With a $200,000 target, the nonprofit is hoping to purchase the land and conserve it
The extinction of a species starts at home. As habitats dwindle in the face of urbanization and other threats, conservation efforts to maintain or restore land are a major determinant of whether threatened species can make it out alive.
B.C.’s Shoal Creek estuary, located in the Great Bear Rainforest, is an immature forest that was logged in the 1990s. The land contains Indigenous cultural heritage and is home to some of the most rare and endangered species in the world. Nature Trust of BC, a nonprofit that’s conserved 178,000 acres of local land over the last 50 years, recently launched a crowdfunding campaign with a $200,000 target to acquire the estuary.
Nature Trust of BC. Grizzly bears in Shoal Creek estuary
“The funds will be used toward purchasing the property from the current landowner and then caring for the land into the future,” says CEO Jasper Lament, who joined Nature Trust of BC 10 years ago. “Every time we purchase property, we fundraise for the long-term stewardship of the land. Forever's a long time, so it's important to have the resources to take care of these properties.”
Categorized as “Class 2” (highly important) in terms of ecological value by the Pacific Estuary Conservation Program (PECP), Shoal Creek is on the migration path of millions of birds, meaning what happens here will have a ripple effect on international conservation efforts. The estuary hosts animals such as coho, pink and chum salmon, grizzly bears and nine at-risk birds (including Brandt’s cormorant, western grebe, barn swallow, and the great blue heron). Red-listed plant communities also call this land home, like the tufted hairgrass-meadow barley, American glasswort, sea milkwort, and lyngbye sedge.
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“The motivation there is to use land conservation as a nature-based solution to climate change,” adds Lament, who grew up watching David Attenborough documentaries and completed a PhD in fish biology at the University of Miami. “Our goal is to protect these important habitats while we still can. Land conservation, buying ecologically important land and caring for it, is just a powerful solution to climate change.”
To support the Nature Trust of BC in purchasing and protecting 320 acres of land in the Great Bear Rainforest, donate here by May 30, 2022.