Wildlife conservation efforts in southeast B.C. received a big boost today with a new agreement between the Province and Ducks Unlimited Canada to jointly operate the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area for the next 30 years.
Ducks Unlimited Canada will invest $850,000 in the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in 2012 to improve wetland habitats and upgrade the site's water management. The work will include a detailed restoration plan, increased community engagement, a long-term strategic plan, and an evaluation of public education and outreach programs.
In 2008, the provincial government initiated a review of the Creston Valley WMA's management structure and financial sustainability. As a result of that review, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations will designate the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area under the Wildlife Act and bring its governance structure into line with B.C.'s 22 other WMAs.
The partnership with Ducks Unlimited Canada will put the facility on a more sound financial footing and allow the site to thrive as an internationally recognized nature sanctuary for decades to come.
The Creston Valley WMA is a crucial link in a long chain of wetland habitats that stretches from the Arctic Ocean to California and features a remarkable diversity of animals and plants. Over 300 species of birds and about 80 other animal species have been documented, some of which are extremely rare.
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson -
"The B.C. government is committed to protecting this important ecosystem, and it welcomes Ducks Unlimited Canada's involvement to help restore and manage the site over the next three decades. This agreement will greatly assist the operation of the Creston Valley WMA and further enhance its international reputation."
Brad Arner, manager of provincial operations for Ducks Unlimited Canada in B.C. -
"Ducks Unlimited Canada is looking forward to working with the ministry and Creston Valley WMA staff to restore and improve the site's outstanding wetland habitats. This area is home to hundreds of fascinating animal and plant species that will benefit from this partnership for many years to come."
- A wildlife management area is a piece of property that has been recognized by the provincial government as having particular ecological significance. The designation of a WMA under the Wildlife Act promotes the protection, conservation and management of important species and habitats within that area.
- The Creston Valley WMA is located in a natural flood plain between the Purcell and Selkirk mountains, just south of Kootenay Lake. It covers 7,000 hectares and features lakes, diked marshlands, sloughs and areas containing grasslands, shrubs and forests.
- There are currently 23 wildlife management areas throughout British Columbia. They range in size from 17 hectares (the Coquitlam River WMA) to over 122,000 hectares (the Todagin WMA).
- The provincial government has established similar partnerships with Ducks Unlimited Canada in other wildlife management areas in B.C., such as the Pitt-Addington Marsh WMA in the Fraser Valley.
Ducks Unlimited Canada in B.C.: www.ducks.ca/province/bc/index.html
Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area: www.crestonwildlife.ca
Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations