Nature Conservancy closes lands
to reduce fire risk

Concerned about the increasing threat of wildfire across a parched and tinder-dry province, the Nature Conservancy of Canada has taken the extraordinary step of suspending public access to all of its lands in British Columbia.

That includes the Sage and Sparrow Conservation Area located west of Osoyoos on Kruger Mountain Road.

“Under normal conditions, the land trust encourages and welcomes low-impact recreation use of these special sites,” the NCC says of its numerous pieces of property across the province.

“But in the face of the current fire situation across the province, including high and extreme fire ratings for most of the areas where NCC’s lands are located, the organization is taking the proactive step of prohibiting recreational access on its lands.”

The suspension of public access involves all NCC lands and will be in effect until the wildfire threat passes.

“NCC is asking the public to please respect these closures and refrain from visiting its conservation areas until the situation improves and the sites are reopened.”

The Nature Conservancy is Canada’s leading land conservation organization. Since 1962 NCC and its partners have helped to protect 2.8 million acres (1.1 million hectares) coast to coast. More than one quarter of these acres are in BC.

While wildfire has long been part of the natural cycle in grasslands and forests, helping to regenerate growth and maintain a balanced ecosystem, NCC says it recognizes that catastrophic wildfires of the type currently burning in British Columbia are causing significant hardship and disruption for thousands of families.

“By taking steps to minimize the risk of human-caused fires on its conservation lands, NCC aims to contribute to the ongoing efforts to control and contain the wildfire situation in British Columbia.

For any questions regarding the access closure on NCC lands in British Columbia, please contact the BC Region head office in Victoria: 250-479-3191 or toll free at 1-888-404-8428 or email bcoffice@natureconservancy.ca.

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