Peatlands are very important ecosystem types in BC. They retain significant amounts of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide and methane, making peatlands the ideal carbon sink – an area in which carbon can be contained rather than released into the atmosphere. Although peatlands only occupy 3% of the global land area, they contain about 25% of global soil carbon – twice as much as the world’s forests. Moreover, the capacity of peatlands for water absorption regulates water flow to create a natural buffer against flooding, and they can filter water to control runoff quality.
Peatlands play a critical role in mitigating the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss within British Columbia. Significant wetland areas in BC have been converted or degraded over time, making protecting what remains of them very important. Today, wetlands are estimated to cover just 5% of the province, only some of which consist of peatlands. Existing peatlands are concentrated primarily in Northern BC, particularly in the Northern Plains region but scattered across the Cariboo and South Coast as well. The Meteor Lake Wetland – Bog conservation area is connected to the larger Meteor Lake Wetland complex one of the three largest wetlands in the Upper Fraser River watershed at approximately 2,000 hectares.
Peatlands often provide unique food, cover, shelter and breeding spaces for numerous animal species as well, including amphibians, birds and mammals. This property has a variety of species and ecological communities that are considered to be of special concern. The property provides habitat for Grizzly Bear and Moose as well as many species of special concern. Northern Goshawk (SARA Schedule 1 – Threatened) have been observed within the Meteor Lake Wetland conservation complex and White Sturgeon (SARA Schedule 1- Endangered) have historically been identified in the area. The property contains bog and fen ecosystems that are considered to have highly rare and specialized flora and fauna, including two Blue-Listed ecological communities.
The Meteor Lake Wetland – Bog forested ecosystems are regenerating naturally after being selectively harvested between 2003 and 2008, and there are no buildings or structures on the land.
The purchase of this property demonstrates The Nature Trust’s commitment to protecting ecologically vulnerable ecosystems in BC.