A new report from the Wildlife Conservation Society Canada (WCS Canada) creates a conservation strategy that will promote wildlife resiliency in the Southern Canadian Rockies to the future impacts of climate change and road use.
Roads constructed for logging, mining, and recreational activities contribute to the vulnerability of iconic species in the Southern Canadian Rockies.
Credit: John Weaver
Weaver recommends a portfolio of conservation lands including a 'Southern Canadian Rockies Wildlife Management Area' (WMA) that would conserve 66% of key habitats on 54% of its land base. The WMA designation would emphasize fish and wildlife values while allowing other responsible land uses. The trans-border Flathead River basin adjacent to Waterton Lakes-Glacier National International Peace Parks also merits very strong conservation consideration, says Weaver, due to its remarkable biological diversity. He endorses a new National or Provincial Park on the B.C. side and Wilderness areas on the Montana side.
Weaver goes on to identify safe havens not only important to wildlife today but that also provide a range of elevations and diverse topography for animals to relocate to in the future. To facilitate movement options for wildlife, the report maps nine suitable crossing locations along busy Highway 3 in British Columbia and 16 mountain passes that provide important wildlife connectivity across the Continental Divide between Alberta and British Columbia."This report will help inform discussions and decisions about land and resource management in the Southern Canadian Rockies of British Columbia and Montana," said Weaver. "These spectacular landscapes provide some of the best remaining strongholds for a suite of vulnerable fish and wildlife. Protecting designated lands for conservation will help ensure that this rich diversity of fish and wildlife will be enjoyed by generations yet to follow."
To see a complete copy of John Weaver's report, please go to wcscanada.org.
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