The Valhalla Wilderness Society is a registered charity that was founded in 1975, in the small village of New Denver, British Columbia, Canada. The village sits on Slocan Lake, with a grand view of Valhalla Provincial Park, achieved by the Society in 1983. VWS went on to successfully spearhead campaigns for the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary, Goat Range Provincial Park, and the Spirit Bear Conservancies on Princess Royal Island. VWS also played one of the key roles in the protection of South Moresby National Park Reserve. Its Endangered Wilderness Map of 1988 initiated the movement to double BC’s park system to 12% of the province. Valhalla has led park campaigns that now protect over 560,000 hectares. The work resulted in numerous national and international conservation awards received by Chairperson Colleen McCrory.
The Valhalla Wilderness Society
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Today British Columbia has over 1,500 species at risk, and that’s only the ones that have been formally recognized. Scientists around the world have said that the loss of biodiversity is a global crisis that threatens the survival of humans. At its home base in the town of New Denver, across from the Valhalla Mountains on Slocan Lake, VWS remains dedicated to the role of fully protected areas in maintaining biodiversity; it is working on park proposals in BC’s Inland Rainforest Region, on the coast, and in the Chilcotin region. However, there are many environmental impacts today that have no borders, such as climate change, or pollution from a mine, or the threat of an oil spill from tankers on the coast, or threats to wildlife. VWS has been involved in many activities trying to stop such impacts.
Toadlets found squashed in the road while NACFOR prepares to log
A recent photo and video expedition has revealed thousands of Western Toads are dispersing into their forested habitat that is slated to be imminently logged. The images and video show toads under logging equipment, on logging roads as well as on branch roads into the logging cut blocks. Branch roads were constructed in February 2016. Two weeks ago, NACFOR had started grading the logging roads while hundreds of toads were migrating across it.
“Now they have brought in a feller-buncher, which means logging could begin at any time,” says Craig Pettitt, a director of the Valhalla Wilderness Society. “We recorded young toads all around their machine. We are outraged that the government and NACFOR would allow logging in critical toad habitat when it is clear toads will be killed left, right and centre.”
Read the full Press Release
To View the Video: https://youtu.be/peK9lE8YrWo
VWS report to Enbridge Pipeline Review:
ONE MAJOR SPILL COULD WIPE OUT A CORE SPIRIT BEAR POPULATION
Gribbell Island lies in one of the most treacherous marine passages on the BC north where hundreds of huge tankers would carry Enbridge’s deadly tarsands bitumen to China and other markets. In 2012 VWS biologist Wayne McCrory completed a report on the threat of a oil tanker spill to the bears of Gribbell Island and other coastal wildlife. A comparison of the claims made by the Enbridge environmental impact assessment with the facts of what actually happened in the Exxon Valdez oil spill shows that Enbridge enormously under-estimates the risks and impacts of a spill. Since all of the 100-150 black and white-phase Kermode bears would use the marine shoreline of Gribbell for travel and feeding on marine life, a major tanker spill would cause irreparable and long-term harm to this genetically unique “mother island of the white bears”.
Click here to download Wayne McCrory’s oral presentation of this VWS report, and more, to the Joint Review Panel on Enbridge, on January 28, 2013.
Final announcement February 1, 2016.
Spirit Bear Mother and Cub
On February 1, 2016, the province and coastal First Nations announced the “final” protection agreement for the Great Bear Rainforest (GBR) on the BC coast. Since 1/3 of the GBR was protected in 2006, ten years of negotiations between the larger environmental groups, forest companies and coastal First Nations finally resulted in a GBR conservation agreement. Part of this can be found at: https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/TASB/SLRP/LRMP/Nanaimo/CLUDI/GBR/Orders/GBR_LUO_Signed_29Jan2016.pdf
There is some cause for celebration since noteworthy improvements have been made in coastal logging guidelines and in adding 10 new partially protected areas which brings the grand total of parks, conservancies and partial protection designations to 38% overall. This is near to the minimum of 40-50% full protection agreed to in 2004 in a landmark GBR-ENGO protocol. One of our favourite watersheds, The Green, will be protected, but unfortunately, Gribbell Island, mother island of the white bears won’t be. Also will be some reduction of the grizzly bear trophy hunt.
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If you are visiting our website, you are likely one of the 90 percent of rural and urban British Columbians surveyed who oppose trophy hunts. Please join us in speaking out against proposed trophy hunt and trapping increases before January 31 2016.
BC’s Ministry of Resource Operations (MFLNRO) is proposing to triple the number of limited entry hunt (LEH) permits for resident hunters to kill grizzly bears in MU 7-52, a remote area in the Peace. The MFLNRO is also proposing to lift the limitations on the number of wolves that hunters can kill in the Kootenays, the Peace, Thompson-Nicola and Omineca, to allow hunters to kill wolves year round, including when pups are in the den, and for trappers to trap wolves on private land.
The government is seeking public input on these proposed increases with an initial deadline of December 31, 2015. VWS dashed a letter over the holidays and submitted comments to the government website. Due to technical difficulties with its website, the government has extended the deadline until January 31 2016.
A trail groomer used to pack snowmobile trails from valley bottoms up into subalpine winter caribou habitat
BC GOVERNMENT CARIBOU MANAGERS REPORT
DECLINING HERDS DISPLACED BY SNOWMOBILERS
Top government managers of B.C.’s Mountain Caribou Recovery Plan (MCRIP) have reported that the plan is failing to keep snowmobiles out of caribou’s winter habitat, even as caribou herds race towards extinction. In their 2015 briefing report to the MCRIP Progress Board (1), the government managers said that caribou are being displaced from winter feeding grounds by snowmobilers, some of whom are riding in areas legally closed to snowmobiling. The BC Government’s own Mountain Caribou Progress Board has called for voluntary snowmobile closures to become legal closures. But meanwhile the government is allowing a booming industry of groomed snowmobile trails into mountain caribou habitat, where snowmobile clubs are charging $25 per sled to use the trails. And the website of BC’s own Ministry of Environment provides a handy list BC snowmobile dealers and their phone numbers, in case you want a snowmobile to ride in mountain caribou habitat: a chilling example of the government’s double-faced policies, in claiming such concern for saving caribou as to require shooting wolves from helicopters, yet ignoring the packed-snow highways that snowmobiles make for wolves and cougars to have easy access to caribou in winter.
Read the full Press Release
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