The mountainous Muskwa-Kechika area of north-central BC is a stronghold for wildlife that needs further protection. At a time when science is telling us that we need to protect big wild areas, the Muskwa-Kechika represents a tremendous opportunity to take a bold new approach.
The Greater Muskwa-Kechika area is one of the wildest places on Earth and is a key stronghold for species like caribou that are threatened in much of the rest of Canada. It’s vast size (120,000 km2) and complex topography – stretching from river valleys to rocky mountain tops – provide a great variety of habitats and room where wildlife can respond to climate heating by moving along “climate ramps” to higher elevations or different habitats.
Wildlife Conservation Society Canada conservation scientist John Weaver has developed a bold plan to build on the existing array of protected areas scattered across the Greater Muskwa Kechica. The network of new areas recommended for protection is based on Dr. Weaver’s analysis of the results from detailed studies by provincial and university biologists. The plan has been carefully shaped to minimize conflict with resource industries while maximizing protection for the core habitats of keystone species, such as caribou, stone sheep, bull trout and moose. This expansion would ensure the Greater Muskwa-Kechika remain a stronghold for wildlife in a world being swept by an extinction crisis.
By working with First Nations interested in ensuring their traditional territories remain intact, the BC Government has a unique opportunity to build on the existing innovative Muskwa-Kechika Management Area to create a globally important and global-scale conservation plan.
Download the full report here.
Dr. John Weaver, author of the Muskwa-Kechika conservation report, has written about this incredible place and our plan to protect it in Canadian Geographic and the Times Colonist.
Read more about the Kaska Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area and our report in The Narwhal
Photo credits: Banner | William Halliday © WCS Canada