The Nature Trust of British Columbia, one of the province’s leading non-profit land conservation organizations, has started a fundraising campaign to protect 129.2 hectares (319 acres) of wetland, riparian forest, and mixed forest ecosystems. The property, known as Ferguson Lake-Wetlands, is located in the city of Prince George.
The land is adjacent to the Ferguson Lake Conservation Area, a 31-hectare conservation area owned by The Nature Trust of BC. With the purchase of Ferguson Lake-Wetlands, the contiguous protected land will expand to be 160 hectares. These private conservation parcels are connected to provincial Crown land parcels, forming a natural wildlife corridor and increasing connectivity within the region. Ferguson Lake – Wetlands has merchantable timber value and its purchase will ensure that its mature and old growth riparian forests and wetlands are protected in perpetuity.
Ferguson Lake-Wetlands is within an area of continental significance to waterfowl, under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and a regionally significant wetland area within the Canadian Intermountain Joint Venture program. The property’s wetlands provide habitat, including feeding and breeding grounds for waterfowl and shorebird species like the Hooded Merganser, Sandpiper, and Bufflehead. The dense coniferous and riparian forests provide habitat for other species such as the Federally threatened Barn Swallow and of-special-concern Evening Grosbeak. Other species found in the area include Canada Goose, Common Loon, Common and Barrow’s Goldeneye, the Great Blue Heron, Common and Red-breasted Merganser, the Greater Yellowlegs, Green-winged Teal, Mallard, Sandhill Crane, Snow Goose, Ring-necked Duck, and Trumpeter Swan.
“These wetland and riparian ecosystems are powerful carbon sinks that provide nature-based solutions to climate change. Waterfowl and shorebirds count on these breeding and migration habitats that we share with the Pacific Flyway. We are committed to protecting this critical habitat. Birds depend on it. And people too.” said Dr. Jasper Lament, CEO of The Nature Trust of BC.
Ferguson Lake-Wetlands is located within a snowy winter and moist cool summer climate called the Mossvale moist cool Sub-Boreal Spruce Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification (BEC) unit – only 3.6 per cent of this BEC unit is protected. The area’s unique habitat supports a diverse range of species, including Black Bear, Grizzly Bear, Moose, Elk, Deer, American Marten, American Beaver, and Canada Lynx. The area is also home to the Federally-listed of-special-concern Western Toad and the Long-toed Salamander. Ferguson Creek, which runs through the property, historically contained Chinook Salmon, Burbot, Longnose Dace, Northern Pikeminnow, and Rainbow Trout.
“Ferguson Lake -Wetlands provides habitat for some of Canada’s most iconic species, like Grizzly Bear, Moose, and Canada Lynx – wildlife and land that is so close to our hearts. With the support of generous donors we can protect this wildlife habitat while helping Canada protect 30 per cent of our land by 2030,” said Dr. Jasper Lament, CEO of The Nature Trust of BC. The purchase of the Ferguson Lake-Wetlands will support The Nature Trust of BC’s mission to protect British Columbia’s most important and vulnerable ecosystems to benefit biodiversity and mitigate climate change.
You can support The Nature Trust of BC in purchasing and protecting the Ferguson Lake-Wetlands by donating to their campaign. The funds must be raised by March 31, 2024. Donate here.