A valley of intact forests, lakes and wetlands in southeastern British Columbia nearly 200 times the size of Vancouver’s Stanley Park is being preserved in an agreement with governments, Indigenous groups, a forest company and the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
The partnership to protect the Incomappleux Valley east of Revelstoke, B.C., involves Interfor Corp. giving up 75,000 hectares of its forest tenure.
The valley is a rare inland temperate rainforest with substantial areas of mature and old-growth trees, some ranging in age from 800 to 1,500 years.
The Nature Conservancy says it a statement that several species at risk are found the valley, including two endangered bats and the threatened southern mountain caribou.
The northern edge of the project abuts against Glacier National Park, which the conservancy says increases important habitat for wide-ranging animals across the southern Interior B.C. mountains.
Environment Minister George Heyman told a group gathered for the announcement at the legislature that the area is one of the few temperate rainforests in the world.
“It is a unique part of the province,” he said.
“The conservation community and people who live in the area understood and understand what an important and unique region this is and they’ve been calling for protection for many years.”
Heyman says the announcement supports the B.C. government’s commitment to protect 30 per cent of the land base by 2030.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2023.