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Posted: July 18, 2017

NCC lands being closed due to fire risk

In response to the extreme fire situation in British Columbia, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is suspending public recreational access to all its lands in the province. This is a precautionary measure in order to minimize the chance of human-caused wildfires in any more of the province, and to contribute to public safety.

A view from the Marion Creek Benchland. Ian Cobb/e-KNOW

The closure applies to seven properties in the East Kootenay and another in the Central Kootenay.

NCC owns and manages numerous publicly accessible conservation areas across the province. Under normal conditions the land trust encourages and welcomes low-impact recreation use of these special sites. But in the face of the current fire situation across the province, including high and extreme fire ratings for most of the areas where NCC’s lands are located, the organization is taking the proactive step of prohibiting recreational access on its lands.

All NCC properties are closed to the public until further notice. NCC is asking the public to please respect these closures and refrain from visiting its conservation areas until the situation improves and the sites are reopened.

This list highlights some of the more popular conservation areas that are now closed to recreational access:

Kootenays
Ancient Cottonwood Trail Morrissey
Mount Broadwood Near Elko
Kootenay River Ranch Canal Flats
Columbia Lake – Lot 48 Fairmont Hot Springs
Marion Creek Benchlands Fairmont Hot Springs
Dutch Creek Hoodoos Conservation Area Fairmont Hot Springs
Luxor Linkage Conservation Area Edgewater
Darkwoods Nelson, Creston, Ymir

While wildfire has long been part of the natural cycle in grasslands and forests, helping to regenerate growth and maintain a balanced ecosystem, NCC recognizes that catastrophic wildfires of the type currently burning in British Columbia are causing significant hardship and disruption for thousands of families. By taking steps to minimize the risk of human-caused fires on its conservation lands, NCC aims to contribute to the ongoing efforts to control and contain the wildfire situation in British Columbia.

For any questions regarding the access closure on NCC lands in British Columbia, please contact the BC Region head office in Victoria: 250-479-3191 or toll free at 1-888-404-8428.

Lead image: The Ancient Cottonwoods Trail at Morrissey. e-KNOW file photos

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