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Commitment To Conservation: More Than a Decade Supporting the Nature Conservancy of Canada

Since 2011, New Afton Mine has supported the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC) conservation initiatives in BC’s southern interior. In 2023, New Afton contributed $23,000 to the NCC to acquire portable livestock watering troughs for deployment at the Napier Lake Ranch Conservation Area. The initiative aims to facilitate cattle grazing while managing the land for conservation purposes. These troughs are strategically positioned away from wetlands and streams, preventing livestock access to sensitive riparian areas where waterbodies transition to uplands.

The many advantages of this approach contribute to the thriving health of wetlands in several key ways. Undisturbed banks of streams and riparian areas have more vegetative cover and less bare ground which can have a positive impact on water storage capabilities and help mitigate flooding. This also contributes to a range of ecological benefits such as supporting native vegetation, improving water quality, stabilizing soil, and improving the function of the ecosystem as a whole.

The strategic trough placement minimizes the introduction of non-native and invasive plants, preserving the delicate balance of the ecosystem and fostering an environment conducive to the flourishing of native plants. This stabilizes banks, creates shade, and provides crucial refuge for wildlife. The positioning also aids in maintaining water quality by reducing runoff carrying sediments and fecal matter, translating to a more stable aquatic ecosystem that benefits the immediate environment and downstream ecosystems.

NCC has established collaborations with ranchers in the Nicola Valley and beyond, seeking to strike a balance between conserving native grasslands and promoting sustainable ranching practices. Napier Lake Ranch Conservation Area is just one example of these conservation-ranching collaborations. It forms part of a vast network of 10,000 hectares of protected land throughout the Nicola Valley. The conservation and management of this area plays an important role in providing vital habitat and connectivity for the diverse species that call this region home.

“NCC’s partnerships with ranchers are very important to the overall health of these grassland conservation areas. Installing portable watering troughs is part of our collaborative approach to continue improving the grassland function. A small project like this can have a larger impact over time by helping the land, the cattle and strengthening relationships.”

Julie Chesley, Stewardship Coordinator, NCC

New Afton’s continued support exemplifies New Gold’s commitment to environmental stewardship, conservation, and sustainable practices. Through initiatives like the contribution to the Napier Lake Ranch Conservation Area, New Afton’s partnership with NCC is making tangible strides in preserving our natural heritage for generations to come.