MORRISON HEADWATERS NATURE PERSERVE
The headwaters of Morrison Creek have been recognized as a top-priority for conservation in the Comox Valley. The expansive, undeveloped wilderness oasis nestled between the margins of the Village of Cumberland and the City of Courtenay provides habitat for an extraordinary diversity of wildlife including keystone species such as wide-ranging carnivores, robust runs of salmon and is the only home on earth to the endangered Morrison Creek Lamprey.
SPECIES AT RISK
Over a dozen species at risk have been identified on the property including mammals, fish, amphibians, birds and a reptile. The Morrison Creek lamprey is known only from the Morrison Creek watershed, and is considered endangered by both the Province of BC and the Government of Canada. Critical Habitat for the lamprey as well as for the Pacific population of Western Painted Turtle have recently been proposed under the Species At Risk Act (SARA) in extensive areas of the Morrison headwaters.
The thriving ecosystem of beaver ponds, swamps and marshes naturally restricts human access throughout the majority of the headwaters resulting in a wilderness oasis limited to human disturbances.
The Morrison headwaters was identified by Comox Valley Land Trust’s(CVLT) science-based conservation plan as a top-priority for conservation in the Comox Valley based on its high viability, high threat (agricultural and industrial development) and high opportunities scores.
This is the first private land parcel that has become available for sale in surrounding Morrison Headwaters and is an integral part of the CVLT’s larger vision for further land acquisition in the area. One 24-acre (9.7 ha) parcel of private land in the Morrison headwaters has already been protected by the BC Government, and is known as the Beecher Linton Conservation Area.
CVLT has until March 31st, 2019 to raise the required funds to close the deal. Including the cost of the land, staff-time, legals and appraisals, the total project budget is $870,000. Success with this project will be the first step towards a campaign to protect the entire Morrison Headwaters area.