Teck Cominco to transfer 2,200 acres of land for ecological protection
TRAIL, BC-Teck Cominco Metals plans to transfer more than 2,200 acres of land it owns along the Columbia River in British Columbia to The Land Conservancy (TLC), at a substantial $1-million discount below fair market value. The area, known as the Fort Shepherd lands, is situated along the west bank of the Columbia River, south of the city of Trail. It contains a rare biogeoclimatic area, unique in BC, and is home to a number of species at risk, among them great blue herons, canyon wrens and Townsend's big-eared bats. The area also provides valuable winter range for mule deer. The land has historical value as well, as the former site of the Hudson Bay Company's Fort Shepherd trading post between 1857 and 1870. Mike Martin, Teck Cominco's general manager of Trail operations, said the Fort Shepherd lands initiative is a direct result of several decades of environmental improvements undertaken by the Teck Cominco smelter. "We've made great strides in reducing emissions and raising environmental quality, and the company and its employees are very proud to be part of this conservation legacy," he stated. "Teck Cominco has made an exceptional effort to preserve a very special ecological area and wildlife habitat for future generations," said TLC's executive director Bill Turner. TLC and Teck Cominco have worked closely for more than two years to create what will be called the Fort Shepherd Land Conservancy, and TLC has also begun working with the Trail Wildlife Association to establish the latter's role in future management and protection of the lands. More information is available from Dr Mark Edwards, EHS manager at Teck Cominco's Trail operations, 250/364-4308, or from Ian Fawcett at TLC, 250/479-8053.