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 contributes funds to protect KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest on SDȺY¸ES/North Pender Island

 

Lək̓ ʷəŋən, METULIYE/Victoria, B.C.With one week left to double the impact of donations made to the protection of KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest, Islands Trust Conservancy has shown their support. 

 

With just seven days left to raise an additional $100,000 to meet their $200,000 fundraising target, Islands Trust Conservancy has announced an Opportunity Fund grant of $5,000 to help Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the Pender Islands Conservancy Association protect 18 hectares (44.5 acres) of land known as KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest on North Pender Island. Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor and the Sitka Foundation this donation will be matched, making it a $10,000 contribution towards the protection of this forest.

Aerial view of KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest on SDȺY¸ES/Pender Island
Aerial view of KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest on SDȺY¸ES/Pender Island. Credit: Alex Harris.

 

Supporting community-based conservation efforts is vital if we are to reduce biodiversity loss on the islands in the Salish Sea,” says Kate-Louise Stamford, Chair of the Islands Trust Conservancy Board. “More than 200 individuals have contributed to Islands Trust Conservancy’s Opportunity Fund since it was started in 2005. This generosity allows us to support campaigns on the islands when it is needed most.”

“This $5,000 contribution is a welcome gift that will certainly help us to meet our fundraising goal. What’s more, it is a demonstration of Islands Trust Conservancy’s support of the protection of KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest. Islands Trust Conservancy is a regional land trust focused on safeguarding the lands and waters of the Salish Sea. It is staffed by biologists who intimately know and understand the condition of Coastal Douglas-fir forests and associated habitats. To have their support is more than a financial milestone, it is a recognition of the ecological value of this 45 acre habitat at the edge of the Salish Sea.” – Shauna Doll, Gulf Islands Forest Project Coordinator, Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

 

Since launching this matching campaign, Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the Pender Islands Conservancy Association have raised nearly $90,000 in donations from individuals and small businesses, mostly based around the Salish Sea.

 

Belted Kingfisher sits on a dock piling in the Salish Sea
Belted Kingfisher in the Salish Sea. Credit: Kristine Mayes

“Islands Trust Conservancy has been a long-time supporter of ecosystem conservation on Pender Island, most notably through their commitment to land protection via conservation covenants and nature reserves. As a co-manager on many of these protected lands in our community, the Pender Islands Conservancy has enjoyed a strong and collaborative working relationship with Islands Trust Conservancy that has spanned decades. We are grateful for Islands Trust Conservancy’s support for our efforts to protect KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest as it symbolizes our continuing shared commitment to the protection of Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystems and their diverse habitats on these unique islands in the Salish Sea.” – Erin O’Brien, Ecology and Conservation Director, Pender Islands Conservancy Association.

 

All donations made to the protection of KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest will be doubled until June 8th (World Oceans Day). Individuals who are interested in making a donation are encouraged to visit Pender Islands Conservancy or Raincoast Conservation Foundation fundraising pages below:

Pender Islands Conservancy: https://www.penderconservancy.org/kingfisher-forest

Raincoast Conservation Foundation: https://www.raincoast.org/forest/.

 

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 and can 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.

 

Quick Facts

  • Currently only 19% of land in the North Pender Island Local Trust Area is protected, despite having 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 landowners’ voluntary conservation actions are critical to protecting biodiversity and addressing impacts from climate change in the region.
  • B.C. 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 online at islandstrust.bc.ca/conservancy.

 

Press Assets

Logos for all parties named in this release and high resolution images have been made available to download online.

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).

 

Contact

For all Islands Trust Conservancy media enquiries please contact: Carmen Smith, A/Communications Specialist, Islands Trust Conservancy, csmith@islandstrust.bc.ca

Available to speak to media:

  • Kate-Louise Stamford, Chair, Islands Trust Conservancy Board via Kate Emmings, Manager, Islands Trust Conservancy, 250-405-5191
  • Shauna Doll, Gulf Islands Forest Project Coordinator, Raincoast Conservation Foundation, 250-886-3735 or shauna@raincoast.org
  • Erin O’Brien, Ecology and Conservation Director, Pender Islands Conservancy Association, 250-222-0370 or biologist@penderconservancy.org

Keats Shoreline Protection Project FAQ

On March 10th a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document was mailed to all property owners on Keats Island.  Be sure to check your mailboxes or go to “About the Project” on the project webpage to see the FAQ or get up-to-date information on this important work.  Contact the Islands Trust Northern Office at 250-247-2063 or email northinfo@islandstrust.bc.ca if you didn’t get your copy in the mail.