Canada

Nests, dens, other wildlife habitat to be protected in southeastern B.C.

CRANBROOK, B.C. — Foresters and ranchers in British Columbia’s Kootenay Boundary region will have to follow a new set of rules to ensure birds’ nests, animal dens, mineral licks, bat nurseries and other wildlife habitat isn’t disturbed.

The provincial government says it is issuing the order to help wildlife survive and thrive.

Environment Minister George Heyman says they know many of the species at risk in the area will have a much better chance for survival if their habitat is protected.

The new protection order is the first of its kind in B.C. and will take effect on July 1 in the Kootenay Boundary region, although the government says the intent is to eventually have similar orders provincewide.

The protections cover the nests for bald eagles, osprey, and great blue herons, the burrows for American badgers, the dens of the grizzly bears, bat hibernation sites and several other wildlife features.

Forest Minister Doug Donaldson says wildlife are dependant on undisturbed nests, burrows and other features for shelter, breeding and to raise their young and these extra measures will keep them safe.

Forestry operators and range tenure holders will be offered training to help them identify and take the steps needed to protect the habitats.

The government says consultation was carried out with those directly affected and with local Indigenous communities.

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