Conservation groups announced last week that they have mobilized more than $10 million in public and private funds to protect British Columbia’s Flathead River Valley, a wilderness area spanning the U.S.-Canada border, from mining and oil and gas development.

The region, nicknamed the “Serengeti of the North,” is home to grizzly bears, bighorn sheep and many other species.

Nature Conservancy Canada and The Nature Conservancy in the United States helped spearhead an initiative that raised $5.4 million from the Canadian government and $2.5 million from the private equity firm Warburg Pincus to protect 400,000 acres.

“This incredible landscape is not only home to diverse wildlife, but it also supplies clean drinking water to tens of thousands of people and supports local economies through outdoor recreation, hunting and fishing,” said Mark Tercek, The Nature Conservancy’s chief executive and president.

Flathead Valley had become a cause celebre among environmentalists and photographers, some of whom launched a 2009 campaign with the Sierra Club to halt proposed mining operations there.

Juliet Eilperin