The Elk River Regional Land Trust seeks to safeguard forests around Fernie and beyond. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Regional Land Trust launch fundraising efforts

The Trust seeks to protect swathes of forest around Fernie and beyond

The Elk Valley Regional Land Trust has formally launched community fundraising efforts to support the organizations’ goal to protect forests around Fernie and beyond.

The volunteer-run, not-for-profit organization has been working on its conservation efforts since late 2019 when the land trust was founded.

Currently the organization has a goal of raising $20 million to acquire up to 25,000 acres of Elk Valley forest land, in a bid to preserve recreational access, protect wildlife habitat and to future-proof the region’s vibrancy and economic well-being.

“Although the mountains in the Elk Valley offer world-class views, trails, recreation and ecology, most of these lands are privately owned. The only way to protect the forest and secure the community’s access for generations to come is to raise enough money for the purchase,” said trust land director Dave Hozjan.

The funding goal is large but the team behind the Land Trust say they are up for the challenge.

“The Trust is partnering with ‘Impact Investors’ (investors who focus on social and environmental benefits) to achieve this target”, said director Roger Swierstra.

“The impact investors will buy the assets from the current owners, and the Trust will purchase a protective covenant that establishes limits for sustainable industrial use. All donations, grants and funding to the Trust will be used to purchase this covenant,” he explained.

Numerous stakeholder groups have been consulted with in order to design the protective covenant to reflect the values of the community.

The directors said they believed that healthy, intact forests “are the community’s most valuable natural resource,” given there were over 300,000 tourist visits to Fernie each year.

“Preserving the attractiveness of region’s forests is extremely important to the local economy. And a vibrant economy makes Fernie more livable for residents by supporting local culture, heritage, social welfare and recreation.”

Land Trust Director Aysha Haines said that the clock was ticking.

“We need the full support of the community to help us achieve our goal.

“The future of this valley depends on it”.

For more information or to donate, visit their website at

READ MORE: Sparwood seeks proposals on erosion mitigation for crucial bridge
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

It costs as little as $7 to charge an EV at home. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Electric Vehicles a rare sight (in the Kootenays), but change on the way

Electric pickups will increase the appeal of zero-emission vehicles in years to come according to Blair Qualey of the New Car Dealers Association

Linda Krawczyk and her dad Doug Finney enjoyed a ride around beautiful Fernie on Friday thanks to Melanie Wrigglesworth and the local chapter of Cycling Without Age. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Cycling Without Age goes for its first spin

Doug Finney (86) got to enjoy a ride around Fernie

The Cranbrook Community Forest is good to go for mountain biking. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Snow’s done, time to hit the trails

South Country trails are good to go

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
69 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The total number of cases in the region is now at 9,840 since the pandemic began

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Most Read