Last Saturday saw a major win for conservation in Canada. The area around the Jumbo Valley in southeastern British Columbia will now become the Central Purcell Mountains Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (IPCA). Known as Qat’muk, this area is a critical habitat for wildlife and “holds spiritual significance for the Ktunaxa as the home of the Grizzly Bear Spirit,” according to the Nelson Star. It is also part of the Yellowstone to Yukon corridor, which connects roaming grizzly bears between Canada and the United States.
While this project will take a number of years, the Ktunaxa Nation will work with the federal and provincial governments along with other organizations to establish this area as a conservation zone. Immediate priorities will be to identify stewardship objectives and to define boundaries for the 70,000 hectares of protected land, according to Vic News. This victory comes after a nearly 30-year battle against a planned ski resort and is indeed a great win for protecting both biodiversity and Indigenous culture in Canada.