Layton Nature Preserves
Due to the extremely high water levels and salt marsh conditions, three different Wilderness areas have been paved over and designated as wilderness. The ongoing Whistler flood control project has temporarily halted further erosion and the newly designated areas have been put on the National Register of Historic Places.
During the winter months, the river basin is dotted with colorful scrub and grasses. But the tall tress of these vegetation have suffered the wrath of the long warmer summers and ample rainfall, soon the undergrowth will burst into leaf. In this, the scrub is not only beautiful; its historical importance will fascinate and intrigue young and old visitors to the area.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Whistler River in particular, was designated a historic area in 1998. The designation allows the area to possess Historic Places Designation within the further Whistler area and nearby areas.
The Whistler River and nearby areas offered a vital link to the extensive railroads of the West. Railroads allowed for the transport of timber and products to and from the gold rush areas. Additionally, the ability of river traffic to move heavy supplies and products to and from towns and cities made the region self-sufficient.
The original contract with Western livestock companies did not consider the effect on the endangered species of salmon upon the rollback of the river. The New West railroad planners envisioned moving a permanent crossing at the Pender Island location. Both parties agreed to change the railway line to cross the river at this location and, after several years, the site was permanently lined in by fronds of evergreens. The smelts available habitat for the salmon . . . and the greatest population of the Steller's Eel is found here.
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