BRITISH COLUMBIA — Teck Resources has donated $400,000 to create an endowment fund ensuring future management of the 964-ha Fort Shepherd Conservancy area, which runs along more than 8 km of the Columbia River, south of the city of Trail. The funds will enhance the diversity of the flora and fauna, and preserve the property's important historical and natural features, while also ensuring the land can still be utilized for recreation.
The Fort Shepherd Conservancy is one of The Land Conservancy's (TLC) model conservation properties and features an abundance of ecological, historical and recreational value. In September 2006, Teck announced the transfer of the lands as part of its efforts to publicly recognize the centennial of the founding of the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of Canada (now Teck). The transfer of the land was completed in December 2008.
The Fort Shepherd Conservancy area is unique in British Columbia as grasslands, dry forests, rocky slopes, cliffs and caves dominate the geography. It provides habitat to numerous species-at-risk including great blue herons, nighthawks, canyon wrens, Townsend's big-eared bats and racers (a type of snake). Also the area provides a valuable winter range for mule deer. The area is named for the Hudson's Bay Company trading post at Fort Shepherd that operated on the site from 1857 to 1870. Today the area is a popular recreational destination.
Ecotourism holidays are available through TLC or readers may make a donation to "adopt" a grizzly bear or cougar. Visit www.Conservancy.bc.ca.