Wells Gray Wildlife Corridor
20 August 2012
Hi there!The Land Conservancy of British Columbia has lately taken on a major conservation project in the Clearwater Valley. It’s called the Wells Gray Wildlife Corridor Project, and I thought you might like to hear about it.
At the heart of the Project is the establishment of a permanent wildlife corridor to ensure safe passage for the park’s large mammals – moose, wolf, deer, cougar, black bear and grizzly bear – as they migrate between their summer range in the mountains to the east and their winter range in the valley to the west.
At the present time these summer and winter ranges are separated by a narrow strip of private land along the Wells Gray Park road. The park’s wildlife must “trespass” across these private properties twice each year in order to perform their annual migrations.
Housing development has lately alienated several traditional wildlife crossing points, while future development threatens to block many more. At the present time it would be relatively affordable to secure a permanent wildlife corridor for Wells Gray’s wildlife, though this will soon change as properties change hands and development continues. This is why we urgently need to create a wildlife corridor now, before it becomes too costly to do so.And there’s more. Besides strengthening Wells Gray’s conservation values, the Wildlife Corridor Project will also protect critical wildlife habitat, create opportunities for wildlife viewing, and foster wildland education and research.
Lately my neighbours John and Edwina Kurta donated 31 ha of ecologically sensitive wetlands in support of this project, while the B.C. Land Conservancy has now purchased another 3 ha. For my part, I’ll soon donate my home and 3 ha of biodiverse land to this project (staying on as caretaker). TLC is now fundraising for the remaining parcels critical to the project.
Compared to other similar conservation ventures, the Wells Gray Wildlife Corridor Project comes at remarkably low cost. In its first phase it needs only about $350,000 to permanently secure 110 acres of land.
Thanks so much for your help!
P.S. To get TLC's fundraising campaign off the ground, last year I put an undescribed species of lichen up for auction. The winning bidder got to give this species – currently known only from Wells Gray Park – a name: Parmelia sulymae. The auction was a wonderful success as you’ll see if you click here.