Hiker in the alpine on Darkwoods, overlooking Kootenay Lake (Photo by Gordon MacPherson)

Hiker in the alpine on Darkwoods, overlooking Kootenay Lake (Photo by Gordon MacPherson)


Alpine Lake on Darkwoods, BC (Photo by Bruce Kirkby)

Alpine Lake on Darkwoods, BC (Photo by Bruce Kirkby)

Ten years ago, in 2008, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) completed the single largest private land acquisition for conservation in Canadian history. That record still stands today.

The Darkwoods Conservation Area is vast in size and ecological importance. Encompassing 550 km2 of remote valleys, mountains and lakes, Darkwoods provides essential habitat for dozens of species at risk. Rarely does private property of this size and ecological richness become available for conservation.

As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the conservation of Darkwoods, we have an extraordinary opportunity to significantly increase the impact of this world-class conservation area.

Looking at the Next Creek watershed from across Kootenay Lake (Photo by NCC)

Looking at the Next Creek watershed from across Kootenay Lake (Photo by NCC)

Completing the puzzle: Next Creek watershed

The Next Creek watershed lies in the middle of Darkwoods. A large portion of this watershed is not yet part of the conservation area; it is privately owned forestry land and currently unprotected. We aim to change that.

Conserving Next Creek will grow the size of Darkwoods by 14 per cent and will protect the ecological integrity of a conservation network that has national and international significance.

Find out more about this exciting conservation opportunity >

Why Darkwoods matters

Grizzly and cubs on Darkwoods (Photo by NCC)

The lush valleys, rugged peaks, tumbling creeks and deep lakes of Darkwoods are both astoundingly beautiful and ecologically important. Here, wildlife  finds refuge. Rare plants survive. Pristine water flows. Unique, diverse forests thrive.
Read more >

Stewarding Darkwoods

Water sampling at Darkwoods (Photo by NCC)

Darkwoods is to be one of our most active stewardship projects, with ongoing conservation research and a long list of stewardship activities throughout the summer.
Discover some of the research >

Public access

A hiker on Darkwoods (Photo by Bruce Kirkby)

Darkwoods is an unmaintained wilderness area open to the public from July through September.
Find out how to visit Darkwoods >

The German duke

Duke Carl Hertzog von Wurttemburg and his son, Friederich. (Photo courtesy the family)

Many years ago, as the Cold War stalked Europe, a German duke looked westward for a haven for this family. He found it in British Columbia, in an immense tract of land he named Darkwoods, invoking his beloved Black Forest at home.
Read the story >


Railroad tracks on Darkwoods (Photo by NCC)

This land has a long history of use, dating back millennia.
Read more >

Forest carbon project

Misty Darkwoods forest, BC (Photo by Bruce Kirkby)

The forests on Darkwoods store an enormous amount of carbon, and we have been able to create a high-quality carbon project that raises important funds for our conservation work.
Read more >

Partners in conservation

Darkwoods has brought together a wide variety of both private and public sector partners across Canada and the U.S., as well as local communities and First Nations. We thank the many funding and community partners who have come together to make the Darkwoods Conservation Area a reality. Read more >

Photo credits: Grizzlies, water sampling and railroad tracks by NCC; the duke and son courtesy of the family; hiker and mist in trees by Bruce Kirkby.

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