A Western screech-owl sits motionless on its perch in the evergreens, a trumpeter swan calls from the grasses, a beaver’s tail slaps against the wetland water, while the river flows by the stony shores. Between Mission and Hope lies a stretch of the Fraser River so ecologically diverse and productive, it has been called the “Heart of the Fraser.”
The Heart of the Fraser is a marvelous stretch of the river. This area is prime spawning habitat for salmon and white sturgeon and serves as a nursery for millions of baby salmon every year. The Nature Trust has conserved almost 700 acres in this area beginning with the Chehalis Conservancy in 1978 and most recently adding Nicomen Slough Conservation Area in 2019.
The Nature Trust of BC acquired the Nicomen Slough Conservation Area thanks to the generous donation of conservation-minded land owners through the Federal Ecological Gifts Program. Now, The Nature Trust must raise funds to restore parts of the property back to its natural state and ensure the property remains a suitable habitat for wildlife.
The 11.6-hectare Nicomen Slough Conservation Area is where Inch Creek and Norrish Creek join the Fraser River. This property protects a portion of the rich riparian ecosystem in the Heart of the Fraser – an area that is increasingly threatened with development and habitat loss. Approximately one third of the Nicomen Slough Conservation Area is in a relatively natural state with the remainder being significantly disturbed.
Nicomen Slough is located in an area of continental significance to waterfowl, who stop in the area during their migrations. More than 100 trumpeter swans spend the winter in the area, alongside owls, ducks and great blue heron. River otters, muskrat and beavers share the land with birds, fish and plant life.
“The Nicomen Slough Conservation Area provides important habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife in the Heart of the Fraser,” said Carl McNaughton, Nature Trust of BC land manager. “The fish and wildlife habitat potential for this site is fantastic. With land management and enhancement efforts, we can make it even better. ”
Earth Day 2020 is April 22.
This day reminds us of the fragility of our natural world and the importance of protecting wild places. You can make a difference by helping The Nature Trust of BC to restore and manage Nicomen Slough Conservation Area. Please donate to naturetrust.bc.ca