Teck Metals Ltd. has donated $400,000 to create an endowment fund ensuring future management of the 964-hectare Fort Shepherd Conservancy area, which runs along more than 8 kilometres of the Columbia River, south of the city of Trail.
The Fort Shepherd Conservancy Area is one of The Land Conservancy’s (TLC) model conservation properties and features an abundance of ecological, historical and recreational value. In September 2006, Teck Metals Ltd. announced the transfer of the lands as part of its efforts to publicly recognize the Centennial of the founding of the Consolidated Mining and Smelting Company of Canada Ltd. – now Teck Metals Ltd. The transfer of the land was completed in December 2008.
“By having an endowment in place, TLC can ensure that the ongoing cost of owning and managing land will be covered forever,” says Kathleen Sheppard, TLC’s Director of Operations. “These funds are often discussed at the time of purchase or donation, with site specific usage of funds.”
The interest generated from the $400,000 will be put towards site management. The funds will enhance the diversity of the flora and fauna, and preserve the property’s important historical and natural features, while also ensuring the land can still be utilized for recreation.
“We are very pleased to make this financial contribution in addition to the land already transfered to TLC,” says Mike Martin, General Manager, Teck Trail Operations. “Our goal is to see the Fort Shepherd lands protected through this endowment and with the efforts of TLC and the Trail Wildlife Association. This endowment reflects Teck’s commitment to sustainability and to the communities in which we operate.”
The Fort Shepherd Conservancy area is unique in B.C. as grasslands, dry forests, rocky slopes, cliffs and caves dominate the geography. It provides habitat to numerous species-at-risk including Great Blue Herons, Nighthawks, Canyon Wrens, Townsend’s Big-Eared Bats and Racers (a type of snake). Also the area provides a valuable winter range for Mule Deer. The area is named for the Hudson’s Bay Company trading post at Fort Shepherd that operated on the site from 1857 to 1870. Today the area is a popular recreational destination.