The Nature Trust of BC, in partnership with Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, has preserved 143 acres of ecologically important land near the resort from development.
The land will be conserved as a natural wetland.
The property, known as The Hoodoos - Columbia Wetlands, is adjacent to The Nature Trust’s Hoodoos Conservation Complex, and a portion of the Columbia Wetlands Wildlife Management Area.
The purchase of the property will add to a continuous area of over 11,000 acres of relatively undisturbed wetlands, riparian and grassland habitat.
Wetlands are a natural and effective tool in combating climate change through their ability to act as a sponge and reduce flooding during heavy rainfall. They also provide food and habitat for many species, including insects, reptiles, fish, birds and mammals.
“From mitigating floods and purifying water, to serving as an essential stopping point for food and shelter of migratory birds on their long journeys, The Hoodoos - Columbia Wetlands are of extreme ecological value,” said Jasper Lament, CEO of The Nature Trust of BC.
Numerous species of migratory waterfowl and waterbirds are known to use the area, including the blue-listed great blue heron and tundra swan, and the SARA special concern horned grebe, along with American wigeon, blue-winged, green-winged and cinnamon teal, bufflehead, common golden-eye, mallard, northern pintail and trumpeter swan.
The rare wetlands and grasslands provide a home to many at-risk and endangered species across the province. Some being the American badger, long-billed curlew, bank swallow, and the vivid dancer.
“Wetlands are considered one of the most productive ecosystems in the world and as you stand along the west bank of the mighty Columbia River looking downstream (north), you can see why this property is worth protecting,” said Chris Bosman, Kootenay conservation land manager.
“The expansive riparian floodplain and wetlands of the property stretch out in front of you and are filled with the sound of songbirds and waterfowl. We are delighted to be working with Fairmont Hot Springs Resort to conserve this biodiversity hotspot for future generations.”