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Chilcotin Ark Campaign Strategy

BC Spaces for Nature's emphasis on completing the protection of the Chilcotin Ark has resulted from an assessment of the BC's remaining areas of intact wilderness and biodiversity. Logging and mining is occurring so rapidly – particularly in the southern third of the province – that there is little time left to complete British Columbia's preservation system.

Therefore, we believe that top campaigning priority should be focused on protecting the very few really large wilderness areas that still exist, such as the Tatshenshini. These areas – measuring in the millions of hectares – have the capability to ensure the long-term health and survival of entire ecosystems. We call such expanses 'Great Wild Spaces'.

Great Wild Spaces are vast natural areas of global conservation significance (often achieved by linking together a complex of protected areas), which will serve over the long term as the earth's premier sanctuaries for biodiversity, wildlife, and wilderness.

In effect, these are world preserves for Nature, and rank with sites such as Africa's Serengeti and the U.S. National Parks of the Colorado Plateau. At 3 million ha (7.5 million ac) in expanse and encompassing ten of BC’s fourteen major ecosystems, the Chilcotin Ark is the premier Great Wild Space to protect in southern interior BC.

Chilcotin Ark Campaign area overlay with Google Earth image

The protection strategy implemented in BC Spaces for Nature’s Chilcotin Ark campaign is also based on Conservation Biology principles, which stress the preservation of large wilderness parks surrounded by buffers, and linked by wildlife migration corridors that are managed to retain conservation values. A chain of protected areas has been assembled across the Ark from the Itcha-Ilgachuz and Tweedsmuir Parks across the Chilcotin Mountains to the Fraser Canyon. Collaborating with local stakeholders in eight consensus-based land use plans we added buffer zones to existing Ark parks and established wildlife corridors. This has secured key habitat and protected biodiversity across a broad expanse of wilderness.

the Chilcotin Ark Protection Progress map

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