Valhalla Provincial Park stretches from the far shore of Slocan Lake in British Columbia, Canada, 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.

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.

To see maps and photos of the proposals, click here.

Please sign the online petition for the Selkirk Mountain Caribou Park Proposal here.

 

Filmed on location deep in the heart of BC’s Selkirk Mountains, this 20-minute documentary is the story of the majesty, magic and endurance of one of the world’s last truly ancient temperate rainforests – the incomparable Incomappleux. Gillis’s film documents the nature and history of this unique place – replete with 2,000-year-old trees and rare lichens – along with a plan to preserve it through a new provincial or Canadian park, the Selkirk Mountain Caribou Park Proposal. To learn about new screenings, check this site; to schedule a screening in your community, call the Valhalla Wilderness Society at 250-358-2333 or send us an email at vws@vws.com. In the meantime, please enjoy Damien Gillis’s trailer, and sign the petition by clicking on the link above.

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Draft Canada-BC Conservation Agreement for Mountain Caribou is Toothless

Photo: Jim Lawrence

Canada and British Columbia are considering another agreement to protect mountain caribou, given that the present management plans by BC have failed to stop the decline of most herds, and they are in severe danger of extinction. In response to the governments’ call for public input, VWS just sent a 4-page submission which says the agreement is toothless. BC has committed to protecting only untenured high-elevation habitat. Unless the protection of tenured, low-elevation habitat is included, the agreement is completely meaningless.

The deadline for public input is January 18, 2018.  See the draft agreement at http://registrelep-sararegistry.gc.ca/document/default_e.cfm?documentID=3202.  Send comments to the government at ec.ep.rpy-sar.pyr.ec@canada.ca

Download the VWS submission to government

Download the January 10, 2018 VWS Press Release


At Long Last:

IN 2018 GRIZZLY BEARS IN BC WILL AWAKEN
to a SPRINGTIME SAFE FROM HUNTERS

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.   Click “More” to continue reading and see:

“Reflections and Gratitude on the end of the Grizzly Bear Hunt”
by VWS Chairperson and bear biologist Wayne McCrory.

(more…)


BC Government Plan for HUNTER-FUNDED Wildlife Agency Denounced by 23 Wildlife Organizations and Businesses

Before the recent election the BC government announced plans to turn the management of the province’s wildlife over to non-government agency funded by the sales of hunting licences. Twenty-two organizations and businesses  involved in protecting wildlife have issued an open letter to the BC government with scathing criticism of the plan. They have urged the
government to 1) scrap the proposal for a separate agency; 2) increase the wildlife management staff and funding of government ministries; 3) shift the focus of wildlife management from juggling numbers of game animals for
hunters, to applying the science of ecology; and 4) recognize that only about 2% of the total BC population are registered hunters, whereas a huge majority of British Columbians care about the welfare of our wildlife and ecosystems.

Download the Open Letter to the BC Government


Blue-Listed Western Toads Threatened by NACFOR Logging

Toad vs Grader

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


One Major Spill Could Wipe Out a Core Spirit Bear Population

VWS report to Enbridge Pipeline Review:

ONE MAJOR SPILL COULD WIPE OUT A CORE SPIRIT BEAR POPULATION

SpiritBearcroppedGribbell 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.


Valhalla Wilderness Society

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