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Comox Valley Land Trust receives $3.5M in federal funding for projects in Puntledge River watershed

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The Comox Valley Land Trust (CVLT) has received $3.5 million from Environment and Climate Change Canada for three projects in the Puntledge River watershed.

The goal of the projects is to protect habitat and environmentally sensitive areas from logging.

The areas are the Puntledge Forest, lower Perseverance Creek and Morrison Creek headwaters.

The Puntledge Forest is being purchased to protect imperiled ecological communities and nearly 30 species at risk.

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Comox Timber Limited gave notice of its intention to harvest the site in 2020 but has now temporarily deferred this while the CVLT fundraises to buy the timber reservation.

The Cumberland Community Forest Society (CCFS) is currently looking to purchase 17.5 hectares of the lower Perseverance Creek area.

The CVLT says the lower reaches of the creek have been identified as vital for habitat restoration.

The CVLT has raised over $200,000 to purchase 289 hectares of the Morrison Creek headwaters.

The Comox Valley Regional District and CVLT previously bought 22 hectares of the headwaters in 2019.

“These projects include over a thousand acres of the most critical and sensitive habitat in the Comox Valley,” said CVLT executive director Tim Ennis. “This is a fantastic opportunity to protect mature forests, wetlands and riparian areas on eastern Vancouver Island.”

The federal money must be matched, and the fundraising must be complete by March 31, 2023.

“The challenges we’re facing are the tight timelines and the significant funds we must raise,” said Ennis.

“We’re seeking partners to match the federal grant and are hopeful the groups we are speaking with will come to the table and be generous. This is a generational opportunity and the time to act is now.”

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