It is the cradle of the ‘Trout Children Story,’ an epic ancestral oral story that connects Secwepemc people to the area and that sustained for generations their laws, culture, customs and practices.
It hosts human artifacts dating back 7,000 years, including the only hunting blind complex recorded by the Government of B.C. Archaeology Branch for the Secwépemc Nation.
It supports a high biodiversity with red- and blue-listed endangered birds and animals, as well as some of the last remaining grasslands in BC, a rare habitat class covering less than 1% of the province’s area.
It is home to over 130 bird species, 90 different medicinal plants, 45 distinct food plant species, and 39 species of animals — 13 of which are used as food sources.
Jacko Lake, named after a Secwepemc ancestor, is a rich and beautiful lake which welcomes thousands of Indigenous and non-Indigenous anglers every year for trout fishing.
The site waters feed into Peterson Creek and the Thompson River, home to one of BC’s largest salmon runs.
In 2015, the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation (SSN) filed an Aboriginal title claim to BC Supreme Court for the Pípsell area. The B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (BCEAO) recognizes that SSN has “a strong prima facie claim” to the area.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) and the BCEAO reviews concluded that the project would have irreversible and significant adverse effects to SSN’s heritage and current use of the lands and resources.