Barred owl in a West Coast forest (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)

Barred owl in a West Coast forest (Photo by Tim Ennis/NCC)

Looking back on a great year!

Arrow-leaved balsamroot on Lac du Bois Conservation Area (Photo by NCC)

Arrow-leaved balsamroot on Lac du Bois Conservation Area (Photo by NCC)

As 2014 comes to a close, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is celebrating a successful 40th year of conserving and caring for ecologically important lands in British Columbia.

Through land purchases and donations, NCC's British Columbia region secured 1,961 acres (793 hectares) of diverse habitat, including remote forested land along the Klinaklini River in the Chilcotin, a dry forest and wetland complex in the East Kootenay and productive native grasslands in the Nicola Valley. Since 1974, NCC has conserved over 1 million acres (400,000 hectares) in British Columbia.

People power

Over the past 12 months, staff and interns monitored and carried out stewardship activities on more than 50 NCC conservation areas across the province, from Vancouver Island to Haida Gwaii, the Okanagan to the Kootenays. NCC's stewardship work is helped by a growing legion of Conservation Volunteers, with over 600 people coming out to 89 events in BC last year. Volunteers planted trees, cleared out invasive species, tended seedlings, planted trees, built paths, banded migratory songbirds, counted species and so much more. These efforts amount to an in-kind value of $68,000.

Find out more of what NCC accomplished in BC in our Year in Review report >

New projects

The BC Region will head into 2015 with agreements with three private landowners who will sell their properties for permanent conservation. These projects span the province, from the west coast to the Okanagan to the Kootenays, and will secure valuable habitat for many species at risk. These projects will be formally announced when the funds are raised and purchases are complete.

Top marks by third-party evaluators

Two independent studies aimed at helping Canadians make decisions about their gift giving have ranked NCC as Canada's top environmental charity.

The Financial Post's review of Canada's 86,000 registered charities ranked NCC in its Top 25, listing it as highest-ranked environmental charity with an “A” grade, noted for efficiency, impact and transparency. 

In July, Charity Intelligence Canada announced its ratings of 400 charities across the country. NCC received the highest grade available, a 4-Star rating based on financial transparency, accountability to donors and cost-efficiency.

Earlier this month, MoneySense Magazine awarded honours to NCC as the top Environmental Charity in Canada for the fifth consecutive year. It issued an overall grade of “A” during its annual evaluation of the top 100 charities in Canada.

For anyone considering charitable giving during the holidays or before the end of 2014, the Nature Conservancy of Canada would be honoured to receive their support for its work in British Columbia. To contribute, visit and be sure to put British Columbia in the comment box, or call the BC Region office toll-free at 1-888-404-8428.

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