A favourite climbing area next to Stawamus Chief Provincial Park in Squamish has been secured by the Province of British Columbia and will be added to the neighbouring protected area in 2011.
After three years of planning and negotiations by The Land Conservancy (TLC), Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC), and the Ministry of the Environment, the 10-hectare parcel of land at the base of Malamute will be forever preserved for recreation and nature enthusiasts. The granite monolith has over 60 climbing routes and is a favourite among climbers.
The land was acquired from Malamute Holdings Ltd. through a land exchange involving provincial Crown lands.
"We congratulate Minister (Barry) Penner and his cabinet colleagues in making a significant investment to ensure the Malamute remains a premier destination for climbers today and into the future," said MEC CEO David Labistour. "We applaud every effort to provide climbers here at home and from around the world permanent access to such defining features of outdoor recreation in Canada and our natural and cultural heritage."
In 2007, MEC provided TLC with a $15,000 grant to research and negotiate the complex deal. They then awarded TLC a $53,000 land acquisition grant for the purchase of a parcel of land that was used as leverage in the deal for the Malamute.
The final parcel was acquired from Malamute Holdings Ltd. through a land exchange involving Crown lands valued at $1.25 million, a $333,000 gift from Malamute Holdings Ltd. through Environment Canada's Ecological Gifts Program and $81,000 from the B.C. government.
The grants to TLC were awarded as part of MEC's ongoing community grants program, which has seen the co-op invest over $17 million in environmental conservation and outdoor recreation projects across Canada since 1987.