habitat conservation

Conservation of the region’s remaining undeveloped watersheds is central to FHA’s vision of sustainability in the Fraser Headwaters. We are paying special attention to three wilderness areas: the upper Goat River wilderness, the Raush River watershed, and the regions’ globally unique Inland Rainforest. All three of these critical areas are part of the protected area network prescribed by the Fraser Headwaters Proposed Conservation Plan.

The PPAN map is out of date due to extensive logging in the region, especially in the Morkill valley over the last two decades. We now require the Walker Creek watershed (upper left orange plus much of the yellow to its right) to be fully protected as well. The justification for this is the extensive old growth and primary forest remaining as well as its intact watershed status. Conservation North leads a campaign to protect the Walker Wilderness and maps can be found on their website. http://conservationnorth.org

Raush River Watershed

The Raush River watershed comprises approximately 100,000 hectares (1,000 square kilometres) of forest, water, and ice in the northern Columbia Mountains. The valley’s expansive wilderness makes it the largest undeveloped, unprotected watershed in British Columbia south of 54 degrees latitude.

Ecologically, the Raush watershed is incredibly diverse, with ecosystems ranging from high-elevation Engelmann spruce-subalpine fir forests, to low elevation stands of cedar and hemlock, to rich valley bottom wetlands. These provide habitat for an equally varied list of animal species. Grizzly bears and mountain goats frequent the high alpine meadows and avalanche chutes, while at lower elevations moose, deer and black bears are common. The Raush also provides habitat for the red-listed mountain caribou.

The Raush River watershed is located within the traditional territory of the Secwepemc (especially the Simpcw) and Lheidli T’enneh First Nations.


FHA – Conservation North Media Release     March 2023

Fraser Headwaters Alliance (FHA) and Conservation North (CN) congratulate the Simpcw Nation on their declaration of the Raush River watershed as an Indigenous Protected and Conservation Area (IPCA). FHA has been advocating that the Raush be fully protected for more than 25 years. Until now, it has had the status of being the largest undeveloped, unprotected watershed in southern BC (south of 54° of latitude) and the largest undeveloped, unprotected tributary to the Fraser River. “We are very grateful for the Simpcw action on this file. It protects the old growth, biodiversity and wilderness that are in the Raush Valley”, stated Roy Howard, president of FHA. “It will also help the BC and Canadian Governmentsgoal of protecting 30% of BC and Canada by 2030, the object of the 30 by 30 declaration made at the recent COP15 on Biodiversity in Montreal”, he added.

Read full media release here:

FHA-CN Media Release



photo gallery of Raush Valley


One of the crowning achievements of the Fraser Headwaters Alliance has been its role in the establishment of the Natasha Boyd Conservation Area.  This 63 Ha. (155 acre) parcel of once private land, the bulk of which consisted of valuable wetland wildlife habitat, lies east of McBride along Highway 16 near the Baker Creek Rest area.   It is home to a wide range of wildlife including: moose, deer, bears, wolves, coyotes, beaver, and a myriad of song birds and water fowl.

Not only does it contain inter-connected shallow bogs (areas of deep, nutrient-poor, acidic soils), fens (more nutrient rich areas with deep peat soils vegetated by sedges and grasses), and ponds, but also sections of forested land that contain birch, aspen, white and black spruce, lodgepole pine, Douglas-fir, and western red cedar. 

After Natasha Boyd’s death, it was the wish of her husband Carl Boyd to purchase some nature-rich parcel of land with the hope of having its valuable wildlife habit preserved in perpetuity, in memory of Natasha, who was an avid naturalist and artist.

FHA worked with Carl from the beginning of his efforts, to the fruition of his dream. Carl donated funds for the land in 2003, and with additional funding FHA obtained from the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program, Carl was able to get protection for it through arrangements made with The Land Conservancy, an organization created to take ownership of, and oversee long-term protection for conservation and heritage private properties in BC. In January 2017, the land was transferred to British Columbia’s Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resources Operations, to be managed as a protected area


The Headwaters of  the Fraser River are a part of one of the last great mountain ecosystems remaining on earth, and they are a small part of a much bigger picture.  For that reason, the Fraser Headwaters Alliance participates in the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative.  

The Y2Y is a joint Canada-U.S. organization dedicated to securing the long-term ecological health of the entire region stretching from the Yellowstone to the Yukon along the Rocky Mountains.  All of the member groups that participate in the Y2Y are involved in efforts to conserve and protect habitat in order to insure connectivity of wildlife corridors and to maintain the ecosystem health of the entire region.  This means that our local conservation efforts become a part of a much bigger whole as we participate in this unified vision for an interconnected landscape.  


Through our participation in the Y2Y, we are in touch with other groups working toward this vision of ecosystem connectivity. Our discussions include National Park management issues, functional wildlife corridors, protection of threatened and endangered species, and human-wildlife interactions. By working together on the bigger picture of our landscape, we are more likely to secure the policies and the habitat needed to protect all of our biodiversity for the long term.