Gwillim Lakes Camp in Valhalla Provincial Park. Photo: Erin Miller

Gwillim Lakes Camp in Valhalla Provincial Park. Photo: Erin Miller

Land added to Purcell, Valhalla provincial parks to increase ‘connectivity’

Lake foreshore is also being added to Purcell Wilderness Conservancy Park

by Timothy Schafer

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Nelson Daily

Several of the region’s natural resources will be receiving a boost this year.

Through legislative amendments to the Protected Areas of B.C. Act, the areas of Valhalla Park (near the Village of Slocan) and the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy Park (near Kaslo) will have some additional acreage to enhance the park experience for visitors.

In all, 32 hectares will be added to Valhalla to improve connectivity across the park with the Purcell having a further 18 hectares added to also increase connectivity in the park, including habitat for mule deer and grizzly bears.

Slightly further afield, Gladstone Park (near Christina Lake) will have six hectares added to its shorefront lands on the north end of Christina Lake, an area recognized as an important for kokanee spawning.

In a related move, 27 hectares of lake foreshore would be added to Christina Lake Park, Kootenay Lake Park, Gladstone Park and Purcell Wilderness Conservancy Park.

“Boundary modifications to correct administrative errors and address safety issues would also be made at Burnt Cabin Bog Ecological Reserve, Big White Mountain Ecological Reserve, West Arm Park and Omineca Park” noted a release from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

Other additions across B.C. include:

• Naikoon Park (Haida Gwaii): 123 hectares to protect wetlands and sand dunes;

• Blue River Black Spruce Park (near Blue River): 59 hectares to protect a wetland and the ecological integrity of the North Thompson River;

• Edge Hills Park (near Clinton): 50 hectares to enhance wildlife connectivity and protection of the Fraser River bluffs;

• Okanagan Mountain Park (near Kelowna): 21 hectares to enhance wildlife connectivity and species protection, along with the addition of the Golden Mile Trail for recreation;

• Hole-in-the-Wall Park (near Chetwynd): 14 hectares to protect the culturally significant stream appearing from the base of a limestone cliff, which is known as the Hole-in-the-Wall.