B.C. has acquired more than 650 hectares of land for a proposed expansion to its park system. The land is intended to be added to 16 provincial parks and two protected areas.
“Our parks and protected areas are among the natural treasures of our province and play an important role in our overall health and well-being, especially during COVID-19,” said George Heyman, minister of environment and climate change strategy.
The newly acquired land is valued at more than $9.7 million, according to the province. B.C. regularly adds land to parks and protected areas through the acquisition of private land and partnerships with conservation groups and donors and has one of the largest park systems in the world, the province said in a press release.
“These areas also provide critical habitat to a number of species. Acquiring additional land means more species and ecosystems will be protected and the land will be here for generations to come,” Heyman said.
There are several steps for the land to become a park or protected area after it is acquired — the province said this includes engagement with Indigenous nations and local governments, as well as defining a legal boundary and designation for the land.
B.C is home to 1,035 provincial parks, recreation areas, conservancies, ecological reserves and protects areas, covering more than 14 million hectares — this is about 14. per cent of the province’s land base. Over the past three years, 883 hectares have been acquired for parks and protected areas, the province said.