Healing the Break
Y2Y is leading efforts to restore the Peace River Break to a healthy habitat that supports wildlife movement.
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.
- The 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.
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.
WHAT Y2Y IS DOING
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
WHAT YOU CAN DO
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WHO WE ARE WORKING WITH
GET THE LATEST: Healing the Break News
Y2Y's Peace River Break co-ordinator Tim Burkhart tells the story of the first - and last - caribou he saw in the wild. | British Columbia Magazine, March 2017
Scientists have discovered rare and notable species in the Site C dam flood zone that were missed in BC Hydro's environmental assessment.
Wood Buffalo National Park was named to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1983 because of its outstanding natural significance. Now, some advocacy groups, including Y2Y, say that status could be at risk.
Environmental Groups Support Mikisew Cree First Nation Call for Urgent Action to Protect Wood Buffalo National Park— Posted on Oct 03, 2016 09:39 AM in: Media Releases
Environmental groups meet with members of UNESCO to investigate threats to Wood Buffalo National Park’s World Heritage status.
Scientists, naturalists and volunteers met in the Peace River Valley over a five days period this summer to conduct a "bioblitz," organized by Y2Y, the Royal BC Museum and the Biological Survey of Canada.