Wildsight celebrates the creation of the Incomappleux Conservancy in the heart of the Inland Temperate Rainforest (ITR). The Province is permanently protecting 58,654 hectares of rare and ancient forest in the Incomappleux Valley, south of Glacier National Park and southeast of Revelstoke.
Teck contributed $2 million towards the conservation and protection of the Incomappleux Valley in southeastern British Columbia as part of its goal to be a nature positive company by 2030.
The protection comes after decades of threats to the Incomappleux River Valley, including an independent power project, and several attempts to log the remaining ancient forests. In 2005, a landslide occurred in the Incomappleux canyon halting logging operations and making the road impassable.
“The Incomappleux Conservancy is an incredible step forward in protecting the irreplaceable old growth forests of the Inland Temperate Rainforest, in supporting Indigenous leadership, and in advancing on our provincial commitment to protect 30% of our lands and waters by 2030,” says Eddie Petryshen, Wildsight’s Conservation Specialist.
The Incomappleux is home to cedar trees estimated to be 1,800 years old — some of the Inland Temperate Rainforest’s most magical forests. Several species of new-to-science lichens have been found in these ancient forests.
“We hope this marks a turning point for the trajectory of the Inland Temperate Rainforest,” says Petryshen.
Two years ago, the Inland Temperate Rainforest was assessed as a red-listed ecosystem on the brink of ecosystem collapse — scientists refer to the ITR as one of the world’s most imperilled temperate rainforests.
The ITR hosts globally significant biodiversity, the world’s only deep snow dwelling mountain caribou, which are critically endangered, and critical carbon stores in these old and ancient forests.
“The Incomappleux is an incredible and globally significant forest that absolutely deserves protection. This is a much-needed first step towards protecting the Inland Temperate Rainforest. We hope to soon see the neighbouring Westfall River included in protection, and that other important places like the Seymour River, Frisby, and Rainbow Creek areas north of Revelstoke will be permanently protected next.” says Petryshen.
“Teck’s contribution to the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s work through projects like Incomappleux Valley will help us accelerate the pace and scale of conservation in British Columbia. We applaud their commitment to taking real and measurable action to become a nature positive company by the end of the decade,” said Catherine Grenier, President and CEO, Nature Conservancy of Canada. “When we work together with Indigenous communities, governments, industry and private citizens, we can achieve great results for nature.”
“Teck is taking action to protect nature through this collaboration facilitated by the Nature Conservancy of Canada to conserve and protect an intact, ancient tract of one of our planet’s rare ecosystems in the Incomappleux Valley,” said Jonathan Price, CEO, Teck. “This initiative supports Teck’s work to become a nature positive company by helping protect nature in an area with significant biodiversity and ecological importance. Tackling the global challenge of nature loss requires collaboration between industry, Indigenous communities, governments, and non-profits and we are excited to support this important conservation initiative.”
The Nature Conservancy of Canada, Government of BC, First Nations whose territory includes the Incomappleux Valley and Interfor worked together to explore options for conserving the rich ecology and intact forests of the valley. Teck supported the funding of the agreement alongside Wyss Foundation, Wilburforce Foundation, and individual donors. This project was also made possible by funding from the Government of Canada, through the Canada Nature Fund.