British Columbia

Feds, B.C. expand protected habitat for 40 species at risk in B.C.'s Darkwoods

A conservation area in British Columbia's southeast mountains is being expanded with the help of the federal and provincial governments.

Conservation area to be expanded by nearly 8,000 hectares

A view from Darkwood Mountain, looking north. (Gordon MacPherson/Nature Conservancy of Canada)

A conservation area in British Columbia's southeast mountains is being expanded by almost 8,000 hectares with the help of federal and provincial government contributions totalling $14.6 million.

The Darkwoods Conservation Area, located along Kootenay Lake between Nelson and Creston, provides habitat for 40 species at risk, including grizzly bear, wolverine, mountain caribou and whitebark pine trees.

Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and B.C. Environment Minister George Heyman say the joint government investment reflects commitments to protect threatened species.

B.C.'s Darkwoods Conservation Area, located along Kootenay Lake between Nelson and Creston, provides habitat for 40 species at risk including grizzly bears. (Grant MacHutchon/Nature Conservancy of Canada)

Nature Conservancy of Canada spokesman Andrew Holland says the funds will ensure habitat areas for the species at risk receive required conservation protections.

He says the Darkwoods expansion will protect watersheds in areas threatened by industrial and recreational activities.

The expansion is part of the conservancy's goal to raise $25 million to increase conservation efforts in the Canadian Rockies region.

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