|Trail, BC - In a move to protect a valuable ecosystem and wildlife area, Teck Cominco Metals Ltd. announced plans to transfer more than 2,200 acres of land in British Columbia along the Columbia River to The Land Conservancy (TLC).
“We’re very pleased to make this substantial contribution to The Land Conservancy to protect one of the Trail region’s most unique wildlife and ecological areas,” says Mike Martin, General Manager of Trail Operations. “Our goal was to see the Fort Shepherd lands protected forever through a partnership with The Land Conservancy and with the support of the Trail Wildlife Association.”
Owned by Teck Cominco Metals, the Fort Shepherd lands are located along the west bank of the Columbia River, south of the City of Trail. Teck Cominco will be transferring the land to the TLC at a substantial $1 million discount below fair market value.
“Teck Cominco has made an exceptional effort to preserve a very special ecological area and wildlife habitat for future generations,” says The Land Conservancy Executive Director Bill Turner. TLC and Teck Cominco have worked closely for more than two years to create what will be called the Fort Shepherd Land Conservancy. TLC has also begun working with the Trail Wildlife Association to provide for its role in future management and protection of the lands.
Known as the Fort Shepherd Flats, the lands contain a rare biogeoclimatic area unique in BC. It also contains a number of species-at-risk including Great Blue Herons, Canyon Wrens, Townsend’s Big-Eared Bats, Racers and is valuable winter range for Mule Deer. The land also has historical value as it was once the site of the Hudson Bay Company’s Fort Shepherd trading post from 1857-1870.
Martin says the Fort Shepherd lands initiative is a direct result of several decades of environmental improvements undertaken by the Teck Cominco smelter. “We’ve made great strides in reducing emissions and raising environmental quality, and the company and its employees are very proud to be part of this conservation legacy.”
Teck Cominco Metals Ltd. recently celebrated its 100th year anniversary of operations in the Trail region. It operates one of the world's largest, fully-integrated, zinc and lead smelting and refining complexes and has invested more than $1 billion on environmental performance upgrades since 1977.
Formed in 1997, The Land Conservancy is a non-profit, charitable Land Trust working throughout British Columbia. TLC protects important habitat for plants, animals and natural communities as well as properties with historical, cultural, scientific, scenic or compatible recreational value.
Note to editors:
Historical photos of Fort Shepherd are available on the Trail Historical Society website at: http://www.trailhistory.com/gallery/index.php?image=/gallery/4201.jpg