Gates Creek Conservation Area (Photo by Fernando Lessa)

Gates Creek Conservation Area (Photo by Fernando Lessa)

Gates Creek

Gates Creek Conservation Area (Photo by Fernando Lessa)

Gates Creek Conservation Area (Photo by Fernando Lessa)

Gates Creek is located in the territory of the St'at'imc people, adjacent to the N’Quatqua First Nations reserve lands near the town of D'Arcy. This region is has a sparse human population, but still carries the impact of development and settlement throughout the valley. The Gates Creek Conservation Area provides 111 hectares (274 acres) of protected lands for a wide diversity of wildlife, and safeguards precious freshwater habitats.

Gates Creek sits on a low floodplain that is fed by an underground aquifer. Wetland and riparian areas provide habitat for many rare and important plants, amphibians, birds and mammals. The river that runs through the conservation area supports salmon, trout, dolly varden and mountain whitefish, along with many other types of freshwater-dependent creatures.

Notably, Gates Creek protects essential and well-used habitat for two at-risk populations of grizzly bears. Here, bears from the South Chilcotin population are able to meet and mingle with bears from the Stein Nahatlatch population. Maintaining connectivity between these two grizzly populations is essential for their ongoing survival.

Gates Creek also provides suitable habitat for 13 other Species at Risk Act-listed species, including olive-sided flycatcher, monarch, western toad and wolverine.

Partners in Conservation

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) partnered with the Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP) to conserve Gates Creek in 2021. Prior to this partnership, FWCP had provided the funds to purchase the land with the aim of finding a long-term conservation solution for the ecologically important area. NCC was able to step up and assume ownership and long-term management of the conservation area. 

FWCP’s Coastal Region contributed to an endowment fund that will enable the long-term stewardship of the conservation area. Additional funding was provided by the Government of Canada, through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, part of Canada’s Nature Fund, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and TELUS Communications.

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