Columbia Basin Trust to Purchase Addition to Valhalla Provincial Park

By Contributor
April 6th, 2009

Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) has announced $250,000 commitment to the acquisition of the Valhalla Mile, a 155-acre (63 ha) private property adjacent to Valhalla Provincial Park. Once purchased, the land will be added to the Park, protecting the scenic, ecological, cultural and recreational values of the area.

“We’re pleased to support a project that has received such tremendous
support from the community, local governments and the public, as
evidenced by the individual contributions totalling $200,000,” said Neil
Muth, CBT President and CEO. “Acquiring this section of land will ensure
that residents and visitors alike can enjoy the natural beauty of this
region for generations to come.”

CBT’s Land Conservation Initiative ensures that important pieces of land
are preserved to provide social, environmental and economic significance
to Basin residents. CBT partners with the East Kootenay Conservation
Program to identify such parcels of land. Over the last ten years, CBT
has contributed $2.25 million to land conservation efforts in the
Columbia Basin.

“Since August 2008, The Land Conservancy and the Valhalla Foundation for Ecology & Social Justice have been working to raise the $1.5 million
needed to protect Valhalla Mile, and the support has been overwhelming.
We are pleased to see this piece of land protected for its environmental
and recreational significance. Every person, foundation, business,
community group and government entity deserves a huge thank you,” said
Bill Turner, TLC Executive Director.

The addition of the Valhalla Mile into the Park is a critical step in
protecting the area’s unique Cedar Hemlock forest and a well-established
movement corridor for grizzly bears.

“This is a perfect example of two charitable organizations, The Land
Conservancy and the Valhalla Foundation, government via BC Parks,
organizations like Columbia Basin Trust, the regional district, and
private citizens working together to acquire environmentally significant
land,” said volunteer campaign coordinator Lorna Visser of the Valhalla
Foundation. “We are delighted to see this piece of land added to
Valhalla Provincial Park, expanding and helping to complete the park and
most importantly, protecting a whole mile of pristine shore line.”

TLC will retain an interest in the property and will work with the
Valhalla Foundation for Ecology & Social Justice to ensure management of
the property will protect habitat values. The management plan for the
property will be undertaken by BC Parks and will be executed in
conjunction with the Valhalla Park Master Plan. Valued at $1.5 million,
this project has also received support from BC Parks, BC Trust for
Public Lands, Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program and TD Bank Friends of the Environment Foundation.


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