British Columbia Buys Malamute Land

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10/1/10 – The Province of British Columbia’s announcement last week that it has acquired a ten hectare parcel of land at the base of the Malamute, a granite monolith adjacent to the Stawamus Chief Provincial Park near Squamish that contains over 60 climbing routes, is being heralded as an important victory for outdoor enthusiasts.

“We congratulate Minister 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 Mountain Equipment Co-op (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.”

Following consultations with First Nations, the Malamute is slated to become part of Stawamus Chief Provincial Park in 2011.

MEC worked for several years with The Land Conservancy (TLC), a key proponent in the process, to secure protection of and access to the Malamute.

In 2007, MEC provided TLC with a $15,000 grant to research and negotiate an ultimately complex deal involving a number of elements and interests.

Soon after, MEC 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. That purchase allowed TLC to continue to be actively involved in the Malamute’s protection.

The final parcel was acquired from Malamute Holdings Ltd. through a land exchange involving provincial 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.

Although TLC did not have an official stake in the final Malamute deal, the Province acknowledged TLC’s role in laying the groundwork to make it possible.

“The Malamute is a stunning feature and an important resource within the constellation of world-class climbing areas in Squamish. This place is significant to climbers in BC and worldwide, including many MEC members,” said MEC community program manager Laurie Edward.

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.

About MEC – Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) is Canada’s leading retailer of outdoor clothing, gear and services for self-propelled activities like hiking, climbing, cycling, paddling and snowsports. Established in 1971, MEC currently operates 13 destination stores in central locations across Canada. MEC has more than 3 million members throughout Canada and around the world. Widely recognized for its commitment to sustainability, MEC is a member of 1% for the Planet and supports various community-based outdoor and environmental initiatives through its grants program. Anyone can join MEC and become part-owner in the Co-op, by purchasing a $5 lifetime individual membership. Members are entitled to buy gear and to vote on how MEC is governed. More information about MEC is available at www.mec.ca.