As part of our ongoing work to enhance biodiversity, we undertook a unique conservation initiative in the East Kootenay region, purchasing approximately 7,150 hectares of private lands in the Elk Valley and Flathead River Valley.
This is one of the single biggest private sector investments in land conservation in British Columbia’s history and will conserve an area over 17 times the size of Vancouver’s Stanley Park. This conservation initiative protects the lands for wildlife and habitat conservation purposes and demonstrates how world-class mining can facilitate world-class environmental management.
Teck worked with communities, the Ktunaxa Nation, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the Nature Trust of British Columbia and the Flathead Wild Coalition to determine which lands to purchase.
The lands that have been protected provide important habitat for numerous species, such as grizzly bear, wolverine, badger, elk, lynx, mountain goat, bighorn sheep, westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout, and hold significant cultural value for the Ktunaxa First Nation and local communities.
“I have supported mining corporations all over the world with their biodiversity stewardship activities. Teck is a leader among the companies I have worked with, demonstrating a high level of commitment from the most senior executives to staff on site,” said Ted Gullison, Partner, Hardner & Gullison, who worked with Teck on the land conservation project and several other biodiversity initiatives. “Teck has moved quickly to develop its strategy and management plans at all of its sites, and by purchasing the conservation lands it has shown its communities of interest that it is very serious about managing its biodiversity impacts and achieving net positive impact. I have not seen another company move so quickly or comprehensively to roll out its biodiversity strategy.”
“This purchase is just one example of how we are acting on our commitment to have a net positive impact on biodiversity in the areas where we operate,” said Marcia Smith, Senior Vice President, Sustainability and External Affairs. “Given that our five steelmaking coal mines are in the Elk Valley, this was a tremendous opportunity to put our sustainability values into practice on a large scale.”
We are currently working in cooperation with First Nations, local communities, conservation organizations, recreational land users and other stakeholders to determine potential management and stewardship approaches for the lands to protect key wildlife and fish habitat.