundaries for this conservation reserve consist of a combination of ecological, cultural and vectored boundaries.

    Ecological boundaries include the Wekweyaukastik River along the east and northwest boundary and numerous unnamed creeks, rivers and lakes along the west and south boundary. Cultural boundaries include the vectored boundaries of the existing Kesagami Lake Provincial Park to the northeast, the hydro corridor to the southeast and the 'Limit of Undertaking' limit of forestry practices in the north. The remainder of the boundary is vectored as there were no distinct natural features to use. Currently we do not have a minimum size standard for conservation reserves however a minimum size standard of 2, ha has been established for natural environment parks by Ontario Parks.

    This minimum standard was considered necessary to protect representative landscapes as well as allow for low intensity recreational activities. These two protected areas effectively create one large area of the landscape that is free from major commercial and industrial activities that would have the potential to negatively impact their values. Limited access to the area and the identifiable natural boundaries will further reduce the risk of future disturbance to the site. Future land use planning by Moose Cree First Nation may additionally provide the opportunity to expand the conservation to the north.

    Special features are those features that, in addition to the primary value of the site, add to the distinctiveness of a site. Examples of these features include interesting landscapes, habitats or vistas, Species at Risk SAR and other earth and life science features, including broader landscape elements that contribute to the natural heritage richness of Ontario.

    The main feature of this site is the esker system however, additional special features includes wetland complexes of open to treed bog and string bog on lowland. Most forest communities are considered to be old growth. Additionally, the area is inhabited by several significant species including bald eagles and woodland caribou Burkhardt, As previously mentioned, the quality of the representation or the current characteristics of the natural features found within the conservation reserve are as important as the overall representative features that are being protected.