Crowdfunding campaign aims to protect three ecosystems, including a rare wetland in the Kootenays

Crowdfunding for wetlands

It's a crowdfunding campaign to save three parcels of land in BC and their valuable habitat and ecosystems.

The Nature Trust of BC is making an end-of-year push to raise the remaining $265,000 needed to protect three critical areas of BC, including the Columbia Lake North-Wetlands.

The wetlands are located at the north end of Columbia Lake, in the unincorporated community of Fairmont Hot Springs and within the traditional territory of the Ktunaxa Nation and the Secwepemc (Shuswap Band).

They cover 165 acres (67 hectares) of rare riparian ecosystems with pockets of dry forest with old-growth characteristics. The area is within a biogeoclimatic zone of conservation concern and is designated as a Wetland of International Importance (Ramsar).

The Columbia Lake North-Wetlands provide habitat for several species of waterfowl, including Trumpeter Swans. Making it a conservation area could protect at-risk and endangered species such as the Red-listed American Badger, Barn Swallow and Western Painted Turtle.

The two other properties the land trust wants to acquire are the Meteor Lake Wetland-Bog in northern BC and the Saturna Island-Mount Fisher Bluffs.

The Meteor Lake Wetland-Bog contains rare peatlands which trap twice the amount of carbon dioxide as trees and comprise only 3 per cent of the global land area.

The Saturna Island-Mount Fisher Bluffs contain Garry Oak ecosystems with rare plants and is within the Coastal Douglas-fir biogeoclimatic subzone, one of the smallest and most at-risk Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification zones in BC.

The trust hopes to raise the $265,000 by Dec. 31, 2022, to ensure the properties will be protected as conservation land, ensuring that they cannot be developed or sold.

“The importance of conserving these rich and vibrant ecosystems is immense. Climate change and biodiversity loss have a crippling effect on our world. By helping us conserve these crucial parcels of land, donors are helping us create a natural solution for climate change, while helping us protect at-risk wildlife for generations to come.” said Dr. Jasper Lament, CEO of The Nature Trust of BC.

To help raise the remaining $70,000 for the Columbia Lake-North Wetlands you can donate here.

The trust needs to raise $35,000 for the Meteor Lake Wetland-Bog and $50,000 for the Saturna Island-Mount Fisher Bluffs.

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