The Flathead River Valley, 158,000 hectares of wilderness located in B.C.’s Southern Rockies, is one of the most biologically diverse places on earth. It can be compared to Africa’s Serengeti for its richness of plant species as more than 1,000 wildflower species alone. Water in the Flathead River is so pure that scientists use it as a benchmark by which to measure water quality in rivers around the world.
On Friday, March 4th, Residents of Golden and visitors have the chance to learn more about the valley and what is happening right now in terms of conservation at the screening of the Flathead Wild film and multi-media presentation by Wildsight’s Flathead-Southern Rockies Program Manager, Casey Brennan.“B.C.’s Flathead River Valley is a window to our past,” said Brennan. “ Tucked into B.C’s southeast corner, the Flathead is a modern-day Noah’s Ark for many species whose habitat has vanished due to human activity.”
National Geographic magazine classifies the area as “one of the most diverse and ecologically intact natural ecosystems in the temperate zones of the world.”
Last year a great first step was taken to ensure one of the most important wilderness corridors on the planet stays intact. The BC government declared the entire Flathead River Valley off limits to inappropriate mining and oil and gas development. This declaration must be made permanent through legislation to help secure Flathead protection.
Sierra Club BC, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society and Wildsight are calling for B.C. to follow the lead of Alberta and Montana and agree to a national park in the southeastern one-third of the Flathead, to fill in the missing piece of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.
The groups are also calling for a Wildlife Management Area in the rest of the Flathead Valley and adjoining habitat, in keeping with recommendations made last year by a World Heritage Committee mission to the Flathead.
Conservation groups believe that logging, grizzly trophy hunting, quarrying and increased road access all continue to threaten the Flathead.
Brennan’s presentation will focus on the efforts to protect and connect the Flathead River Valley and BC’s Southern Rockies. The presentation will take place on Friday, March 4th at 7 pm at the Kicking Horse River Lodge. Admission is by donation. The Bugaboo Café will be open at 6 pm for light dinner and drinks.