A local family has donated 320 acres of unaltered wetland to Ducks Unlimited Canada.
Ducks Unlimited acquired the lands thanks to the generosity of the Andersen family and funding from Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, North American Wetlands Conservation Act, and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
“Often in B.C. a lot of areas have been impacted by humans. Whether it’s a building; whether there are roads; hydrology has been changed … what’s really great about this project is nothing has been built on,” said Dan Buffett, manager of provincial operations for Ducks Unlimited B.C.
“This is really is one of those rare opportunities to protect wetlands that haven’t been negatively impacted. “
The Andersen family, who had owned the land for close to 20 years, approached Ducks Unlimited at the beginning of the year about a donation.
“The area is incredible — natural wetland habitat — and is perfect for the waterfowl and wildlife that use it,” said Shawn Andersen in a press release. “A partnership with DUC just makes sense, and conserving the habitat long-term is the right thing to do.”
The property is located at the eastern end of Babine Lake near the mouth of the Sutherland River. It lies approximately 60 kilometres west of Fort St. James and 50 kilometres northeast of Burns Lake.
The area is home to many at risk species such as the American bittern, rusty blackbird, black swift, grizzly bear, painted turtle and rainbow trout.
After the land was accessed the deal was finalized on Oct. 23.
Each year Duck Unlimited B.C. sets a goal for how much land that want to acquire. This year the goal was 400 acres.
“This donation substantial completes nearly 80, 90 per cent of our goal this year,” Buffett said.