Canfor Corporation a global leader in the manufacturing of sustainable forest products, based in Vancouver recently made a contribution to the Village of Radium Hot Springs that was anything but sheepish. Canfor issued a cheque of $50,000 last month to the Village of Radium Hot Springs to reach its $400,000 campaign goal to Save the Radium Bighorn Herd.
The donations stem from Canfor’s Good Things Come from Trees program which provides support to organizations that benefits any communities where Canfor operates and its employees live. In 2021, Canfor provided over $1.8 million through Good Things in financial support for communities, sponsorships and scholarships, and product donations to over 310 organizations in its priority giving areas of education, health, sustainability, and community.
“As a forestry company with a significant presence in the Kootenay Rockies region of B.C., we are very proud to make this contribution supporting conservation of the Radium-Stoddart herd,” said Michelle Ward, Senior Director, Communications & Government Relations in a recent press release. “The community, including our own employees who call Radium home, has shown great commitment to increase awareness of the risks faced by the sheep and to accelerate the building of a safe wildlife overpass for Radium’s One Mile Hill.”
The proposed goal for Save the Sheep campaign may seem a little more realistic with this last donation that came in from Canfor putting the current campaign total at more than $100,000 and all the closer now reaching the quarter mark.
“It has made a big impact and shows the importance of the partnership between Canfor and our Village and how there is grassroots support for the Sheep Herd,” Reinhardt said of the company’s donation. “Canfor has been a strong, long-time community partner and, with safety as a fundamental pillar of its culture, it’s no surprise that Canfor has chosen to support this initiative. “The bighorn sheep are much celebrated residents in our mountain community.”
A decline in bighorn sheep population by more than half over the years has been recognized as a special concern that has brought the community together. It started as a Facebook page by community member Nicole Trigg that was dedicated to Helping the Radium Sheep and grew quickly. With support from the entire community and the Ministry of Transportation and Industry, momentum was created, and money began to be pledged.
“I might have to own committing to 10 per cent of the project from the village and supporters as we really needed all ministries of B.C. government to pay attention and take some ownership,” Reinhardt said. “This herd belongs to us all, not just the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure or the village.” Reinhardt also gave a nod to local MLA Doug Clovechok, who struck a committee at the start of his tenure, the Lake Windermere Rod and Gun Club and the work that Kent Kebe and Irene Teske have been doing for more than 20 years to draw attention to the plight of this herd.
All funds collected will be used first to get the ball rolling and will allow some of the base work to be started prior to B.C. and Canada determining how they will allocate funds.
Reinhardt said the project has a project manager assigned by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, which means the project will proceed.
For more information on the cause, visit radiumhotsprings.ca/save-our-sheep.
Chadd Cawson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Columbia Valley Pioneer