Cass field station
The Cass Mountain Research Area (CMRA) consists of 1775 ha of eastern South Island mountain land located in the Cass River basin, upper Waimakariri River catchment, North Canterbury. Sometimes referred to as the Cass Field Station (or earlier as the Canterbury College Mountain Biological Station) or as the Cass Scientific Reserve, the research area is wholly owned and operated by the University of Canterbury. The CMRA is located on part of the land that was given to the University of Canterbury (as the Canterbury College) by the then Provincial Government as an endowment for the promotion of superior education. The main purpose of the CMRA is to provide research and learning opportunities for UC staff and students.
The CMRA comprises two prominent peaks, Cass Hill (1098m) and Sugarloaf (1359m), as well as river terraces and alluvial fans. The Cass Basin forms part of the mid-Waimakariri intermontane river basin in the central South Island and provides a very wide range of environments - montane grasslands, scrub, riverbed, scree, beech forest, swamp, bog, lake, stream and alpine habitats can all be reached by day trips on foot. In addition, day trips by vehicle can be made to the subalpine and alpine habitats of the Craigieburn Range or Arthurs Pass on the main divide of the Southern Alps.
History of Cass field station
The history of the Cass Field Station is described in the publication "CASS: History and Science in the Cass District, Canterbury, New Zealand", written by E. Percival & C.J. Burrows.
There is a wide variety of flora in the Cass Mountain Research Area. A checklist has been compiled to offer more information on the plant life that can be found.
Weather information for Cass
Live weather data and a weather forecast for Cass can be viewed at Cass weather. The weather station has been installed by the National Rural Fire Service and is part of the national network used to monitor for rural fire risk levels.