The Golden and District Rod and Gun Club recently donated $10,000 toward the purchase of land in Edgewater.
The Nature Trust of BC is working to protect the Columbia River Wetlands Edgewater property, and also received help from the BC Conservation Foundation, the Regional District of East Kootenay through the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund, the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Kootenay Wildlife Heritage Fund, Lake Windermere Rod and Gun Club and the Canal Flats Wildnerness Club as well as individual donors.
The conservation lands feature 423 acres that include habitat and connectivity for grizzly bears and American badgers and provides wider range for mule deer, white tailed deer, and moose.
The Golden and District Rod and Gun Club vice president Chad Parent said that the club focuses a lot on nature conservation, and that the Edgewater property isn’t out of the realm of hunting locations for people in Golden.
“Any chance the club can have to enhance wildlife habitats or stop it from getting developed is positive,” said Dale Foster, Golden and District Rod and Gun Club Director. “It’s not just about hunting.”
Chris Bosman, Kootenay conservation manager for The Nature Trust of BC, said that purchasing the land will keep it from being developed.
“When we acquire land, it’s forever,” Bosman said. “The public is allowed to access it so long as they’re leaving a light footprint.”
The land has been well preserved, and The Nature Trust of BC plans to continue its conservation. Only minor work is needed to build a parking area, install signage, and remove fencing that will allow animals to move freely around the property.
“The family that ranched it for many years were great stewards of the land,” Bosman said.
With the support of clubs like the Golden and District Rod and Gun Club, The Nature Trust of BC is able to apply for funding from higher levels of government, which allows them to conserve lands like the property in Edgewater.
“It’s really important to have the local support of rod and gun clubs,” Bosman said. “It really helps us get support for other funding… A lot of those organizations want to see the grassroots support.”
The Nature Trust of BC has been working in the Kootenays for more than 40 years and has conserved many properties in the area.
The Edgewater property will complement the nearby Nature Trust conservation lands that are managed as part of the Columbia National Wildlife Area and Columbia Wetlands Wildlife Management Area.
The recently acquired Edgewater property adjoins the Columbia Wetlands Wildlife Management Area, which serves as significant migratory bird habitat for more than 200 species.
The property’s diversity ranges from wetlands to grasslands and open forest habitats. The views across the Columbia Valley and up and down the Rocky Mountain Trench from the property benches are stunning, Bosman said.
“The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) is very pleased to support The Nature Trust’s purchase of this conservation property, which provides important connectivity to the Columbia Wetlands,” said HCTF CEO Brian Springinotic in a press release. “Since 1981, HCTF has invested millions to help purchase over 20 conservation properties in the Kootenays, using funds provided largely by anglers, hunters, trappers, and guides. The Edgewater project is the latest in a long history of investing for conservation in B.C.”
The Nature Trust of BC works to conserve land in the province, and cares for some of B.C.’s most critical natural habitats for vulnerable wildlife and plants. Since 1971, The Nature Trust of BC has protected more than 175,000 acres with partners.