Happy birthday Nature Conservancy of Canada
Fifty years ago an amazing event occurred. It was the early 1960s, and a small band of enthusiastic nature‐loving Canadians had a bold idea.
Concerned about the damage to the natural world they saw all around them, they launched a program to take direct, private action to protect natural spaces and promote conservation.
At the time it was an audacious plan.
It was also the birth of the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
This November the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) celebrates 50 years of conservation from coast to coast, boasting over 2.6 million acres of ecologically important land and water conserved.
“Partnerships are at the heart of our success – with donors, landowners, governments, corporations, local communities, First Nations, universities and other environmental groups,” said Linda Hannah, BC Regional Vice President, NCC.
“By working together with all people who share our mission, we have been able to protect and celebrate BC’s unparalleled natural heritage.”
In British Columbia NCC has helped to protect over 1 million acres representing all of BC’s diverse natural landscapes, including important natural habitat in the Kootenays.
- Darkwoods – 550 km2 of mountains, forests and rivers near Nelson that offer critical habitat to an endangered herd of mountain caribou and an isolated grizzly bear population
- Columbia Lake–Lot 48 – for decades the only unprotected parcel on the east side of Columbia Lake, NCC’s brought a conservation solution to a contentious community land use issue
- Mt. Broadwood – this spectacular mountain offers a challenging hike to outdoors enthusiasts as well as prime habitat for moose, elk, grizzl bear and other wildlife.
Across BC other important projects have included:
- Frolek Ranch – a conservation partnership with one of BC’s oldest family ranches protects both rare native grassland and a way of life in the Thompson‐Nicola Valley
- Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve – this living laboratory for conservation scientists across North America was selected as the site of BC’s first western bluebird reintroduction project
- Campbell River Estuary – once an industrial wasteland, NCC’s restoration efforts have revitalized a thriving natural habitat for salmon, eagles, bears and many other species and created the popular Baikie Island Nature Reserve
- Central Coast – over 1,400 acres of private land in the Great Bear Rainforest are now protected as NCC conservation areas.
NCC is reaching this significant milestone in very good standing as a non‐profit organization.
Rated the top environmental charity in MoneySense’s 2012 Charity 100 listing for the third year in a row, NCC received an A+ for its fiscal responsibility – the only environmental charity to do so.
“Prior to making our commitment we researched NCC’s work and reputation. We were extremely impressed with their organization, people and capabilities,” said NCC donors Bob and Caron Redgate who have given generously to support Darkwoods.
“Their science‐based approach ensures conservation work of an enduring value that has the support of local communities. We felt there was no better way of preserving our nation’s spectacular natural heritage than through a contribution to NCC.”
The British Columbia Region is celebrating NCC’s 50th anniversary on November 21 in Victoria with a special public evening event featuring Bob McDonald, of CBC’s Quirks and Quarks.
For more information about the celebration, go to www.natureconservancy.ca/bc