VICTORIA – The Province of British Columbia and the Nature Conservancy of Canada have partnered to ensure the continued protection of several ecologically sensitive properties formerly owned by The Land Conservancy of BC (TLC).
The Province has committed $1 million and will assume ownership of several of the 26 conservation properties transferred from TLC to the Nature Conservancy of Canada in September 2015. The Province‘s contribution supports the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s agreement with TLC, which required a cash contribution to assist in the repayment of TLC’s creditors.
These high-priority properties contain some of the most biodiverse habitats in B.C., and are home to a wide variety of wildlife.
In October, the Province assumed ownership of the following properties:
3.7 hectares (two land parcels) along the Cowichan River on Vancouver Island, which includes streamside habitat with a maple forest grove and rare wildflowers.
45 hectares on the Similkameen River, featuring a rare riparian floodplain and upland grasslands habitat for species at risk, which is part of the South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area.
35 hectares known as the Woods Family property, which provides habitat for bighorn sheep and is adjacent to Syringa Park near Castlegar.
The Province intends to add these properties to existing parks and protected areas within the next five years. Additional properties to be acquired as part of this partnership will be announced next year.
“The Nature Conservancy of Canada was extremely motivated to ensure these important properties remain protected, and to uphold the expectations of the donors who had originally contributed to their conservation,” said Nancy Newhouse, B.C. Regional Vice President with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. “We are grateful for the support of the Province in helping to ensure these conservation lands will continue to be part of the British Columbia’s incredible conservation legacy.”
“I am thrilled that the Province and the Nature Conservancy of Canada worked together to ensure these important properties remain protected for future generations to enjoy. These lands will complement B.C.’s already beautiful world-renowned parks system,” said the Honourable Mary Polak, B.C. Minister of Environment.
There are 1,029 provincial parks, recreation areas, conservancies, ecological reserves and protected areas covering more than 14 million hectares or approximately 14.4% of the provincial land base
British Columbia has one of the largest protected areas systems in North America.
One of the largest park systems in the world, British Columbia has the highest percentage of its land base dedicated to protected areas of all provincial Canadian jurisdictions.
Since 2004, the system of Class A parks, conservancies, ecological reserves and protected areas has increased by more than 3.3 million hectares.
Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to protect more than 2.7 million acres of land (1.1 million hectares) coast-to-coast
The Nature Conservancy of Canada is the nation’s leading land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped to protect more than 2.7 million acres (over 1.1 million hectares), coast to coast. Over one-third of these acres are in British Columbia. www.natureconservancy.ca/bc
To learn more about BC Parks, visit http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/.
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Lesley Marian Neilson
British Columbia Region