Governments of Canada and British Columbia invest to conserve world’s only inland temperate rainforest

News release

November 14, 2018 – Victoria, British Columbia

Canadians know that protecting our natural heritage is essential to our environment, our economy, and our communities. That’s why the Government of Canada has committed to doubling the amount of nature protected in Canada, from coast to coast to coast.

Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, joined by British Columbia’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, George Heyman, announced that the governments of Canada and British Columbia are partnering to protect one of Canada’s natural treasures and the world’s only inland temperate rainforest, the Darkwoods Conservation Area. They will carry out this important work by investing $7 million and $7.65 million respectively toward expanding the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Darkwoods Conservation Area. This investment will help complete a connected network of over 1,100 square kilometres of conservation-managed lands, protecting Canada’s nature and the wildlife that depend on it and allowing even large mammals to roam freely through their natural environment of old-growth forests.

The Government of Canada will provide funding through the Natural Areas Conservation Program to support the securement of the Next Creek property in the heart of Darkwoods. Next Creek will add 14 per cent to the Darkwoods Conservation Area, further protecting the natural heritage, the ecosystems, and the biodiversity of the world’s only inland temperate rainforest.


“Canadians love nature. By doubling the amount of protected nature in Canada, we are safeguarding our natural heritage, growing a clean economy, and reducing pollution. This important expansion of Darkwoods will not only protect nature and the wildlife that depend on it, but it will also increase conservation measures for the only inland temperate rainforest in the entire world. By working together, we can ensure a healthy and prosperous future for our kids and grandkids.”
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“British Columbians expect their government to protect the environment and take meaningful actions to achieve our province’s conservation goals. I’m pleased that BC is leading the country with the highest percentage of protected terrestrial land base in Canada. The addition to Darkwoods furthers our commitment to protecting vital habitat for wildlife and species at risk.”
– George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy for British Columbia

“The expansion of Darkwoods is a big step toward ensuring that the natural connections of BC’s interior remain intact. Nature can only benefit when people work together. Thank you to the governments of Canada and British Columbia for their tremendous contributions toward this globally significant project.”
– John Lounds, President and CEO of the Nature Conservancy of Canada

Quick facts

  • Originally secured in 2008, Darkwoods is still the single-largest private land acquisition for conservation in Canadian history, at more than 550 square kilometres.

  • While most rainforests are coastal, the inland temperate rainforest, stretching south from Prince George to Idaho, is unique as an unusually wet forest region in the continent’s interior.

  • Darkwoods provides habitat for many species at risk including the grizzly bear, the southern mountain caribou, the western toad, and the whitebark pine.

  • The Government of Canada is working with partners toward its goal of protecting 17 per cent of terrestrial lands by 2020 to protect our biodiversity, climate, and natural heritage.

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Caroline Thériault
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)

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