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A force for nature

October 17, 2010

One of the most pleasureable things I’ve been doing lately is sitting on the regional board of the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC).  It is so fulfilling to be able to give advice and follow the activities of one of the best organizations around, an organization that is very active in conserving some of the most important landscapes in this country.   I’ve only been a member of the board for two or three years, but in that time NCC has purchased properties such as Darkwoods, a 130,000-acre mountain range full of grizzlies and caribou, strategically located just north of the US border in the Selkirk Mountains.  My favourite habitat is the grassland mosaic of the intermountain valleys here in southern BC (and throughout the West), so when I heard NCC had bought a big parcel of the Frolek Ranch near Kamloops I was ecstatic.  This parcel included Lac du Bois, one of the prettiest and most bird-rich lakes in the BC Interior.  And the list goes on.

Peak in Darkwoods

At our recent meeting in Kamloops, our Okanagan-Thompson manager Barb Pryce showed us around the Lac du Bois area, then a small but exquisite piece of arid rockscape called Rattlesnake Bluff.  While a small property–only 10 acres in size–it is critical habitat for local bighorn sheep and dry country creatures such as rattlesnakes.  It was donated to NCC by local residents Phil and Arlene Thiemer, who bought it when they heard of plans to turn it into a gravel pit.

Lac du Bois

I also sit on the national Conservation Committee of NCC, so I’m involved in regional conservation plans across the country.  I recently traveled to Halifax for our annual board meeting, where the local staff showed us recent purchases in Musquodoboit Harbour that protect critical marine shoreline habitats.


Semipalmated Plover lands on Martinique Beach at the mouth of Musquodoboit Harbour

If you’d like to know more about the Nature Conservancy of Canada, visit their website.  And consider becoming a Force for Nature by signing up for a monthly donation–it’s the best investment you’ll ever make.

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