British Columbia acquires 109 hectares of land valued at C$1.9M to expand five provincial parks; land includes an old-growth forest on Haida Gwaii, a popular swimming hole in southwest of province and a lush hillside along a world-renowned canoe circuit

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VICTORIA, British Columbia , November 7, 2023 (press release) –

An old-growth forest on Haida Gwaii, a popular swimming hole in southwestern British Columbia and a lush hillside along a world-renowned canoe circuit are among the parcels of land the Province has acquired to expand B.C.’s parks and protected areas.

The Province has acquired 109 hectares of land to be added to five provincial parks, enhancing protection of the province’s biodiversity.  

“Our government continually looks for opportunities to acquire more ecologically and culturally significant land for conservation purposes, and for people to enjoy,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Acquiring these lands enhances protection of important ecosystems and wildlife habitat, and improves access to outdoor recreation experiences.”

The newly acquired land is valued at $1.9 million and includes:

  • Naikoon Park (Haida Gwaii): 64 hectares of an inholding (land surrounded by existing park) that contains old-growth forest located deep inside the park. 
  • Wells Gray Park (near Clearwater): 33.25 hectares of an inholding that contains wetlands, advanced second-growth forest and habitat for black bears, moose, deer, birds and small mammals.
  • Gladstone Park (near Grand Forks): 8.28 hectares that contains a popular local swimming area known as the potholes. The addition will help improve the existing trail network and connectivity through the park.
  • Bowron Lake Park (near Quesnel): Three hectares of an inholding on a forested hillside above Bowron Lake. The addition will contribute to the diversity of the park’s landscape, including lower-elevation mature spruce, subalpine fir and western red cedar forests.
  • Mount Pope Park (near Fort St. James): 0.15 hectares to connect the existing climbing area to a planned parking/turnaround space on the existing road.

Through the acquisition of private land and partnerships with conservation groups, individual donors, the BC Parks Foundation and supporters, the Province regularly adds land to the parks and protected areas system. The BC Parks Foundation, the official charitable partner of BC Parks, assisted with funding for these acquisitions.

“This is another great example of what British Columbians can accomplish when they work together,” said Andy Day, CEO, BC Parks Foundation. “Every contribution adds up, and everyone gets to feel the wonderful sense of pride and accomplishment that comes with keeping B.C. beautiful, forever.”

The Province is consulting with First Nations’ governments prior to making decisions about legally establishing the lands as parks and protected areas.

British Columbia has 1,039 provincial parks, recreation areas, conservancies, ecological reserves and protected areas covering more than 14 million hectares or approximately 14.4% of the land base.

“Gladstone Park is an ecologically important place, and we know that a healthy ecosystem helps support prosperous communities. Gladstone also provides year-round recreation opportunities along and above Christina Lake, water that I grew up in, around, and on,” said Roly Russell, MLA for Boundary-Similkameen. “I’m thrilled the Province has expanded its investment in the park to enhance recreational opportunities and improve ecosystem health in the area.”

Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast, said: “Naikoon Provincial Park is an iconic park at the north end of Haida Gwaii, with diverse ecosystems and wildlife, and unique outdoor experiences for both locals and visitors. Acquiring 64 hectares of old-growth forest located deep inside the park helps ensure these diverse ecosystems and wildlife will continue to thrive.”

Learn More:

For more information about BC Parks, visit:

For more information about BC Parks land acquisitions, visit:

For more information about the BC Parks Foundation, visit:

  Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Media Relations
250 953-3834

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