New Pearl in Emerald Necklace ; British Columbia Becomes First Jurisdiction in North America to Meet Key UN Conservation Goal

By Wilkinson, Todd | The Christian Science Monitor, December 8, 2000 | Go to article overview

New Pearl in Emerald Necklace ; British Columbia Becomes First Jurisdiction in North America to Meet Key UN Conservation Goal


Wilkinson, Todd, The Christian Science Monitor


It took eight years of bitter haggling between Canadian environmentalists, native Americans, loggers, and miners. But the result is a benchmark conservation pact that protects a vast sweep of virgin wilderness the size of West Virginia.

The so-called "Mackenzie Decision" approved last month by the provincial government, makes British Columbia the only jurisdiction in North America to meet the UN goal of protecting 12 percent of its land base.

Yet conservation experts on both sides of the US-Canadian border say the 5 million acres set aside, combined with 11 million acres already protected in the adjacent Muskwa-Kechika preserve, stand to yield huge dividends for wildlife protection efforts in the US as well.

"I like to think of this as Canada's gift of wildness to the rest of the world," says British Columbia's Premier Ujjal Dosanjh. "We're very proud of what this accomplishes. In effect, it creates the largest protected area in North America and establishes an important precedent."

The precedent, Mr. Dosanjh notes, is the formation of an uncommon alliance, including diverse economic, social, and cultural interests that often have been at loggerheads over the fate of the continent's last significant spread of untouched forest.

The Mackenzie plan does not exclude industry, but carefully appropriates portions of provincial lands in Muskwa-Kechika to specific uses. It leaves alone, for example, sensitive habitat that is important for wildlife while granting logging and mining companies regulated access to other areas.

"This designation represents a potential turning point to ongoing conflict because it proves that local land-use planning can work," says Wayne Sawchuk, a fur trapper and big-game hunter affiliated with the Chetwynd Environmental Society, a conservation organization involved in the negotiations.

"Here, people realized that the frontier mentality which led to virtually unrestricted exploitation of natural resources has taken a huge toll," Mr. Sawchuk says. "The only way we will save what's left is by carefully zoning the land for certain sustainable uses."

The Muskwa-Kechika is viewed as a crucial pearl in a massive greenbelt necklace called the Yellowstone to Yukon bioregion that follows the backbone of the Rockies and transcends the US-Canada border.

"This is a continental home run for conservation," says Peter Aengst, a spokesman for the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative. "We're talking about protecting an area over seven times the size of Yellowstone and in a landscape that has the greatest diversity of large mammals in North America."

First conceptualized in the 1990s, the Yellowstone-to-Yukon project area is 2,000 miles long and 300 miles wide - unprecedented in global conservation strategy and akin in its scope to a greenbelt extending from the Florida panhandle to the rocky coastline of Maine.

At one end is the greater Yellowstone ecosystem, the US's emblematic sanctuary for abundant wildlife populations. Some 1,500 miles north is the Muskwa-Kechika, an area that has been called "the Serengeti of the North."

While the two ecosystems are far apart, they are linked in ways that conservation biologists are just beginning to understand, says George Smith of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.

The Muskwa-Kechika is home to a concentration of large animals that last existed in the American West 150 years ago. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

New Pearl in Emerald Necklace ; British Columbia Becomes First Jurisdiction in North America to Meet Key UN Conservation Goal
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.