Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna in Saanich, B.C. (Wolfgang Depner/Black Press Media)

Feds, B.C. to expand Darkwoods Conservation area

New funding allows the national land trust to add some 7,900 hectares to the Darkwoods Conservation Area

A conservation area near Creston and Nelson is being expanded by nearly 8,000 hectares as the federal government moves to protect critical habitat for species-at-risk such as Grizzly bears.

Catherine McKenna, federal minister of the environment, made the announcement Wednesday in Saanich, where she and her provincial environment minister George Heyman said both government would contribute a combined total of $14.65 million towards the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NNC).

This funding allows the national land trust to add some 7,900 hectares to the Darkwoods Conservation Area by adding the area around the Next Creek. It extends from Kootenay Lake into the centre of the conservation area and represents the last missing piece in a large conservation puzzle that extends over 1,100 square-kilometres.

McKenna said the expansion will help protect 39 species-at-risk and represents a piece of Canada’s ongoing response to protect the natural environment in light of climate change, with such areas acting as carbon sinks.

“Climate change is having an impact across the country, and across the world,” she said, pointing towards the current wildfires in California that have killed dozens and destroyed hundreds of homes. “We need to take climate action, and nature is also part of the solution. Protecting areas like this [acting as carbon sinks] are incredibly important as we move forward to tackle climate change.”

It also promises to create a contiguous conservation almost double the size of Banff National Park benefitting local Grizzly populations.

Michael Proctor, lead Canadian researcher with the Trans-border Grizzly Bear Project, praised the purchase.

“Over the past 15 years, human-caused mortality of grizzly bears has declined, their numbers are increasing and connectivity between beer populations [is] re-establishing,” he said. “NNC has been at the centre of this success story.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nine new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases since the pandemic started is now at 531 for the region

Kaslo councillor admits to ‘baiting’ member of public in email exchange

Kaslo Village Council to consider adopting code of conduct

Nicole Charlwood to run for Green Party

Charlwood was previously the Greens local campaign manager

Tanya Finley named Liberal candidate for Nelson-Creston

Finley is president of the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce

Terry Tiessen to run as Libertarian candidate in Nelson-Creston

Tiessen previously ran in the 2019 federal election

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

B.C. food and beverage producers set record sales in 2019

Farmed salmon again leads international exports

Most Read