Link Island donated to Islands Trust Conservancy – highest valued land donation in Conservancy’s history

For immediate release

Betty Swift with daughter Hally and son-in-law Ted in the sunshine on a mossy covered cliff overlooking the water on Link Island
Late Betty Swift (middle) with daughter Hally and son-in-law Eric on Link Island – Islands Trust Conservancy

Lək̓ ʷəŋən, METULIYE/Victoria, B.C. – Late conservationist Betty Swift has donated Link Island, a 21.45 hectare (52.5 acre) island between Gabriola Island and Vancouver Island, to Islands Trust Conservancy. The Link Island Nature Reserve, valued at $3.73 million by BC Assessment, is Islands Trust Conservancy’s largest-ever land donation and the largest complete island managed by Islands Trust Conservancy. The Reserve has the added protection of a new conservation covenant held by the Nanaimo & Area Land Trust and the Gabriola Land & Trails Trust.

A Western Screech Owl pops its head out of its nest cavity in an arbutus tree.
Western Screech Owl – Ren Ferguson

Located southeast of Nanaimo, Link Island is nestled between Mudge Island and DeCourcy Island and is connected to both islands at low tides. It has a wealth of biodiversity, with over three kilometres of undeveloped shoreline, coastal cliffs, wetlands, intricate sandstone formations, tidal flats, and mixed forest ecosystems such as threatened coastal Douglas-fir, arbutus, and prairie oak meadows. The island is home to threatened species that are vulnerable to human disturbance, including Western Screech-Owl, Barn Swallow, and Great Blue Heron. The island will continue to remain closed to the public so it can provide sanctuary to the rare and threatened ecosystems and species that reside there.

Before Betty Swift passed away in 2021, she left instructions that the island be transferred to Islands Trust Conservancy. Her gift reserved the right of use to Link Island for her children and grandchildren for the duration of their lives. The Swift family’s dream is that Link Island will become a location for climate-change research in the Salish Sea.

“This gift is about the future”, says Barbara Swift, Betty Swift’s daughter. “It is a gift for us all.”

“We feel so honored that Betty and her family have entrusted us with this island,” says Linda Adams, Islands Trust Conservancy Chair. “It is our intent to manage Link Island in a way that recognizes and protects both its cultural and ecological values.”

Cliffs spotted with over-hanging arbutus trees overlooking the Salish Sea on a rainy spring day. In the foreground little yellow wildflowers and lichens cover the cliff face.
Link Island Nature Reserve – Carmen Smith

Link Island Nature Reserve has the added protection of a conservation covenant held by the Nanaimo & Area Land Trust and the Gabriola Land & Trails Trust. “Having an entire island set aside for conservation is an incredibly rare thing,” says Paul Chapman, of the Nanaimo & Area Land Trust. “I’m excited to see what we do with this unique opportunity, and to work together to find innovative ways to steward the island in the face of climate change.”

Gabriola Land & Trails Trust President, Rob Brockley, had the pleasure of meeting with the Swift family shortly before the title to Link Island was transferred to Islands Trust Conservancy. “Many of us aspire to show generosity when opportunities arise, but the Swift family has actually done it, and on such a grand scale,” said Brockley. “Link Island is an incredibly generous gift for conservation, and the Swifts are a truly remarkable family.”

Islands Trust Conservancy is currently developing a management plan, and is initiating conversations about its management with First Nations whose territory and interests include Link Island. Link Island is located within the territories of several First Nations including the Cowichan Tribes, Xeláltxw (Halalt) First Nation, Lyackson First Nation, Spune’luxutth’ (Penelakut Tribe), SEMYOME (Semiahmoo) First Nation, Snuneymuxw (Nanaimo) First Nation, Stz’uminus (Chemainus) First Nation, and Ts’uubaa-asatx (Lake Cowichan) First Nation.

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Quick Facts

  • Currently, only 12% of land in the Gabriola Island Local Trust Area is protected, despite its high biodiversity values.
  • More than 65% of land on islands in the Salish Sea is privately owned – meaning that individual landholders’ voluntary conservation actions are critical to protecting biodiversity and addressing the impacts of climate change in the region.
  • British Columbia is the most biologically diverse province in Canada– but it also has the largest number of species under threat of extinction.
    • Nearly 300 species are listed as being at risk of extinction in the Islands Trust Area, representing 25% of rare species found in BC. Protecting habitat is one of the best ways to prevent species from becoming extinct and aids in the recovery of those species currently at risk.

Press Assets

You can download the full news release from our News Release page.

High-resolution images have been made available for download to support this news release. You can access and download these assets from our Photo Gallery page. Please use only the images identified in the Islands Trust Conservancy Media Assets gallery in support of this story with credit to the appropriate authors (in the file name).

Sunny view showing crystal clear tidepools beneath a sandstone cliff spotted with arbutus and coastal Douglas-fir trees.
Link Island Nature Reserve –  Nanaimo & Area Land Trust

 

About

Islands Trust Conservancy is the conservation land trust for over 450 islands of the Salish Sea and is a part of Islands Trust. Since 1990, Islands Trust Conservancy has protected more than 113 properties, covering more than 1,375 hectares of island ecosystems. This success is thanks to the vision, support, and generosity of donors and partners.

Contact

For all media enquiries please contact Carmen Smith, Communications Specialist, Islands Trust Conservancy

Islands Trust Conservancy provides $5,400 Opportunity Fund grant to support a new nature stewardship program on Thetis Island

Lək̓ ʷəŋən, METULIYE/Victoria, B.C. – The Islands Trust Conservancy has granted $5,400 to Thetis Island Nature Conservancy for a new nature stewards program on Thetis Island.

Volunteers gather in the forest during a training session for THiNC's new Nature Stewards Program.
Volunteer training session for Nature Stewards program on Thetis. Credit Ann Eriksson

The Opportunity Fund grant will support Thetis Island Nature Conservancy’s Nature Stewards Program. Since launching the program in late 2021, Thetis Island Nature Conservancy has developed its program with the Habitat Acquisition Trust and the Gabriola Lands and Trails Trust. Grant funds will enable Thetis Island Nature Conservancy to continue to work with these partners to train program volunteers and conduct site visits in collaboration with Traditional Ecological Knowledge holders from Penelakut Tribe and with members of the Structural Protection Unit of the Thetis Island Volunteer Fire Department.

“Supporting voluntary programs like the Thetis Island Nature Stewards is so important. To prevent further biodiversity loss on the islands we need community members who care deeply for the land to know the right actions to take,” said Kate-Louise Stamford, outgoing Chair of Islands Trust Conservancy Board. “Thanks to the generosity of donors to the Islands Trust Conservancy’s Opportunity Fund we are able to support Thetis Island Nature Conservancy in these efforts.”

“We are immensely grateful for the financial support from Islands Trust Conservancy. Our Nature Stewards Program encourages residents to play an active role in habitat restoration, rewilding, and preservation,” said Ann Eriksson, Thetis Island Nature Conservancy Board Director. “In particular, the Opportunity Fund grant will support the sharing of knowledge from Indigenous elders and other knowledge holders.”

More than 90% of land in the Thetis Island Local Trust Area is privately owned or managed – making voluntary actions critical for conservation efforts to succeed. Residents and property holders who are interested in learning more about Thetis Island Nature Conservancy‘s Nature Stewards program are encouraged to visit www.thetisislandnatureconservancy.org/nature-stewards-program

About the Islands Trust Conservancy Opportunity Fund Grant

Islands Trust Conservancy’s Opportunity Fund supports timely opportunities to protect biodiversity in the Islands Trust Area. The Opportunity Fund is intended for ‘hard to fundraise’ costs associated with land protection. It can also be used to leverage increased donations to land acquisition projects or for other programs as directed by the Islands Trust Conservancy Board. Since 2005 more than 200 donors have contributed $200,000+ to the Opportunity Fund, enabling Islands Trust Conservancy to distribute 28 grants that have helped protect more than 530 hectares of land across the islands in the Salish Sea.

Press Assets

High-resolution images have been made available for download to support this news release. You can access these assets here.

Please use only images identified in the Islands Trust Conservancy Media Assets gallery in support of this story with credit to appropriate authors (in the file name).

Quick Facts

  • Currently, only 4% of land in the Thetis Island Local Trust Area is protected, despite its high biodiversity values.
    Islands Trust Conservancy protects natural landscapes across the Islands Trust region. The support of individuals and partners has helped to protect more than 1,378 ha of land within 34 nature reserves and 79 conservation covenants on islands in the Salish Sea.
  • More than 67% of land on islands in the Salish Sea is privately owned. This number increases to more than 90 % for Thetis Island Local Trust Area – meaning that individual landholders’ voluntary conservation actions are critical to protecting biodiversity and addressing the impacts of climate change in the region.
  • British Columbia is the most biologically diverse province in Canada– but it also has the largest number of species under threat of extinction.
  • Nearly 300 species are listed as being at risk of extinction in the Islands Trust Area, representing 25% of rare species found in BC. Protecting habitat is one of the best ways to prevent species from becoming extinct and aids in the recovery of those species currently at risk.

About Islands Trust Conservancy

Islands Trust Conservancy is the conservation land trust for over 450 islands of the Salish Sea and is a part of Islands Trust. Since 1990, Islands Trust Conservancy has protected more than 110 properties, covering more than 1,378 hectares of island ecosystems. This success is thanks to the vision, support, and generosity of donors and partners.

Contact

For all media inquiries please contact Carmen Smith, Communications Specialist – Islands Trust Conservancy
250-405-5183, csmith@islandstrust.bc.ca

 

Introducing Moss Mountain covenant – one of Salt Spring Island’s newest protected areas

Lək̓ ʷəŋən, METULIYE/Victoria, B.C.  –  Islands Trust Conservancy celebrates the protection of nearly 50 hectares of land (112 acres) on Salt Spring Island thanks to the placing of a conservation covenant by islander Gay Young. This new protected area protects a critical wildlife corridor between Salt Spring Island and Vancouver Island.

Salt Spring Island resident Gay Young has worked with Islands Trust Conservancy to place a conservation covenant that protects 45.4 ha (112.2 acres – approximately the size of 10 BC Place Stadiums) of private land along Sansum Narrows – a critical wildlife corridor between Stoney Hill Regional Park on Vancouver Island, and Burgoyne Bay Provincial Park and Mill Farm Regional Park Reserve on Salt Spring Island. Young placed the conservation covenant on this property to ensure it would be protected in perpetuity.

The land is protected through the Natural Area Protection Tax Exemption Program (NAPTEP), a program unique to Islands Trust. For qualifying properties, NAPTEP provides landowners with a 65% property tax reduction for the portion of the property protected by a conservation covenant.

“Given the current climate crisis it seemed like a great way to contribute,” says Gay Young. “It was a family decision between me and my three grown-up children. We felt the land needed to be protected forever.” When asked what they wanted to protect most she answered – the trees. “We had 112 acres of mature trees. I don’t want them to be destroyed – they are so important and do a great service for us as carbon sinks. It was our job to protect them.’

The Moss Mountain covenant contains a range of ecosystems including mature forests, seasonal creeks, wetlands, mossy bluffs, prairie oak and arbutus woodlands, and rocky shoreline. It protects three documented species at risk of extinction (two birds, one bat), and nine provincially listed ecosystems – including the federally endangered Little Brown Bat, which was detected during summer bat surveys in 2021.

“Conserving land is a direct action individuals can take to prevent biodiversity loss and increase islands’ resiliency to climate change,” says Kate-Louise Stamford, Chair of the Islands Trust Conservancy Board.

More than 65% of land on islands in the Salish Sea is privately owned – meaning that individual landowners’ voluntary conservation actions are critical to protecting biodiversity and addressing the impacts of climate change in the region. Conservation covenants provide many benefits to island communities and can be used to conserve areas of natural and cultural significance. Forests and wetlands help purify air and water and actively remove and store carbon. Beaches and shorelines provide scenic landscapes, important habitats for fish and birds, and storm protection in the face of climate change.

The Islands Trust Conservancy website provides information and resources to help you determine if a conservation covenant is right for you and your property. Visit https://islandstrust.bc.ca/conservancy/protect-nature/conservation-covenants/ for more information.

Quick Facts

  • A conservation covenant is a legal agreement between a landholder and a conservation organization, protecting habitat by preventing certain types of activities on a property. The covenant binds all future landholders and is monitored—and enforced if necessary–by the conservation organization.
  • B.C. is the most biologically diverse province in Canada– but it is also a hotspot for biodiversity loss.
    • More than 300 species are listed as being at risk of extinction in the Islands Trust Area. Protecting habitat is one of the best ways to prevent species from becoming at risk of extinction and aid in the recovery of those currently at risk.
  • The Coastal Douglas-fir biogeoclimatic zone (CDF zone) is the smallest ecological zone in BC and contains the most species and ecosystems at risk of extinction (Coastal Douglas-Fir Conservation Partnership, 2022).
    • A quarter of BC’s CDF zone is located in the Islands Trust Area.
    • The CDF zone has been negatively impacted by human activities, resulting in natural areas that are highly fragmented and threatened by increased development and urbanization.

About Islands Trust Conservancy & NAPTEP

Islands Trust Conservancy is the conservation land trust for over 450 islands of the Salish Sea and is a part of Islands Trust. Since 1990, Islands Trust Conservancy has protected 113 properties, covering more than 1,375 hectares of island ecosystems. This success is thanks to the vision, support, and generosity of our donors and partners.

This property was protected through the Natural Area Protection Tax Exemption Program (NAPTEP). For qualifying properties, NAPTEP provides landowners with a 65% property tax reduction for the portion of the property protected by a conservation covenant. Since launching in 2005, NAPTEP has resulted in 27 covenants, totalling more than 150 hectares of land on islands throughout the Salish Sea.

Press Assets

High-resolution images and video featuring Gay Young’s story and property have been made available for download to support this news release. Please use only the images identified in the Islands Trust Conservancy Media Assets gallery in support of this story with credit to the appropriate authors (in the file name). You can access these assets here.

Mist rolls in amongst tall arbutus trees and huge moss-covered boulders
Moss Mountain covenant, Salt Spring Island.

Contacts available for media:

Kate-Louise Stamford, Chair, Islands Trust Conservancy Board, via Carmen Smith, A/Communications Specialist, Islands Trust Conservancy 250-405-5183, csmith@islandstrust.bc.ca

Gay Young, Land donor, Salt Spring Island via Carmen Smith A/Communications Specialist, Islands Trust Conservancy 250-405-5183, csmith@islandstrust.bc.ca

 

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Islands Trust Announces New Director of Planning Services

Lək̓ ʷəŋən, METULIYE/Victoria, B.C. – Islands Trust is pleased to announce the appointment of Stefan Cermak as the new Director of Planning Services.

Headshot of Islands Trust Director of Planning Stefan Cermak
Stefan Cermak, Islands Trust.

“After a comprehensive, competitive process, I’m delighted to announce that Stefan Cermak will be joining our management team in this key role”, said Russ Hotsenpiller, Chief Administrative Officer of the Islands Trust. “Stefan knows the Islands Trust Area well and is respected for his leadership, energy, and a strong personal commitment to sustainable community planning principles. New leadership for our planning unit will be a significant part of the transformation of planning services we are undertaking to uphold our mandate to preserve and protect this special area.”

During his seven years as the Islands Trust’s Regional Planning Manager for Salt Spring Island, Stefan led progress on a number of strategic initiatives including housing, climate change, and sensitive ecosystem protection.

“I am very excited to take on the role of Director of Planning Services. I am passionate about the Islands Trust mandate and I look forward to working with elected officials, First Nations, the public and staff from across the Islands Trust Area to preserve and protect this region,” said Cermak. “Living and working on Salt Spring Island, and travel throughout the Islands Trust Area, has given me insight into the unique needs of the region.”

Stefan will finish up his current position as Manager of Development Services at the Cowichan Valley Regional District and will begin as Director of Planning Services on August 15, 2022.

The Director of Planning Services role became vacant in March 2022 when David Marlor, the former Director of Planning Services moved into the role of Director of Legislative Services.

The Islands Trust is in the process of transforming how it delivers planning services. In 2018, Islands Trust undertook an internal review of application processing and planning service delivery. The results of the review led Islands Trust to reorganize the planning department into teams focused upon proactive long-range planning and applications. In June, Trust Council adopted an amended policy on Best Management Practices for Delivery of Local Planning Services to Local Trust Committees to support better sequencing and budgeting for projects and updates to official community plans and land use bylaws. The Trust is also undertaking a two-year program to review its development application processing approach and replace the in-house property information system with a new system that provides more reporting options and includes an online application portal for the public to make and track their applications.

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About Islands Trust

Islands Trust is a special-purpose government representing over 30,000 people living within the Islands Trust Area and 10,000 non-resident property owners. The Islands Trust Area is located within Coast Salish territory and is the homeland to many Coast Salish Peoples who have called this place home since time immemorial. Islands Trust is responsible for preserving and protecting the Islands Trust Area’s unique amenities and environment through conservation-oriented land use planning and regulation, education, and cooperation with First Nations and other agencies. The Islands Trust Area covers the islands and waters between the British Columbia mainland and southern Vancouver Island. It includes 13 major islands and more than 450 smaller islands covering 5,200 square kilometres.

Press Assets: High resolution images have been made available for download to support this news release. You can access these assets here.
Please use only in the images identified in the Islands Trust Media Assets gallery in support of this story with credit to appropriate authors (in file name).

Media Contact:

Russ Hotsenpiller, Chief Administrative Officer, Islands Trust, via Lori Foster, Executive Coordinator: 250.405.5161

Islands Trust Conservancy gives $6,000 funding boost to support nature stewardship on Gabriola Island

Lək̓ ʷəŋən, METULIYE/Victoria, B.C.  – Gabriola Land and Trails Trust (GaLTT) has received a $6,000 Opportunity Fund grant from Islands Trust Conservancy to help them meet an overwhelming demand from islanders wishing to take action to care for nature on Gabriola Island.

Nature Steward participant sign to encourage wildlife friendly gardens
Nature Steward participants display signs to promote the program to their neighbours. Credit Libby Gunn

The Opportunity Fund grant will support GaLTT’s booming Nature Stewards Program. Since launching the program in 2021 GaLTT has received a hugely positive response from Gabriola residents. Almost 100 acres have been conserved by dozens of private landholders through voluntary pledges to keep the trees and protect habitat on at least 30 percent of their properties. “Home of a Wildlife Friendly Garden” signs and signs about habitat conservation are popping up around the island.  With the ongoing support of the Islands Trust Conservancy and partners, GaLTT hopes to secure 350 acres of habitat pledges by the end of 2023.

“Supporting voluntary actions and programs like Nature Stewards on the islands is critical to the success of conservation in the Salish Sea,” says Kate-Louise Stamford, Chair of the Islands Trust Conservancy Board. “We are happy to be able to support the Gabriola Land and Trails Trust and hope this support contributes to their continued success on Gabriola.”

Currently only 12% of land in the Gabriola Island Local Trust Area is protected, despite its high biodiversity values. More than 65% of land on islands in the Salish Sea are privately held – meaning that individual landholders’ voluntary conservation actions are critical to protecting biodiversity and addressing impacts from climate change in the region.

“Many landholders are already champions of nature conservation on their land, from larger acreages to less than half-acre parcels,” says Ken Gurr of GaLTT. “We want to acknowledge everyone for their efforts, and ask all islanders to conserve as much of their properties in a nature friendly state as possible. We all know this decade is pivotal for so many global issues, and our local efforts will feed into the huge international movement to protect 30 percent of the planet by 2030.”

Residents and property holders on Gabriola who are interested in learning more about this program are encouraged to visit www.galtt-naturestewards.com or fill out the contact form for a site visit at www.galtt-naturestewards.com/join-us.html

Gabriolan Jeff Rietkerk is conserving over 10 acres of habitat on his family’s farm with Nature Stewards. Credit: GaLTT.

 

About the Islands Trust Conservancy Opportunity Fund Grant

The purpose of Islands Trust Conservancy’s Opportunity Fund is to support timely opportunities to protect biodiversity in the Islands Trust Area. The Opportunity Fund provides support for ‘hard to fundraise’ costs associated with land protection. It can also be used to leverage increased donations to land acquisition projects.

Since 2005 more than 200 donors have contributed $200,000+ to the Opportunity Fund, enabling Islands Trust Conservancy to distribute 28 grants that have helped protect more than 530 hectares of land across the islands in the Salish Sea.

Press Assets

High resolution images have been made available for download to support this news release. You can access these assets here.

Please use only in the images identified in the Islands Trust Conservancy Media Assets gallery in support of this story with credit to appropriate authors (in file name).

Quick Facts

  • Currently only 12% of land in the Gabriola Island Local Trust Area is protected, despite its high biodiversity values.
  • Islands Trust Conservancy protects natural landscapes across the Islands Trust region. The support of individuals and partners has helped to protect more than 1,365 ha of land within 32 nature reserves and 79 conservation covenants on islands in the Salish Sea.
  • More than 65% of land on islands in the Salish Sea are privately owned – meaning that individual landholders’ voluntary conservation actions are critical to protecting biodiversity and addressing impacts from climate change in the region.
  • British Columbia is the most biologically diverse province in Canada– but it also has the largest number of species under threat of extinction.
    • Nearly 300 species are listed as being at risk of extinction in the Islands Trust Area, representing 25% of rare species found in BC. Protecting habitat is one of the best ways to prevent species from becoming extinct and aids in the recovery of those species currently at risk.

About Islands Trust Conservancy

Islands Trust Conservancy is the conservation land trust for over 450 islands of the Salish Sea and is a part of Islands Trust. Since 1990, Islands Trust Conservancy has protected more than 110 properties, covering more than 1,365 hectares of island ecosystems. This success is thanks to the vision, support, and generosity of donors and partners. Learn more about our work.

Contact

For all media enquiries please contact Carmen Smith, Communications Specialist – Islands Trust Conservancy

250-405-5183, csmith@islandstrust.bc.ca

Islands Trust Conservancy celebrates the protection of Woodpecker Forest on SDȺY¸ES/North Pender Island this Earth Day.

Lək̓ ʷəŋən, METULIYE/Victoria, B.C.  –   Islands Trust Conservancy (ITC) celebrates the addition of Woodpecker Forest, a new protected area that will add 3.6 ha (9 acres) to nearly 17 ha (41.5 acres) of protected wildlife corridors on SDȺY¸ES/ North Pender Island.

Protected lands provide many benefits to island communities. The forests and wetlands of Woodpecker Forest will purify the air and water and actively remove and store carbon.

The land was protected through the Natural Area Protection Tax Exemption Program (NAPTEP), a program unique to Islands Trust in B.C. that allows landowners who protect private land to receive a property tax exemption for their contribution to the islands.

 

Lisa Baile and Peter Pare in Woodpecker Forest

Introducing Woodpecker Forest Covenant on SDȺY¸ES / North Pender Island.

Thanks to the ongoing generosity of islanders Peter Paré and Lisa Baile, an additional 3.63 hectares of land near the existing Lisa Baile Nature Reserve has been protected on SDȺY¸ES / North Pender Island. This recent addition builds on existing protected land to create nearly 17 hectares (41.5 acres – approx. the size of 4 BC Place Arenas) of protected land along Clam Bay Rd. Connecting protected areas provides movement corridors for wildlife, helps buffer impacts of climate change, and aids in stemming biodiversity loss on the island.

Lisa Baile and Peter Paré first protected land near their home in 2021, with the creation of the Lisa Baile Nature Reserve. When the lot next door came on the market, Lisa and Peter decided to act.

“We bought the lot next door to connect it to our existing property with the goal of placing a conservation covenant on part of it to protect it,” says Peter.

Lisa and Peter state climate change and a strong desire to protect endangered Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystems are what motivate them to keep finding ways to protect more land on North Pender. “We want to protect as much rare and endangered Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystems as we can,” says Peter. “The development on these islands has led to a progressive loss of trees – which are one of the best carbon capturing devices out there – we have to do more to protect what biodiversity is left.”

“We need to respect all species on the planet, to protect their habitat, to speak up for them – for without the animals, birds, plants and insects and the services they provide, we cannot survive.,” says Lisa Baile.

“It is our hope that each little piece we can protect and set aside will help protect not just the rare coastal Douglas-fir ecosystems, but people as well in the face of climate change.” – Lisa Baile and Peter Paré.

Woodpecker Forest contains several at-risk ecosystems, including rare Douglas-fir and Western redcedar stands. The land rises steeply from a wetland and mature forest into mossy bluffs and dry woodlands. This diversity provides habitat for a rich variety of plants and animals. There are remnant old-growth trees and wildlife trees scattered throughout the forest, and a wetland complex that supports river otters, amphibians, an incredibly diverse bird community—including several species of woodpeckers—and at least one bat species. There is a public trail through a part of the wetland that is to be maintained by the Alternative Transportation Society’s Moving Around Pender project (MAP). This conservation covenant will be jointly managed in partnership with the Pender Islands Conservancy Association.

Conservation Covenants and voluntary actions by private citizens are critical to stemming biodiversity loss on islands in the Salish Sea.

These islands provide sanctuary to some of BC’s most endangered species and ecosystems. Conservation covenants help stem the loss of habitat for plants and animals from deforestation, development, and damage from human use, and ensure the persistence of the beaches, forests and wetlands. They can also be used to help conserve areas of cultural significance to First Peoples, now and into the future.

“Thanks to the generosity and actions taken by Lisa and Peter, these incredible places – full of rare and wonderful ecosystems and species – will remain protected and intact,” says Kate Emmings, Manager at Islands Trust Conservancy. “I’d count that as a win for residents, a win for nature, and a win for generations to come.”

This property was protected using a conservation covenant in the Natural Area Protection Tax Exemption Program (NAPTEP). For qualifying properties, NAPTEP provides landowners with a 65% property tax reduction for the portion of the property protected by a conservation covenant.

Lisa and Peter were also the first ever recipients of the Morrison Waxler Biodiversity Protection Legacy Fund that was established by a generous donor to help North and South Pender island residents protect land on these special islands.

The Islands Trust Conservancy website provides information and resources to landowners determine if a conservation covenant is right for them. Visit https://islandstrust.bc.ca/conservancy/protect-nature/conservation-covenants/ for more information.

 

Media Assets

We have both video and photo assets available to support this story. Please use only in the images identified in the Islands Trust Conservancy Media Assets gallery in support of this story.You can access these assets here.

If you require access to additional high-res video reels from the property and the island we can make those available – please contact our Communications Specialist – Carmen Smith, 250-405-5183, csmith@islandstrust.bc.ca.

Islands Trust Conservancy News Release

Salt Spring Island philanthropist continues her conservation legacy of protecting islands for future generations

 

Lək̓ ʷəŋən, METULIYE/Victoria, B.C. – Late Salt Spring Island resident Susan Bloom continues to build on her conservation legacy with a recent donation of $100,000 to help protect islands in the Salish Sea.

 

Islands Trust Conservancy has received a donation of $100,000 in support of its continued conservation efforts on islands in the Salish Sea by the late conservationist and philanthropist, Susan Bloom of Salt Spring Island. Susan Bloom passed away in December 2021. She was genuinely committed to the protection of wildlife, their habitats, and the protection of ancient forests and oceans, and is perhaps most well known for her donation and work to protect Clayoquot Island near Tofino with the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

“Susan believed strongly in grassroots organizing and worked to help small groups of passionate people do extraordinary things,” says friend and estate trustee Janet Theunisz.

“I feel sad that Susan Bloom, the epitome of quiet philanthropy, has passed away; and at the same moment, happy to discover that her legacy included Islands Trust Conservancy,” says Carla Funk, Fund Development Specialist with Islands Trust Conservancy. “We are honored to be entrusted with her bequest. Careful consideration will be made to ensure that use of these funds is in keeping with her lifelong passion for conservation on the islands.”

Islands Trust Conservancy works with individuals to support them in taking voluntary actions that help to protect islands in the Salish Sea.

“Creating a conservation legacy is often about doing what you can with what you have. There are lots of options open to individuals from any financial background when it comes to philanthropy,” Mark Horne, Q.C. estate trustee and legal adviser.

Islands Trust Conservancy was selected by Bloom’s estate trustees in her memory in recognition of the conservancy’s efforts to preserve our natural heritage

Read the full News Release.