The provincial government’s expansion of two provincial parks is exciting news for Christina Lake. Gladstone Park, on the North end of Christina Lake, is having six hectare’s added near Grand Forks. Nanaimo MLA Sheila Malcolmson was at the public beach on Wednesday in place of Environment and Climate Change Strategy Minister George Heyman.

She explains why these purchases are happening:

“The timing was right, the province has got a budget for land acquisition and a real commitment to conservation, and the Christina Lake Stewardship Society never gave up….”

The two lots purchased were the last remaining private in-holdings of Sandner Creek drainage, which 70% of stream-spawning kokanee use at Christina Lake. The purchases are valued at 1.74 million dollars.

Malcolmson says the lot purchases are vital for kokanee populations:

“Kokanee are under pressure, all salmon across the whole province are under pressure from climate change, and so we are protecting the last chunk of land that effects both the spawning beach, but also the purity and integrity of Sandner Creek…. vital.”

She adds the purchase from Pondorsa Estate was strongly encouraged by the Christina Lake Stewardship Society. She also says that besides having more land, and fish, residents can now have the confidence that the ecosystem is protected moving forwards. The other provincial park that saw an expansion was Garibaldi Park near Squamish.