Awarded (over two years) to The Nature Trust of BC towards the purchase of 171 ha of high value land for conservation located north of Radium.
PROPONENT: The Nature Trust of BC
DESCRIPTION: In recent years, the Columbia Valley has experienced a marked increase in development and land use that rarely complements environmental conservation principles. The region possesses significant biodiversity values, including both ecosystems and species of conservation concern. While the region benefits from some land protections and conservation measures, more is needed to ensure that the biological integrity of the Columbia Valley is maintained or, even enhanced from its present state.
At 171.5 hectares in size, the Columbia River Wetlands-Edgewater property contains a mosaic of habitats, including: open forest (primarily Douglas-Fir), shrubsteppe, grassland, wetland and riparian floodplain. Located within a biogeoclimatic zone of provincial conservation concern, the very dry cool Interior Douglas Fir, it also serves as critical habitat for many species, including the Red-listed American Badger (SARA Schedule 1 – Endangered) and the Blue-listed Grizzly Bear (SARA Schedule 1 – Special Concern). Located alongside the Columbia Wetlands Wildlife Management Area, its wetland complex is contiguous with the Columbia Wetlands RAMSAR site, designated as a Wetland of International Importance because of the significant migratory bird habitat in the area.
By securing this ecologically significant property with considerable financial support from the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund, The Nature Trust of BC has forever removed it from the threat of development in an area that has seen many invaluable valley-bottom lands converted to residential, industrial and commercial land uses.
OBJECTIVE: The property functions as a wildlife corridor by creating a linkage up and down the river valley, while also providing some connectivity across the valley, from the Rocky Mountains to the Purcell Ranges. Its securement will contribute to landscape level biodiversity conservation in the Columbia Valley by adding to 539 hectares of existing TNTBC conservation land, while also tying into the 1,002-hectare Columbia National Wildlife Area and the 16,952-hectare provincial Columbia Wetlands Wildlife Management Area.
This property’s values will certainly benefit the Upper Columbia Valley from a conservation perspective. From a social standpoint, this project contributes to healthy ecosystems, which are vital to a resilient economy and high quality of life for Columbia Valley residents, and strengthens human connection and appreciation of the natural world by providing hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities (The Nature Trust of BC manages public use for non-mechanized recreation on the property).