finlay-omineca-wilderness

Finlay-Omineca Wilderness

There is a quiet but amazing wilderness in the Cassiar and Skeena Mountains in northern B.C. Centered roughly around the headwaters of the Finlay River, it sits nestled immediately south of sprawling Spatsizi and the other amazing “Stikine Country Parks” and just off the southwest flank of the huge Muskwa-Kechika Management Area.

CPAWS calls it the “Finlay-Omineca Wilderness” after its two major rivers.

Although relatively unknown to most British Columbians (to get there is almost 400 kilometres on gravel - one way!) the Finlay-Omineca contains rich wildlife habitat, pristine lakes, free-flowing rivers and stunning scenery that rivals and is equally worthy to its better-known neighbouring areas.

B.C. is a land of famous rivers and many of our great ones get their start here along the Continental Divide in the Finlay-Omineca country. Stand on one mountaintop and you are at the common birthplace of the Fraser, Peace and Skeena river systems. Follow ridges farther north and you see the first trickles of the Stikine and Liard. Fly westward across the peaks of Tatlatui Park and you’re at the “Sacred Headwaters”: the source of the Skeena, Stikine and Nass Rivers.

The threat

Much of the Finlay-Omineca has been designated Special Management Zones in the regional land-use plans. Some of it is also underlain with mineral wealth. CPAWS is not opposed to industry but wants to ensure that “special management” is indeed the best way of doing business. It must be sensitive to the needs of wildlife, aquatic habitat and, very importantly, the First Nations people who make this area home.

Resource development in these Special Management Areas, where and when appropriate, should not simply be “business as usual” be it mining, forestry or energy development.

What CPAWS is doing

Climate change adaptation planning in Northern BC

Building on a climate change vulnerability project that CPAWS-BC completed with the Takla Lake First Nation in 2015, we created a Climate Change Toolkit for communities to use as a planning resource. It is designed to provide general guidelines and examples to support planning and decision-making processes related to climate change. The toolkit is the result of a review of several climate change adaptation plans and other guiding documents, as well as the adaptation planning work that we undertook with Takla Lake First Nation.

Click here to read the Climate Change Toolkit

SUPPORTERS

Special thanks to the Real Estate Foundation and Wilburforce Foundation for supporting CPAWS-BC's work in Northern B.C.

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