Nature Trust of BC Launches Fundraising Campaign to Conserve an Essential Wildlife Corridor in the East Kootenay
The Nature Trust of British Columbia, one of the province’s leading non-profit land conservation organizations, announces a fundraising campaign to raise the last $300,000 needed to protect 182 hectares (450 acres) of an important wildlife corridor.
The area is located between the communities of Kimberley and Cranbrook and within the traditional territory of the Ktunaxa First Nation.
The public can assist The Nature Trust of BC purchase and protect Wycliffe Wildlife Corridor – Wycliffe Prairie with a donation to the campaign.
“The ecological diversity of Wycliffe Prairie is spectacular. From grasslands and forests to wetlands, this area provides important habitat for endangered species and iconic mammals, like the Grizzly Bear and Rocky Mountain elk. If we can protect this property, we can increase connectivity for wildlife and support biodiversity in the Kootenay and beyond.” says Dr. Jasper Lament, CEO of The Nature Trust of BC.
The Wycliffe Wildlife Corridor — Wycliffe Prairie is located within the very hot and very dry Interior Douglas-fir biogeoclimatic ecosystem classification unit.
Provincially, only 4.9 per cent of this ecological unit is conserved. The land consists predominantly of rare native grassland, which covers 89 per cent of this parcel. Grasslands comprise less than one per cent of BC’s landscape, yet these ecologically rich ecosystems provide habitat for over 30 per cent of BC’s at-risk species.
The area’s wetlands, lakes, and creeks also support a diverse range of migratory birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. The area is home to many species listed under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA), including the Species of Special Concern Long-billed Curlew, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Western Toad, and Western Painted Turtle, the Threatened Barn Swallow, Lewis’s Woodpecker, and Common Nighthawk, and the Endangered Williamson’s Sapsucker and American Badger.
The parcel is adjacent to The Nature Trust of BC’s 364-hectare (900 acre) Wycliffe Wildlife Corridor Conservation Complex alongside additional lands conserved by the Province and the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
Once this land, known as Wycliffe Wildlife Corridor — Wycliffe Prairie, is protected, the combined total of conservation land in this multi-partner Wycliffe Conservation Complex will be more than 1450 hectares (3500+ acres).
This ecologically diverse area contains native grassland, along with mixed forest, wetlands, riparian habitat along Luke Creek, and two small lakes. The parcel is part of a critical wildlife movement corridor that connects Grizzly Bear habitats and includes a Class 1 Ungulate Winter Range for Mule Deer, White-tailed Deer, and Elk.
Purchasing this property will protect the land and the many species that depend on it forever.
“It is our responsibility to protect Wycliffe Prairie. When we invest in conservation, we invest in our planet and our future. Together, with the support of our donors, we can safeguard both our climate and biodiversity,” says Dr. Jasper Lament.
The purchase of Wycliffe Wildlife Corridor — Wycliffe Prairie demonstrates The Nature Trust of BC’s steadfast commitment to conserving British Columbia’s most important and vulnerable ecosystems to benefit biodiversity and help mitigate the impact of climate change in our province.
The funds must be raised by March 31, 2024.
Anyone wanting to donate can do so by clicking this link.
The Nature Trust of British Columbia is a leading non-profit land conservation organization with over 50 years of success protecting and caring for B.C.’s most critical habitats. Since 1971, The Nature Trust of BC and its partners have acquired more than 73,000 hectares (180,000 acres) of ecologically significant land to save vulnerable wildlife, fish and plants.