Sanctuary

A wild Flathead has the ability to provide a sanctuary for wildlife to breed and raise their young as well as an emotional and spiritual sanctuary for people dealing with increasingly stressful social and economic times. Keeping the British Columbia Flathead wild and connected would provide important wilderness protection and secure a core wildlife sanctuary into the future. The Flathead is critical to maintaining the Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) conservation corridor. The Flathead presents a unique opportunity to provide a wildlife "ark" in the face of climate change and development pressures.

A wild Flathead embedded in a matrix of wilderness in British Columbia’s southern Rocky Mountains is part of an integral vision for this region. The need to maintain a balance with the natural world and “make space for nature” is a central theme of the Flathead Wild campaign. The overall emotional and physical health of communities in the region depends on the health of the surrounding environment.

Core sanctuaries for wildlife to breed in and raise their young free of hunting pressure have been demonstrated to be important to the survival of species like grizzly bear. Land use and management policies must be informed by the scientific understandings of the natural sciences and by the insights of leading thinkers who recognize the connection between human health and environmental health.

There are powerful benefits that people can gain from immersion in wild places. The psychological impact one experiences when visiting the Flathead is tangible. The B.C. Flathead is a broad valley surrounded by majestic Rocky Mountain Peaks. It has not seen permanent human habitation. It is easy for a visitor to feel a sense of separation from the hectic clamour of modern society. A sense of calmness and connection to the land are unavoidable. The richness of this type of experience is deepened when visitors know that an area is protected and will be wild for future generations to enjoy. Sharing the spirit of cooperation inherent in the famous Waterton- Glacier International Peace Park is valuable in these troubled times.

  • There is a very high level of popular support in the region for increasing the amount of protected land (between 75-80%). The community benefits from people feeling a connection to a wild Flathead.
  • People do not have to travel to the area to feel good. The knowledge that the area is protected can provide many people with emotional sustenance.
  • The long term health of local communities benefit from the recognition of the critical role this region plays in maintaining the viability of North American wildlife populations.