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Snowy Mountain Protected Area

Designation of the Snowy Mountain Protected Area helped form one of the largest complex of protected land on the Canada/lower-48 border

Envisioning nature without borders

In January of 2001 the British Columbia government designated 49 new protected areas, called the Snowy Mountain Provincial Protected Area, totaling 303,845 acres in the Okanogan region, creating a vital habitat corridor for Canada lynx and other wildlife. One of the most significant parts of the announcement was the creation of the 65,000-acre Snowy Provincial Park, which sits on the BC border with Washington State. 

The Premier of British Columbia at the time, Ujjal Dosanjh, had been inspired by the proactive generosity of Washingtonians when the Loomis Forest Fund, spearheaded by Conservation Northwest and funded entirely by private donations, protected 25,000 acres of the Loomis State Forest and Loomis Natural Resource Conservation Area (NRCA) in 1999. In the Premier’s own words: 

"Our efforts work in harmony with the activism that you and others have demonstrated in the preservation of the Loomis Wildlands. It is my hope that governments and citizens in our jurisdictions will continue to work co-operatively to safeguard and manage the ecological integrity of lands and species, recognizing that nature has no borders."

Of particular importance is Snowy Mountain Protected Area's location, connecting to the lands protected by the Loomis Forest Fund. These areas, along with numerous pre-existing parks including Manning Provincial Park, the Pasayten Wilderness Area, and North Cascades National Park, now form a body of nearly three million acres, and is the largest protected area complex on the 49th parallel.

Large portions of this area are traditional lands of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band (LSIB).  Learn how additional investments, education, and eco-tourism development can position the Lower Similkameen Valley as a model for conservation-based rural prosperity.

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