The Nature Trust of BC has raised the final $75,000 needed to protect a vital wetland complex from development.
March 20 2023, Northern BC, Canada – Today, The Nature Trust of British Columbia, one of the province’s leading non-profit land conservation organizations, announces that it has been able to successfully purchase 235 hectares of ecologically important land, located within the Meteor Lake Wetlands – one of the largest and most biodiverse wetlands in the Upper Fraser River watershed. The property is located within the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation. Now conserved with support from the Prince George community, the land will never be sold or developed.
The property now known as Meteor Lake Wetland–Bog provides extraordinary benefits to the climate. The land contains rare peatland ecosystems which are powerful carbon sinks, trapping large amounts of greenhouse gasses, such as methane and carbon. Peatlands comprise only three per cent of the global land area and are composed of organic matter which has accumulated over the span of thousands of years without decomposing. Found sparsely in Northern BC and along the Cariboo and South Coast, peatlands currently contain 25 percent of the world’s soil carbon which is twice the amount of carbon that is absorbed by the world’s forests.
The wetlands themselves provide important services to the climate, as the bogs and fens absorb, filter, and regulate water flow which prevents catastrophic upland flooding.
Meteor Lake Wetland-Bog not only offers a host of climate regulating benefits, it provides habitat, breeding grounds, and food for Grizzly Bears and Moose as well as threatened and at-risk mammals, birds like the Northern Goshawk (SARA Schedule 1 – Threatened). There is a historical sighting of White Sturgeon (SARA Schedule 1 – Endangered) within the property and critical habitat for this ancient species is located nearby. The bog and fen ecosystems within the property also contain rare and specialized flora and fauna, including two provincially rare blue-listed ecological communities.
The purchase of this land ensures that the delicate ecosystems and vibrant biodiversity has a chance to thrive. The conservation of land is key to tackling the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship, and this project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the federal Department of Environment and Climate Change, Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund. this project was made possible by the Government of Canada through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, part of Canada’s Nature Fund. The generosity of the citizens of British Columbia and the Prince George community greatly contributed to conserving this land.
“We are incredibly grateful for the support of the Prince George community. Their awe-inspiring generosity means we are able to protect these important wetlands for generations to come. The purchase of this land will allow the peatlands to remain untouched and the species within to flourish.”
“Land conservation is a key piece of fighting climate change. We can’t fight climate change without ensuring that our ecosystems are healthy. When we protect biodiversity, we help protect our planet.”
- Jasper Lament, CEO of The Nature Trust of BC.
“The crises of biodiversity loss and climate change are distinct, yet linked, and we must work together to tackle them both. By working with partners such as the Nature Trust of British Columbia and the Province of British Columbia, and with the generosity of the Prince George community, we are helping to protect the natural environment in British Columbia and across the country. Protecting wetlands plays a vital role in helping to halt and reverse biodiversity loss and store carbon, providing climate regulating benefits. Through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, the Government of Canada is making progress toward its goal of conserving a quarter of land and water in Canada by 2025, working toward 30 percent of each by 2030.”
- The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
- The Meteor Lake Wetland-Bog conservation project is 235 hectares (580 acres) and is part of the Meteor Lake Wetlands, which are more than 2000 hectares in total.
- It is located within the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nations.
- The area contains rare and valuable peatlands which are composed of organic matter that has accumulated over thousands of years without decomposing.
- Peatlands trap large amounts of greenhouse gasses and twice the amount of carbon that is absorbed by trees.
- Peatlands comprise three percent of the global land area but contain approximately 25 percent of global soil carbon.
- Bogs and fens in the area absorb, filter, and regulate water flow, preventing flooding.
- The land provides food, breeding grounds, and habitats for Grizzly Bears, moose, and at-risk mammals, birds, and amphibians.
- The at-risk Northern Goshawk and endangered White Sturgeon are found within the area.
- The property contains bog and fen ecosystems with rare flora and fauna – including two blue-listed ecological communities.
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The Nature Trust of British Columbia is a leading non-profit land conservation organization with over 50 years of success protecting and caring for B.C.’s most critical habitats. Since 1971, The Nature Trust of BC and its partners have acquired more than 73,000 hectares (180,000 acres) of ecologically significant land to save vulnerable wildlife, fish and plants.
The Government of Canada’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program (NHCP) is a unique public-private partnership to support new protected and conserved areas by securing private lands and private interests in lands. The program is managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). Federal funds invested in the program are matched with contributions raised by NCC and its partners, Ducks Unlimited Canada and the country’s land trust community.
The Nature Trust of BC
Alicia Collyear, Account Director