On this edition of “today in B.C., host Peter McCully chats with Jasper Lament, CEO of the Nature Trust of BC.
The past two years have been record-breakers for The Nature Trust of BC, as the organization has accelerated land acquisition work, buying private land and protecting it forever.
“Unfortunately, many of our species are at risk of extinction,” said Dr. Jasper Lament. biologist and CEO. “Protecting the rare species of B.C. and the ecosystems that they depend on is really at the core of our conservation mission. B.C. has 50,000 species, only 10 per cent of them have been evaluated for their population status and of those about half are at risk of extinction, so it really describes the biodiversity crisis that we’re in B.C. and more broadly around the world.’
The Nature Trust has four conservation teams – on Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, the Okanagan and the Kootenay region, with a team of year-round staff. During the summer months, conservation field crews do the groundwork, taking control of invasive weeds.
“It’s just been great as we’ve been able to provide university students and recent graduates, opportunities to get their toe in the door of the conservation profession,” said Lament.
The Nature Trust of B.C. has no debts and no mortgages and has enjoyed some high-profile donations, for example the Wilson Five Foundation’s donation of $6 million to help the Nature Trust acquire and restore a property on Vancouver Island.
Lament has been CEO of the Nature Trust for 10 years and said “in that time we’ve been able to do so much important land conservation work and worked with so many great people on both our staff and our board, our volunteers, and our donors.”
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