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Local award winning biologist calls on BC government to create new parks

Professional biologist, conservationist and environmental advocate Wayne McCrory has received the prestigious Land Champion Award from the Real Estate Foundation of BC. 

McCrory, spear-headed campaigns for the Khutzeymateen and Spirit Bear protected areas, as well as Goat Range Provincial Park. He was part of the Valhalla Wilderness Society team that successfully advocated Valhalla Provincial Park.

As the founder of a separate land trust, the Valhalla Foundation for Ecology, achieved the acquisition of a number of private land parcels with wetlands and other high ecological values that have been protected and restored.

“The superior carbon capture of old trees is desperately needed to help combat the grave consequences of climate change and loss of biodiversity.  He expressed great disappointment with the current BC government’s failure to create adequate new parks and protected areas,” says McCrory.

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“It’s almost been a total failure and back-peddling” McCrory says, “all we have had from the government is the painful witnessing of clearcutting of some key old-growth areas of those proposals, including endangered mountain caribou winter habitat, despite large public support for protection.”

Some months ago in a telecom meeting on their Inland Temperate Rainforest park proposals, George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, told Valhalla Wilderness Society that the 14 percent protected in the 1995 land use plan was all the government was going to protect.

“We were all shocked by the Minister’s stance. For the BC government to ignore the significant science supporting much more protection in face of our climate and biodiversity crisis, is totally irresponsible” said McCrory. 

Wayne’s collaboration with his Valhalla Wilderness Society colleagues and many others including First Nations has led to the protection of over 560,000 hectares of BC.

“The Valhalla Wilderness Society is grateful that the Real Estate Foundation of BC granted Wayne its highest conservation award,” says director Craig Pettitt. “Wayne has been throughout his life a true champion of the wild.”

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