Pitt River Watershed
Region North America
Land and habitat protection
Pitt River Watershed
The Pitt River Watershed boasts stunning natural elements such as waterfalls, hot springs, diverse wildlife, and a thriving population of wild salmon. This glacier-fed river flows into Pitt Lake, a unique environment as one of the few tidal lakes worldwide. The distinct tidal behaviour of Pitt Lake fosters exceptional conditions for fish and wildlife to thrive. However, the region faces significant challenges due to development pressure, leading to the designation of the Upper Pitt as B.C.’s most endangered river in 2000.
The Katzie First Nation Community, known as “q̓ic̓əy̓,” which means “land of the moss” in the Katzie language, rightfully claims this territory and has been its steward for generations. The community is comprised of traditional hənq̓əmínəm̓ speakers, and 614 of its members continue to reside within ancestral lands. Pitt Lake holds a central place in Katzie territory, traditionally referred to as “sq̓ə́yc̓əyaʔɬ x̌acaʔ,”
- Protect the Pitt River Watershed territory by acquiring the private 733 acres that have been under intense development pressure.
- Conduct biodiversity surveys, land monitoring, and other data collection to understand the full scope of biodiversity. Use these findings to create better protection strategies for the land.
- Facilitate access for local Indigenous communities to this previously privately held land so they can engage in traditional activities.
- Undertake restoration projects that are key to the health of the area. This will involve significant partnerships with the Katzie First Nation and stakeholders in the area.
“These are not just places. Our stories are embedded in these places and we couldn’t survive without them. They contain all our wisdom for living.” – Haisla elder Cecil Paul
Age of Union made a CA $14.5 million donation to BC Parks Foundation, which will be allocated over the coming years to safeguard various ecosystems.
Salmon holds iconic status in the region, playing a crucial role in the ecosystem and in First Nations spirituality. Populations of these fish are highly affected by climate change and dam development, posing significant challenges. If salmon were to disappear, it would lead to irreversible changes throughout the ecosystem, affecting even plant life.
For thousands of years, the species has been the primary food source for Indigenous communities, earning deep respect for its cultural and spiritual significance. In often symbolizes abundance, fertility, prosperity, and renewal, embodying these values at its core.
We highly value firsthand knowledge and direct contact with our partners. That’s why we take the time to meet our projects in person and witness their initiatives.
In September 2022, we visited the Pitt River Watershed and were struck by the stunning wilderness and serene atmosphere in these iconic northern forests. Seeing bald eagles, sockeye salmon, and brown bears up close in their natural habitat reinforced our belief that we are a part of nature, and it should never be altered or adapted for human convenience. Such encounters are always powerful reminders of our commitment to wild ecosystems and the species that call them home on our planet.