Wildlife habitat on central Vancouver Island is better protected today following new additions to the Parksville-Qualicum Beach Wildlife Management Area.
Today's announcement by Ron Cantelon, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum, was made at a kickoff event for the 2013 Brant Wildlife Festival held at Top Bridge Park, overlooking the Englishman River. The vantage point provided a clear view of the approximately 93 hectares of territory being added to the existing Parksville-Qualicum Beach Wildlife Management Area, increasing its overall size to 1,245 hectares.
These new additions, comprised of land owned by The Nature Trust of BC and leased to the Ministry, include a five-kilometre stretch of riparian habitat along the Englishman River which will help sustain a sensitive steelhead trout fishery and protect community water supplies.
The Parksville-Qualicum Beach Wildlife Management Area was first established in 1993 and last enlarged in 2001. The 2001 expansion (156 hectares), comprised about 14.5 kilometres of habitat along the Englishman River downstream of the Englishman River Falls and an additional 5 km along Morison Creek. This addition enhanced the integrity of the Wildlife Management Area connecting the estuary to Englishman River Falls Provincial Park.
The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations works to maintain and restore the province's ecological diversity of fish and wildlife species and their habitats. One way the ministry meets these goals is through the management of the province's various types of conservation lands, including the establishment of wildlife management areas under Section 4 of the Wildlife Act. This designation gives the ministry additional tools to manage the land and associated land uses.
Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations -
"Wildlife Management Areas represent a strong tool in protecting critical wildlife habitat. Our government will continue to seek new opportunities like this one to establish or expand this valuable conservation tool."
Ron Cantelon, Parksville-Qualicum MLA -
"The success of the Brant Wildlife Festival is an example of how committed the people of Parksville-Qualicum are to wildlife and wildlife habitat. Today's announcement confirms that the government shares that commitment."
Dr. Jasper Lament, CEO, Nature Trust of BC -
"The Nature Trust is proud to work with the Province and all local governments in making this addition to the Parksville-Qualicum Beach WMA possible. The addition of 93 hectares of Nature Trust lands to the WMA is another milestone in over 30 years of partnership-driven conservation in the Englishman River watershed and estuary. Together we are working to protect the fish and wildlife habitat at the landscape scale."
- Currently there are 26 wildlife management areas in B.C. ranging in size from the 17-hectare Coquitlam River wildlife management area to the 122,500-hectare Todagin wildlife management area in northwestern B.C.
- More than 236,000 hectares in the province are now designated as wildlife management areas.
- Several partners assist the Province with the background work required to recommend sites for designation including Ducks Unlimited Canada, the Nature Trust of BC, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and the Canadian Wildlife Service of Environment Canada. The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation also contributes funding to help with designations and for day-to-day management of the sites after they are designated.
For a photo of the area, and a high-resolution map showing the additions to the Parksville-Qualicum Wildlife Management Area, visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bcgovphotos/sets/72157632978024545/
For other information about Wildlife Management Areas in British Columbia, visit: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/habitat/conservation-lands/docs/wma_qa_032013.pdf
To learn more about the Nature Trust of BC, visit: www.naturetrust.bc.ca
To learn more about the Brant Wildlife Festival, visit: http://brantfestival.bc.ca/
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations