A unique wetland habitat and rare Garry Oak ecosystem in the Cowichan Valley make up B.C.’s newest wildlife management area.

The Somenos wetlands, just north of Duncan, are a prime wildlife viewing site and now the S’amunu wildlife management area contains about 155 hectares of a highly productive lake, seasonally flooded wetlands, and riparian habitat, and it has significant cultural features.

Paul Fletcher, president of the Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society said they’ve been working towards getting the designation since 1992.

“Nothing has changed, it’s just much greater protection that we are very happy about and the signage will reflect that change in the near future. We are also very, very pleased to be partnering with the Cowichan Tribes on the name change.”

The Somenos Marsh Wildlife Society has developed elevated boardwalk trails, nature interpretive and information signs, and viewpoints to provide year-round wildlife viewing opportunities in the area.

Fletcher said the new designation, not only adds an extra layer of protection for the area but is also good for tourism in the region.