British Columbia creates 27th wildlife management area, taking total designation to 242,000 hectares, creates reserve in Robson Valley comprising 319 hectares of Crown land, Nature Trust of BC properties and privately donated land

Wendy Lisney

Wendy Lisney

Apr 3, 2013 – Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

VALEMOUNT, British Columbia , March 28, 2013 (press release) – Robson Valley wildlife habitat is better protected today following the establishment of the Cranberry Marsh/Starratt Wildlife Management Area.

Today's announcement by Minister of Justice and Attorney General Shirley Bond creates the Cranberry Marsh/Starratt Wildlife Management Area at Valemount. The newly designated area consolidates 319 hectares of combined Crown land, Nature Trust of BC properties, and privately donated land.

Approximately two-thirds of the area was donated in 1971 by the estate of Robert W. Starratt, a well-known member of the Valemount community originally from New Brunswick. Starratt served as a bush pilot in Canada's north in the 1930s, and moved to Valemount in 1957. He died in 1967, and in 1971 his estate donated some of his property to the Province, which became the R.W. Starratt Wildlife Sanctuary.

The area features a longstanding wildlife sanctuary that includes exceptional nature viewing opportunities, and is already equipped with accessible eco-friendly trails and viewing towers highly suitable for birdwatchers. Ducks Unlimited Canada also maintains a wetland enhancement project in the marsh which includes dykes, nesting islands and water control structures. Consolidation of the area into a single Wildlife Management Area will support more effective management for a variety of ecological purposes.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations works to maintain and restore the province's ecological diversity of fish and wildlife species and their habitats. One way the ministry meets these goals is through the management of the province's various types of conservation lands, including the establishment of wildlife management areas under Section 4 of the Wildlife Act. This designation gives the ministry additional tools to manage the land and associated land uses.


Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations -

"Wildlife Management Areas help protect critical wildlife habitat. Our government will continue to seek new opportunities like this one to establish or expand this valuable conservation tool."

Shirley Bond, Minister of Justice and Attorney General -

"The creation of this new conservation area demonstrates what can be accomplished when many partners come together in a common cause. Here in the shadow of the majestic Rocky Mountains, we've taken another step to conserve wildlife and wildlife habitat for future generations. The creation of a single wildlife management area will allow for effective ecological management."

Brad Arner, manager of provincial operations BC, Ducks Unlimited Canada -

"In 1980, Ducks Unlimited Canada entered into an agreement with the Province to restore the wetland habitat on the Starratt Sanctuary. Known as Cranberry Marsh, it has become a major stopover and breeding area for migratory birds. It provides diversity and is a major habitat feature in the valley, at the split in headwaters between the Fraser and Columbia Rivers. Ducks Unlimited is proud to be a part of this project and looks forward to many more years with our friends and partners."

Dr. Jasper Lament, CEO, Nature Trust of BC -

"Cranberry Marsh is a provincially important waterfowl nesting and resting area. The Nature Trust of BC acquired two parcels of land here in 1978 and 1985, totaling 99 hectares. This land includes a black spruce bog which provides habitat for moose, deer, beaver and other wildlife. The Nature Trust of BC has been working closely with Ducks Unlimited Canada, the Province of B.C., Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and the Village of Valemount to protect the important habitat values provided by these conservation lands."

Quick Facts:

  • Earlier this month the Parksville-Qualicum Beach Wildlife Management Area was expanded and the McTaggart-Cowan/nsek'tniw't Wildlife Management Area was established.
  • With the addition of Cranberry Marsh/Starratt Wildlife Management Area there are now 27 wildlife management areas in B.C. ranging in size from the 17-hectare Coquitlam River wildlife management area to the 122,500 hectare Todagin wildlife management area in northwestern B.C.
  • More than 242,000 hectares in the province are now designated as wildlife management areas.
  • Several partners assist the Province with the background work required to recommend sites for designation including Ducks Unlimited Canada, The Nature Trust of BC, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and the Canadian Wildlife Service of Environment Canada. The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation also contributes funding to help with designations and for day-to-day management of the sites after they are designated.
Learn More:

For a high-resolution map showing the boundaries of the Cranberry Marsh/Starratt Wildlife Management Area, visit:

For other information about Wildlife Management Areas in British Columbia, visit:

To learn more about Ducks Unlimited Canada,

To learn more about the Nature Trust of BC, visit:

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