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Province to add 21 hectares to Okanagan Mountain Park

The Ministry of Environment says legislation has been introduced to expand select parks and protected areas throughout the province, including Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park near Kelowna. Google Maps

Several parks in B.C.’s Interior will soon be expanded, the Ministry of Environment announced on Thursday.

The ministry said legislation has been introduced to expand select parks and protected areas throughout the province, including Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park near Kelowna.

According to the ministry, 21 hectares will be added to Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park to enhance wildlife connectivity and species protection, along with the addition of the Golden Mile Trail for recreation.

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“Increased protection for diverse wildlife habitat, wetlands and bolstering the natural legacy of existing parks are all parts of strategic land additions to strengthen B.C.’s system of parks and protected areas,” the ministry said in a press release.

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“People’s desire to interact with nature has never been greater. Parks provide the opportunity to connect with nature and strengthen our physical and mental well-being,” said environment minister George Heyman.

“We continue to look for opportunities to add ecologically and culturally significant lands to our diverse parks system, and expand opportunities for outdoor recreation.”

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The ministry says the additions, proposed through legislative amendments to the Protected Areas of British Columbia Act, include the following lands:

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.

Gladstone Park

  • Near Christina Lake
  • Six hectares to add additional shorefront lands on the north end of Christina Lake, which is an important kokanee spawning area.

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.

Naikoon Park

  • Haida Gwaii
  • 123 hectares to protect wetlands and sand dunes.

Purcell Wilderness Conservancy Park

  • Near Kaslo
  • 18 hectares to increase connectivity in the park that includes habitat for mule deer and grizzly bears.

Valhalla Park

  • Near Slocan
  • 32 hectares to improve connectivity across the park.
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The ministry also said 27 hectares of lake foreshore would be added to Christina Lake Park, Kootenay Lake Park, Gladstone Park and Purcell Wilderness Conservancy Park.

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Further, it said boundary modifications will be made to correct administrative errors, along with addressing safety issues, for:

  • Burnt Cabin Bog Ecological Reserve
  • Big White Mountain Ecological Reserve
  • Omineca Park
  • West Arm Park

The ministry said during the past four years, more than 1,700 campsites have been added to provincial parks and recreation sites.

It noted that through the BC Parks Land Acquisition Program, the province acquires land each year for parks and protected areas. The acquisitions are often augmented by partnerships with conservation groups, individual donors and corporations.

In 2020-21, the province acquired more than 229 hectares of land for $2.4 million.

For more information about the Land Acquisition Program, visit BC Parks’ website.

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