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Canada expands its biggest private land conservation project

Date: 05-Aug-19
Author: Doug Donnellan

British Columbia is well known to nature lovers, possessing spectacular alpine vistas. Image: Richard Main/Unsplash © Richard Main/Unsplash

British Columbia is well known to nature lovers, possessing spectacular alpine vistas. Image: Richard Main/Unsplash

In 2008, the Darkwoods Conservation Area in British Columbia (BC), Canada became the largest private land acquisition for conservation in the country’s history.

Last month, it became even bigger when the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) added 7,900 hectares of rare rainforest located in its centre. This 14 percent increase brings the total area to roughly 60,000 hectares of protected land.

This land acquisition encompasses the Next Creek watershed, which was privately owned and at high risk of development and unsustainable industrial activity. In a press statement, Nancy Newhouse, the BC regional vice-president for the NCC said:

“Conserving the Next Creek watershed and expanding the Darkwoods Conservation Area presented an incredible opportunity to fulfill a conservation vision that started over a decade ago. 

This particular area, located within the South Selkirk Mountains, is known as a “snow forest” as it gets most of its moisture from snow. This natural phenomenon is extremely rare and only occurs in very few places on the planet. As such, it is an extremely important habitat for many species listed on Canada’s Species At Risk Act (SARA), including the grizzly bear, wolverine, mountain caribou and the peregrine falcon.

In order to purchase the land and fund its long-term management, nearly $20 million was raised from private donors, businesses, foundations and governments. The BC Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, George Heyman said that protecting the area was of critical importance.

“This area provides vital habitat for wildlife, including threatened species. We are committed to preserving B.C.’s natural legacy as Canada’s most biologically diverse province with the highest percentage of protected areas.”

 

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Doug                                              Donnellan
Author: Doug Donnellan

Doug joined Planet Ark's Information Centre team in April 2019 after completing a Master's of Sustainability. As a professional chef with his own catering business, Doug possesses a strong interest in food sustainability.



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