Give the gift of ‘species protection’ this Christmas

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is launching the gift-giving program of special protection this holiday season.

  • Dec. 21, 2016 5:00 p.m.

Sarah Kloos, special to the Valley Echo

People across Canada are focused on the upcoming holiday season and what gifts to buy for their friends and loved ones. Meanwhile, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is trying to relieve the pressure and stress. Maybe your family or friends already have everything; maybe they’re difficult to buy for; or maybe they just love nature but worry no more. NCC has it covered.

NCC is launching its 22nd annual Gifts of Canadian Nature. This cool gift-giving program gives people the chance to choose what species they’d like to symbolically protect and give it as a gift to loved ones. Not only is it a meaningful gift, but it’s helping to conserve critical habitat for native Canadian species.

“All the species available to protect can be found locally. We have places like Lot 48, Luxor, Kootenay Lake, and Darkwoods around us that are all properties where people could find endangered species. Especially in Darkwoods are the mountain caribou, which aren’t on the list of available animals to support, but they’re abundant in that area, as well as grizzlies, they’re very local. The Gifts of Canadian Nature program is great because habitats for one species can also be habitats for many other species, and the support is great,” said Chad Townsend, NCC program director of the Rocky Mountain Region.

Lot 48 is a part of a natural expanse that supports many different species of Rocky Mountain animals such as deer, elk, and other grazing animals in the Upper Columbia Valley. Luxor Linkage supports a very diverse community of animals, including the endangered American badger, mountain goat, cougar, wolf, bear, bighorn sheep, moose, elk, and deer. Darkwoods supports a huge range of different habitats: sub-alpine meadows, rare, old-growth forests, serene valley bottoms, productive creeks and lakefront lands. These habitats shelter animals like bears, caribou, cougar, lynx, and moose.

“These are great gifts for anyone on your list, especially the nature lover and the outdoor enthusiast. Here is a way for people to ensure the gifts they give and receive are unique and memorable. We are offering green ideas to conserve habitat for many species, while saving people time and frustration. Avoid mall lineups, buy local and help the Nature Conservancy of Canada care for our natural spaces and wildlife.” said Aaron Bilyea NCC director of marketing.

NCC has put up an online catalogue, which makes choosing a species easy. Your gift will help the Nature Conservancy of Canada protect the natural spaces and native species that the Columbia Valley and Canada is known for.

This year, native species available include: wolf, swift fox, snowy owl, moose, Canada lynx, American badger, and bald eagle. With your gift, you will receive a package that contains a full-colour certificate, a 2017 Nature Conservancy of Canada landscape calendar, and a booklet about the species of your choice.

To learn more about this program, visit www.giftsofnature.ca or contact the Nature Conservancy of Canada Office in Invermere at 250-342-5521.

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