Valhalla Provincial Park stretches from the far shore of Slocan Lake in British Columbia, to the mountaintops.
Valhalla Provincial Park was created in 1983 after eight years of hard-won battle by the Valhalla Wilderness Society (VWS). 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. The charitable organization 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. VWS 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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Two Proposals for New Parks to Protect Ancient Forest,
Mountain Caribou, Grizzly Bears and Other Species at Risk
Today BC needs a dramatic increase in the percent of parks. Clearcut logging, mines, pipelines and other development have occurred far out of balance with protected lands. BC now has 1,500 species at risk. A large mammal — the mountain caribou, found nowhere else in the world — is in serious danger of extinction. Watch Primeval to explore our Selkirk Mountain Caribou Park proposal. Click here to see maps and photos of the proposals.
Click here to take action!
The BC Government is condemning the Mountain Caribou of the Interior Wetbelt to extinction, by declaring there will be no more habitat protection for these animals. It is also flouting the Species at Risk Act, and thumbing its nose at Environment Canada’s attempts to get BC to protect more Mountain Caribou habitat. The Interior Wetbelt caribou are also called the “Deep-snow Caribou”, and they are the only such caribou in the world. Despite their precipitous decline after a failed recovery plan, the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) Doug Donaldson has announced that they will have no additional and desperately needed habitat protection.
View a map of how much habitat of the Deep-snow Caribou has already been logged.
Photo: Jim Lawrence
West Kootenays, Trout Lake —The Central Selkirk caribou herd lost another six animals last year; at 25 animals, it is in high danger of being wiped out. Yet BC Timber Sales (BCTS) is logging some of the herd’s last remaining old-growth forest along Trout Lake in the Lardeau River Valley. “I have been seeing caribou tracks on the edge of the clearcuts,” says Jim Lawrence, President of Friends of the Lardeau River and prominent wildlife photographer. “The two governments’ continued disregard for caribou survival is outrageous and makes a mockery of the Species at Risk Act.”
“This has been happening while the federal and provincial governments have spent a whole year talking about how they are going to protect more caribou habitat,” says Craig Pettitt, a Director of the Valhalla Wilderness Society (VWS). “Now the BC government says it wants another two years to complete new herd plans.”
A recent report has revealed that British Columbia’s greatest source of greenhouse gas emissions is not accounted for in Canada’s emissions reports. Old growth forests contribute tremendously to global climate regulation and carbon sequestration. However, the last of B.C.’s ancient forests continue to be clearcut, strewn in waste piles, and slash burned to make room for plantation forests. In collaboration with Voices for Good Air, Valhalla Wilderness Society is calling for a moratorium on old growth clearcutting to reduce the risk of climate catastrophe.
Click here to read the full press release.
IN 2018 GRIZZLY BEARS IN BC WILL AWAKEN
to a SPRINGTIME SAFE FROM HUNTERS
Valhalla Wilderness Society
(See also: Reflections and Gratitude on the End of the Grizzly Bear Hunt, by VWS Chair, bear biologist Wayne McCrory)
The end of 2017 brought the end to all grizzly bear hunting in BC, except for First Nations’ sustenance and ceremonial use. During the election, the new government administration promised the ban for all of BC, but announced post-election that only the Great Bear Rainforest on the coast would have a total ban; the rest of the province would be subject to a grizzly bear “meat hunt”. Forty-five environmental and animal care groups, bear scientists, grizzly bear viewing businesses and artists sent a letter to government and media charging that the meat hunt was a trophy hunt in disguise. Other groups joined in direct consultations with government, and four thousand people sent emails with 78% favouring an end to all hunting of grizzly bears in BC. Finally, on December 18, 2017 the BC Government announced a complete ban, with the exception of First Nations’ sustenance and ceremonial use. This momentous decision is just cause for celebration by all. The government has also committed to implementing the recommendations of the 2017 Auditor General’s (AG’s) report on BC’s grizzly bear management.