Islands Trust Response to COVID-19

Islands Trust has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by adjusting its operations to comply with provincial health officer safety guidelines and recommendations and by helping to communicate information to the public.

To learn more and to read our COVID-19 Safety Plan visit COVID-19 page.

Islands Trust Council Approves 2021/22 Budget

Thank you to all who provided feedback on Islands Trust Council’s 2021-22 budget proposal. Trust Council received all public feedback in the March 2021 Trust Council package prior to debating and approving the budget. Your input was heard and considered carefully when we made final decisions on the budget that will guide the coming year’s work.

This year, Islands Trust is grateful to have received a record $563,000 in grants in support of Islands Trust Conservancy’s work and the Regional Freshwater Sustainability project.

The approved operating and projects budget for 2021/22 is $9,059,919.

To learn more about the budget visit the Budget page.

Trust Council Chair Writes to Thank Minister for Changes to Island Coastal Economic Trust

The Islands Trust Council has been advocating with partners for the Province of BC to make the Southern Gulf Islands and Bowen Island eligible for the Island Coastal Economic Trust’s programs and funding. Success!

On April 1, 2020, the Islands Trust Council Chair wrote to thank the Honourable Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery & Innovation.

Congratulations to all involved!

30 Nature Reserves in 30 Years – The Heron Newsletter, Spring 2021

The Islands Trust Conservancy’s Spring 2021 Heron newsletter is special. It marks their 30th anniversary at the close of March – a milestone that we are proud to celebrate with you.

Please visit the Heron Newsletter page to read it. It includes stories from North Pender, Galiano, Gabriola, and Keats – remarkable glimpses into the lives of conservation superheroes, long-time staff, artists, and volunteers.

We have practical tips on fire preparedness (it’s NOT too early to start) and a graphic tour of your Islands Trust Conservancy from 1990 to today.

Please join us to celebrate 30 years living the preserve and protect mandate with passion.

SSI LTC Seeks Applications for its Advisory Planning Commissions and Board of Variance


The Advisory Planning Commission (APC) consists of a maximum of 11 members. It advises the LTC on matters of community planning and development: Official Community Plan and Land Use Bylaw changes, development applications, and current LTC projects. Individuals with a background in land use planning and development, environmental policy and sciences, or urban design and architecture are especially encouraged to apply.


The Agricultural Advisory Planning Commission (AAPC) consists of a maximum of 7 members. It advises the LTC on matters of community planning and development that relate to farming and agriculture: Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) applications; current LTC projects, and development applications pertaining to agricultural land. Individuals with a background in agricultural policy or farming, animal husbandry, drainage engineering, soil engineering, or forestry are especially encouraged to apply.


The Board of Variance consists of 3 members. The Board reviews and makes decisions on Board of Variance applications within the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Area, which are applications where the person alleges that compliance with a Land Use Bylaw regulation would cause undue hardship. Individuals with previous local government experience and a background in land use planning and development are especially encouraged to apply.


APC and AAPC members serve for terms of up to 2 years and meet up to 12 times per year on Thursday afternoons. Board of Variance members serve for 3 year terms and meet when applications are received (typically less than once per year).

If you are interested, please submit an application by Friday, May 7, 2021 via email:

Click here to learn more about the Commissions and Board of Variance

Please contact our Islands Trust office if you have any questions:
PH: (250) 537-9144

Ganges Village Area Plan

At their meeting on October 6, 2020, the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee (SSI LTC) has directed staff to develop a Ganges Village Area Plan to ensure development occurs in a coordinated, sustainable, and resilient manner in order to address the issues impacting the social, economic, cultural, and environment sustainability of Ganges Village.

On November 10, 2020, SSI LTC adopted resolutions to approve the Project Charter and its associated budget to launch the Ganges Village Area Plan planning process. A robust public engagement plan will be developed in accordance with the Ganges Village Area Plan Public Engagement Framework to ensure an effective and meaningful public engagement process. Due to the complex nature of developing an area plan and the plan’s potential impacts on land use planning for Ganges Village, the SSI LTC recommended the establishment of a task force encompassing members from diverse backgrounds that could offer a broad range of points of view from the community to assist in the process. The members on the task force will objectively apply their expertise, experience and knowledge of the subject matter as related to the development of the “Ganges Village Area Plan” process.

First Nations Engagement

The SSI LTC will seek to engage with First Nations with treaty and territorial interests in the Ganges Village area. Engagement will be reflective of the Trust Council adopted policy on First Nations Engagement Principles, and the foundation documents of United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, and Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls Calls for Justice. The engagement process will be guided by concerns or responses from First Nations on how to proceed in a mutually respectful and relationship building framework.

Public Engagement Framework

The Ganges Village Area Plan Public Engagement Framework incorporates the format and essential elements modeled after the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) best practices for public engagement. In addition, the proposed Ganges Village Area Plan Engagement Framework intends to comply with statutory requirements set forth in the Local Government Act, and the Island Trust Policy Statement on open, consultative and meaningful public participation process.

Next Steps

  • Early administrative discussions with First Nations, the North Salt Spring Waterworks District (NSSWD), the Capital Regional District (CRD), the School District (SD64), the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC), Salt Spring Fire Rescue (SSIFR), the Salt Spring Island Arts Council, the Salt Spring Chamber of Commerce, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI), Harbour Authority of Salt Spring Island (HASSI), and health service agencies.
  • Fine tune the Terms of Reference and develop criteria matrix for appointments to the Ganges Village Project Task Force, commence the application process, and establish a timeline for the inaugural meeting.
  • Launch the public engagement process as highlighted in the Ganges Village Area Plan Public Engagement framework, which includes the development of a first phase survey and the development of outreach tools.
  • Research and analysis on existing conditions, and issues relating to land use development, transportation and mobility, housing, cultural and archeological protection, climate change resiliency, infrastructure servicing, and protection of aquifers and biodiversity.

To learn more about this work please visit the Salt Spring Island Projects page.

Protection of Coastal Douglas-Fir and Associated Ecosystems on Salt Spring Island

What are Coastal Douglas-fir Ecosystems?

The Coastal Douglas-fir (CDF) zone describes a unique set of ecosystems found only on southeast Vancouver Island, the islands of the Salish Sea, and the southwest coast of BC. CDF ecosystems are rare and highly endangered. These ecosystems include Douglas-fir forests, as well as Garry oak woodlands, wetlands, estuaries, and other unique communities of plant, animal, and fungi found nowhere else in the world.

Project Purpose

The purpose of this project is to implement the Protecting the Coastal Douglas-fir Zone and Associated Ecosystems toolkit on Salt Spring Island and achieve the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee’s strategic priority of “Protection of the Coastal Douglas Fir Ecosystem.”

The primary objectives of the project are:

  • Maintain contiguous forest cover;
  • Protect and restore functioning ecosystems;
  • Protect watershed ecology;
  • Honour Coast Salish cultural heritage; and
  • Mitigate wildfire risk

The Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee (SSI LTC) is committed to a transparent, collaborative planning process that acknowledges diverse perspectives on, and relationships with, the Island’s forests among our community.

To learn more about this work please visit the Salt Spring Island Projects page.