The Alex Fraser Research Forest (AFRF) is located on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the T’exelcemc, Xatsu’ll and Esket First Nations. The AFRF was established in April 1987 and is held under Forest Act tenure by the UBC Faculty of Forestry. It is managed according to a management plan that integrates ecosystem-based management with provincial regulations, the Cariboo-Chilcotin Land Use Plan and sub-regional plans. The AFRF operates a self-sufficient forestry enterprise and two accommodation facilities that supports our education, research and demonstration activities.
Recently AFRF acquired a 55-acre property within Williams Lake where the main office is located. The property is partly forested with hayfields, a pond and several buildings, including a private accommodation space. The new location has provided opportunities for the AFRF to diversify and to better meet local community needs, as well as those of researchers and learners. In 2021, Wild and Immersive began offering educational programming from this new location in partnership with other local community organizations.
Physically, AFRF is subdivided into two blocks that cover a variety of biophysical geography. The Gavin Lake block (6 315 ha) is adjacent to Beaver Valley near Quesnel Lake and transitions from the Sub-boreal Spruce (SBS) to the Interior Cedar Hemlock (ICH) biogeoclimatic zones. There are lakes, streams, wetlands and gently rolling hills throughout this area. Tree species compositions include mixed stands of Douglas-fir, lodgepole pine and trembling aspen, as well as western redcedar, hybrid spruce (white x Engelmann) and subalpine fir.
The Knife Creek block (3 487 ha) near 150 Mile House and adjacent to the San Jose Valley occurs predominantly in the Interior Douglas-fir (IDF) biogeoclimatic zone with a portion transitional with the Sub-boreal Pine Spruce zone. Here the terrain is gentle and the climate is dry. Uneven-aged Douglas-fir with some lodgepole pine is the predominant tree species composition.
For more detailed information about the ecosystems of the Research Forest see “Site Units of the University of British Columbia Alex Fraser Research Forest” (13 MB).
A good road system provides access to most areas of Gavin Lake and Knife Creek Forests. High-clearance vehicles with 4-wheel drive are recommended, though Gavin Lake Camp itself can be accessed by cars and buses.
Gavin Lake Block Map (11″ x 17″ pdf)
Knife Creek Block Map (11″ x 17″ pdf)