Columbia Lake in the Rocky Mountain Trench, British Columbia (Photo by Steve Short)

Columbia Lake in the Rocky Mountain Trench, British Columbia (Photo by Steve Short)

The picturesque diversity of Columbia Lake

Wood lilies

Wood lilies

Nestled into the Rocky Mountain Trench, Columbia Lake is as picturesque as it is ecologically important. Not only is the lake the source of one of North America’s mightiest rivers — the Columbia — the valley in which it rests is a hotbed of biological diversity.

The internationally significant Columbia River wetlands begin at the lake and stretch for more than 150 kilometres, providing crucial habitat for migratory birds, amphibians and reptiles and many mammals small and large. The area is especially important as a wildlife corridor for the elk, caribou, moose and bear that pass between the Rocky Mountains to the east and the Columbia Mountains to the west.

Columbia Lake in pictures

Click on this photo gallery to explore the Nature Conservancy of Canada's projects around Columbia Lake:

  • Badger
    Click on the image to enlarge.
    American badger (Photo by Twildlife-Dreamstime.com)
  • Thunder Hill Ranch
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    Thunder Hill Ranch (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)
  • Dutch Creek Hoodoos
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    Dutch Creek Hoodoos (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)
  • Kooteny River Ranch
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    Kootenay River Ranch (Photo by Nigel Finney)
  • Marion Creek wetlands
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    Wetlands on Marion Creek Benchlands (Photo by NCC
  • Map of Columbia Lake and surrounding conservation lands
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    Map of Columbia Lake and surrounding conservation lands
  • Wood lilies
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    Wood lilies (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)
  • Hooker's townsendia
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    Hooker's townsendia (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)
  • Kids feel a badger pelt on Marion Creek Benchlands
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    Hands-on education at Marion Creek Benchlands (Photo by Cam Gillies)
  • Lewis's woodpecker
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    Lewis's woodpecker (Photo by Teddy Llovet)
  • Elk
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    Elk (Photo by Twildlife-Dreamstime.com)
  • Grizzly bear
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    Grizzly bear (Photo by Dr. James Thorsell)
  • Walking on Marion Creek Benchlands
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    Walking on Marion Creek Benchlands (Photo by NCC)

 

The spectacular natural beauty of Columbia Lake and its surrounding environment attracts residents and visitors alike who appreciate the scenery, clean water, open space and recreational and agricultural opportunities. Interest in the area has led to significant development pressure, which has begun to threaten the very natural values that people are attracted to.

Conservation groups, regional and provincial governments and others have invested heavily in protecting the natural beauty and ecological vibrancy of the Columbia Lake. Collaborative conservation and a shared vision have allowed for the protection of a large portion of the lands surrounding the lake, and groups and individuals continue to extend this network of protected lands in order to safeguard the natural heritage of Columbia Lake.

Supporter Spotlight

http://www.natureconservancy.ca/en/what-you-can-do/donate/Monthly_gift.html