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Rare, temperate rainforest in British Columbia is now protected conservancy

The Incomappleux Valley is a biologically unique place in B.C. that will now be preserved by the Province.

TheIncomappleux Inland Rainforest in British Columbia is one of only three inland rainforests in the world. Credet - Jason Hollinger, CC SA 2.0.
TheIncomappleux Inland Rainforest in British Columbia is one of only three inland rainforests in the world. Credet - Jason Hollinger, CC SA 2.0.

A globally endangered rainforest with cedar trees more than 1,000 years old will be permanently protected in a new conservancy in southeast B.C.

Forestry giant Interfor Corp. has given up 75,000 hectares (185,329 acres), of its tenure in the Incomappleux Valley, a remote wilderness southeast of Revelstoke. The Conservancy was announced Wednesday by Premier David Eby, who called the valley’s rare inland temperate rainforest “one of B.C.’s greatest treasures.” 

The inland temperate rainforest is home to substantial areas of mature and old-growth trees, some ranging in age from 800 to 1,500 years. The forest also supports hundreds of lichen species, some of which are new to science. It provides a habitat for grizzly and black bears, as well as a variety of endangered fungal and plant species.

The river system in the valley supports kokanee salmon and bull trout, in addition to numerous waterfowl and wetland birds.

“Protecting our wild spaces for generations to come is one of the most important things we are doing to create a healthier future,” said Premier David Eby in a press release. “Our actions to preserve the Incomappleux Valley and its rare ecosystem will make this one of the most significant protected areas established in the province in a decade.”

Stewardship of B.C.’s waters, lands, and resources will mean partnering with First Nations and working with industry, communities, and more to help us reach our targets for protecting B.C.’s biodiversity.”

Believe it or not, but less than five percent of Canada’s inland temperate rainforest remains, following decades of industrial logging and hydroelectric projects that flooded valley bottoms. Scientists have warned the rainforest will suffer an ecological collapse in as few as eight years if industrial logging continues, reports The Narwhal.

Xeromphalina sp. 20090926.48 Canada, BC, Incomappleux Inland Rainforest Credit – Jason Hollinger, CC SA 2.0.

Interestingly, Only in two other places in the world – Russia’s far east and southern Siberia -does a temperate rainforest grow so far from the coast.

Speaking via a video connection, Chief James Tomma of Skw’lax te Secwépemcúlecw (Little Shuswap Lake Band) said the intact Incomappleux Valley provides a glimpse of what B.C. looked like prior to widespread resource extraction. 

“Old growth was just seen as a dollar value,” said the chief, who is also chair of the Pespésellkwe te Secwépemc Leadership Council. “Now people will be able to go and look and see the grandeur that the Creator put before us … I’m very excited. It’s quite an honor. And hopefully, in the future, we can go up and take a look at it and see exactly what our ancestors and first contact walked through and looked at.”

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We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our dear friend Karen Graham, who served as Editor-at-Large at Digital Journal. She was 78 years old. Karen's view of what is happening in our world was colored by her love of history and how the past influences events taking place today. Her belief in humankind's part in the care of the planet and our environment has led her to focus on the need for action in dealing with climate change. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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