Environment

B.C.’s parks and protected areas continues to grow

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Environment

B.C.’s parks and protected areas continues to grow

Media Contacts
Media Relations
Ministry of Environment 250 953-3834
Media Contacts
Media Relations
Ministry of Environment 250 953-3834

Backgrounders

Descriptions of a new Class A park, expanded Class A parks, an expanded conservancy and a boundary adjustment

Ancient Forest/Chun T’oh Whudujut Park (11,190 hectares): This proposed new Class A park is located 120 kilometres east of Prince George along Highway 16, adjacent to Slim Creek Provincial Park. The Ancient Forest is part of the Interior Cedar Hemlock forest, the only known inland temperate rainforest on earth. It is home to some of the rarest and largest western red cedar trees in B.C. – several of the trees are more than 1,000 years old, with trunks measuring up to 16 metres around. The forest also provides habitat to a diverse range of species, such as lichens. The area is also important for public recreation. Under an agreement with the BC Recreation Sites and Trails program, the Caledonia Ramblers Hiking Society has built and maintains three kilometres of walking trails in the Ancient Forest, including a 500-metre wheelchair accessible boardwalk.

Halkett Bay Marine Park Addition (136 hectares): The foreshore addition to this park will protect significant marine life. The park is located on the southeastern shore of Gambier Island in Howe Sound, 15 kilometres from Horseshoe Bay. Recently, an extremely rare glass sponge reef was discovered near the park. The glass sponge reef southeast of Gambier Island is unique in that it is located in only 30 metres of water, a rare occurrence. Such reefs are usually found only in very deep waters, which is the situation for most Howe Sound locations. The sponge reef at Gambier Island is therefore accessible to scientists and scuba divers – making this sponge reef one of the few locations in the world where this is possible. The total area of this park will be 448 hectares.

Okanagan Mountain Park Addition (263 hectares): The addition to this park, located on the east side of Okanagan Lake, is located next to the newly-established Johns Family Nature Conservancy Regional Park. In addition to providing an important protection buffer to the neighbouring regional park, this land supports habitat for species at risk, including the western rattlesnake, bighorn sheep and Lewis woodpecker. The proposed addition may eventually include a trail to link hikers to the adjacent regional park. The total area of Okanagan Mountain Park will be 11,296 hectares.

Prudhomme Lake Park Addition (4.1 hectares): This is a popular recreational and camping area located 16 kilometres east of Prince Rupert. A 2.2 hectare private land parcel was acquired to resolve an access issue. The acquisition of this parcel ensures that the trails from the campground to the lake are maintained. A small area of foreshore (1.9 hectares) is also being added to the park. The total area of Prudhomme Lake Park will be 9 hectares.

Sheemahant Conservancy Addition (28.5 hectares): Two sections of former forestry road and a cutting permit that are no longer required for forestry purposes are being added to the conservancy. These areas were excluded from the conservancy when it was established in 2007. The added area includes stands of coastal rainforest that help protect habitat for wildlife, including grizzly bears. The Sheemahant Conservancy borders Owikeno Lake, in the remote temperate rainforest of B.C.’s central coast. The total area of Sheemahant Conservancy will be 1,015 hectares.

sx̌ʷəx̌ʷnitkʷ Park Addition (0.4 hectares): This addition to sx̌ʷəx̌ʷnitkʷ Park (formerly known as Okanagan Falls Park), located in the town of Okanagan Falls, was purchased from the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen. The site may accommodate some minor expansion of the camping opportunities and day use activities in the park. sx̌ʷəx̌ʷnitkʷ Park is currently operated and maintained by the Osoyoos Indian Band. The total area of sx̌ʷəx̌ʷnitkʷ Park will be 2.6 hectares.

Tweedsmuir Park Addition (98 hectares): This addition to the south part of Tweedsmuir Park, near Bella Coola, results from a donation of two parcels of private land. The area being added to the park is adjacent to Stillwater Lake, in the Atarnko River watershed at the eastern end of the Bella Coola Valley. The remote wilderness area contains important salmon spawning and feeding grounds, as well as habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife. The total area of Tweedsmuir Park will be 989,714 hectares.

Nahatlatch Park – Boundary Adjustment: Nahatlach Park, in the Fraser Valley, is home to one of the largest intact wetlands remaining in the Lower Mainland. There are three lakes in the park, which flow into the Nahatlatch River. This boundary adjustment removes 1.2 hectares of land as part of a negotiated settlement with the Boston Bar First Nation to resolve an access issue.

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