Billionaire Chip Wilson makes record donation to BC Parks Foundation

“We hope this gift represents a significant change in British Columbia’s efforts to protect its amazing natural wealth.” Chip Wilson.

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Local billionaire Chip Wilson and his wife, Summer, have announced that a record-breaking donation will allow BC Parks to conserve 311 hectares of pristine habitat in three locations, from the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in the far northeast to the extreme southeast of the desert, he announced Thursday.

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The foundation has unveiled a $100 million donation during an event at the Stanley Park Pavilion, to start BC Parks’ 25 x 25 . campaignto protect 25 wild places by 2025, in line with Canada’s commitment to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity to protect 25 percent of British Columbia’s land and waters.

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The UN convention calls for signatories to protect 25 percent of their landscapes by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030 as the minimum necessary to preserve the planet’s biodiversity.

“These are very ambitious goals, but across the world, this is a critical decade to address climate change and biodiversity loss,” BC Parks . Foundation CEO Andy Day.

Andrew Day of BCparks.
Andrew Day of BCparks. Photography by Francis Georgian /beng

“It is also important to increase responsible and safe enjoyment of nature and physical health through connection with nature,” Day added.

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The Wilsons are making a donation through the Wilson 5 Family Foundation as a similar challenge to the government and wealthy philanthropists in the 25 x 25 campaign.

“We hope this gift represents a significant change in British Columbia’s efforts to protect its amazing natural wealth,” said Chip Wilson.

Chip Wilson and Summer Wilson on September 15, 2022.
Chip Wilson and Summer Wilson on September 15, 2022. Photography by Francis Georgian /beng

Wilson previously used his Lululemon fortune to support the conservation of coastal Douglas fir ecosystems in the Salish Sea with a donation of $4 million. Earlier this year, he pledged $100 million to medical research on facial humeral dystrophy and controversially spent $380,000 of his own money to start a political action group aimed at electing right-leaning candidates to city councils.

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For British Columbia parks, Wilson’s contribution will go toward protecting the three natural habitats:

The Falling Creek Sanctuary is a 213-hectare area in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in northeastern British Columbia in the area common to Saulteau, West Moberley, and McLeod First Nations. With old growth forests with large trees, the land is set aside for industrial use, but it is also an important wintering habitat for moose, caribou, deer, and other mountain ungulates.

The Tate Preserve, named after the famous ethnographer James Tate, is an area of ​​81 hectares of pristine grassland adjacent to Fraser Canyon in the Spences Bridge at the confluence of the Thompson and Nicola Rivers. The land is in the Nlaka’pamux First Nation territory and is home to species such as the bighorn sheep, which have experienced a significant decline in their numbers due to disease and habitat loss.

Bourguiba Springs is a famous 17-hectare biodiversity hot spot of historical interest to the South Okanagan bighorn sheep and home to seven federally listed endangered species. The springs and their surroundings are located in the hottest and driest bioclimatic areas of British Columbia in an area with few protected areas.

Summer Wilson and Chip Wilson on September 15, 2022.
Summer Wilson and Chip Wilson on September 15, 2022. Photography by Francis Georgian /beng

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