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Posted: April 25, 2017

Bull River grasslands corridor purchased by Nature Trust

It takes a community of people to make good things happen like the recent acquisition of the Bull River—Grassland Corridor property by The Nature Trust of British Columbia.

This 67.7-hectare (167 acre) property (a piece of it is pictured above) is located in the East Kootenay near the community of Bull River—approximately 1.5 km north of the confluence of the Bull and Kootenay Rivers, which is 20 kilometres southeast of Fort Steele.

This is one of the largest private inholdings in the Bull River Conservation Lands Complex. It will be added to 727 hectares (1,796 acres) of Nature Trust land interests (fee simple and woodlot) and 83 hectares (205 acres) of provincial conservation lands.

“This property is an exciting addition to existing conservation lands in the lower Bull River,” said Jasper Lament, CEO of The Nature Trust of BC. “Bighorn sheep use this property as part of their traditional winter range. Because it is bounded on three sides by other conservation lands, it is a very strategically important acquisition.”

The securement of this property removes threats of disease transmission from domestic livestock to wild sheep, protects winter range for elk and deer, and protects habitat for the provincially Red-listed American Badger. This property provides an important grassland and open forest corridor that links Crown lands on both the north and south sides of the property. It is within the core area for the “Bull River” herd of 120 Bighorn Sheep and provides winter range habitat.

This project was completed with incredible support from conservation organizations and community groups. The Nature Trust would like to thank the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, BC Conservation Foundation and Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program as well as Environment and Climate Change Canada through the Natural Areas Conservation Program facilitated by the Nature Conservancy of Canada for making this acquisition possible.

We would also like to acknowledge support from Elkford Rod & Gun Club, Kootenay Wildlife Heritage Fund, Sparwood & District Fish and Wildlife Association, Teck Coal Ltd., and the Wild Sheep Society of BC.

“The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation has committed over $350,000 to the purchase of this property, as it is extremely important habitat for the Bull River Bighorn Sheep herd,” said HCTF CEO Brian Springinotic. “The Bull River herd has partially recovered from an all-ages die-off in the 1980s, and we felt it was critical that this key piece of their winter range was protected from any type of development that could be detrimental to the herd’s survival.”

The Nature Trust of British Columbia is dedicated to protecting B.C.’s natural diversity of plants and animals through the acquisition and management of critical habitats. Since 1971 The Nature Trust along with our partners has invested more than $90 million to secure over 71,000 hectares (175,000 acres) across British Columbia.

The Nature Trust of British Columbia

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