B.C.'s Peace River. Image: Larry Peterson
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“The conclusion is that present levels of industrial-caused disturbances and projected future levels are very high, even in comparison to other major industrial projects such as Canada’s oil sands.”


Peter Lee, Global Forest Watch

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Healing the Break

An example of a collection used to find all items tagged as Project.Alberta Headwaters.

Y2Y is leading efforts to restore the Peace River Break to a healthy habitat that supports wildlife movement.

Healing Break Hot Project Map


British Columbia’s Peace River Break is the narrowest point in the Yellowstone to Yukon region and is a key linkage area that enables wildlife to move between two large protected areas. Unfortunately, according to Peter Lee of Global Forest Watch Canada, the pace of development here is faster than in Alberta’s oil sands.

                    • Gas Well TimelapseThe number of petroleum and natural gas wells in the region swelled from 15 in 1950 to approximately 30,000 today. If the province's plans for LNG development move forward, an additional 50,000 - 80,000 wells will need to be drilled, almost all of them in Northeast B.C.
              • There are some 8,500 petroleum and natural gas facilities in the areas, 15 percent of these are within 1650 feet (500 m) of a major lake or stream. 
          • There are approximately 18,000 miles (29,000 km) of pipelines, 28,000 miles (45,000) km of roads and 73,000 miles (117,000 km) of seismic lines, in the region. Strung together these would wrap around the world more than four times. 
          • Approximately 173,000 truckloads of wood leave the Peace’s forests each year.
              • Minimal wildlife habitat is protected in parks and wildlife reserves. Only 4.2 percent of the region is currently protected in parks and protected areas.

Cummulative Impacts
Cumulative environmental changes originating in human activity including roads, pipelines, transmission lines, agriculture, mines, urban areas and recent cut blocks (buffered by 1640 ft or 500 m).

This development has already polluted waterways and their residing fish species and significantly reduced caribou numbers. Not only does it threaten wildlife movement and connectivity, but also the overall health of habitat for all wildlife.


Despite this challenging picture, there is still a narrow, but relatively intact, wildlife corridor along the spine of the Rockies through the Peace region, which presents opportunities for conservation and viable habitat. To preserve this refuge we must manage human use better and development as a whole.


Y2Y is leading the efforts to implement a conservation vision for the entire Peace region that was created with the region’s First Nations and stakeholders, including conservation organizations, the University of Northern British Columbia, industry and local communities. Discussions with First Nations are revealing clear priorities for future efforts in the region. Currently, Y2Y is focusing on the following projects in the region:

    • Gaining full protection for the Peace Boudreau Protected Area
  • Supporting Environmental Assessment for Murray River
  • Identifying Grizzly Bear Habitat for enhanced protection.
  • Connecting Protected Areas in the Tumbler Ridge region


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Peace Valley Environment Association

Treaty 8 First Nations

University of Northern British Columbia

David Suzuki Foundation

Related Information:

Peace River Break

Site C dam

Appropriate Development

Protected and Public Lands


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