The Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC) Kootenay River Ranch Conservation Area in the East Kootenay just got bigger. The addition of 260 hectares (637 acres) will enhance conservation efforts in the Rocky Mountain Trench, south of Canal Flats.
With support from Columbia Basin Trust and other funding partners including the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, the Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program, and the Collings Stevens Family Foundation, these additional lands will connect the NCC’s existing Kootenay River Ranch and Griffiths Nature Reserve to create a contiguous conservation area totalling 1,711 hectares (4,228 acres).
“The Nature Conservancy of Canada is grateful for the ongoing support from our partners and the community as we work to conserve and enhance natural habitats in Rocky Mountain Trench,” says Richard Klafki, Canadian Rockies Program Director with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. “The rolling hills, beautiful bunchgrass and open forest of the Kootenay River Ranch Conservation Area is prime wildlife habitat, especially in the winter for elk and deer. We look forward to doing restoration projects on these new lands to improve the habitat for all the native
Made up of prime grassland and open forest habitat, these lands feature native bunchgrass savannah with areas of ponderosa pine, larch, and Douglas-fir forest, and even a small wetland. Badgers, bears, elk, deer and many species of birds are just some of the wildlife that rely on these wild lands for their survival. The valley-bottom habitat supports several species at risk, including grizzly bear, American badger and Lewis’s woodpecker.
“We’re pleased to support this land acquisition that will expand the Kootenay River Ranch Conservation Area to see important ecological benefits,” says Johnny Strilaeff, Columbia Basin Trust President and CEO. “Congratulations to all of the partners for their efforts to make this project happen.”
To conserve areas like Kootenay River Ranch, the Trust helps communities and organizations acquire key pieces of land to advance community and regional priorities including the protection of ecological values. Since 1998, the Trust has helped preserve over 113,000 hectares of ecologically valuable private land.
To learn more about the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Kootenay River Ranch project, visit here.