Arial view of the Ryan River Conservation Area in Pemberton Meadows, B.C. (Fernando Lessa photo)

87 hectares of old growth forests, wetlands in Pemberton now under conservancy protection

The Ryan River Conservation Area will protect wetlands and old growth forest in perpetuity

The Nature Conservancy of Canada has purchased 87 hectares of undeveloped land in the Pemberton Meadows, approximately 170 kilometres north of Vancouver, to conserve in perpetuity.

With financial support from the federal government and partner organizations, the total project cost is $1.2 million, which includes maintenance costs for the future.

The piece of undeveloped wet lands and old growth forest around the Ryan River is in the Líl̓wat First Nation’s traditional territory, and has been privately owned since by Bruce Miller’s family since 1911.

Miller grew up with the wild land just across the creek from the family farm. As development creeps out from Pemberton, he feels extra need to protect places like this.

Nancy Newhouse, regional vice president for the Nature Conservancy in B.C. said they are in conversation with the Líl̓wat First Nation in whose traditional territory the land is, and look forward to working with the nation “based on the shared interests of honouring and conserving the land.”

Wetlands and old growth forest of cedar, hemlock and cottonwood trees are becoming rare in B.C. The area supports grizzly bears — which are threatened in the Squamish-Lillooet region — cougars, wolves and wolverines, along with migrating birds, trout, salmon, amphibians, beavers and more.

The nature conservancy will keep walking entrance paths open for anyone to explore the Ryan River Conservation Area, they will make an inventory of specific habitats and create a management plan. Some of their locations are made open to the public, but the primary goal is always conservancy of the ecosystem.

Financial support was given by the federal government’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program, Pemberton Wildlife Association, Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Longhedge Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and several individuals who contributed privately.

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email: zoe.ducklow@blackpress.ca


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