VICTORIA | December 6, 2011
Bob and Fran Rose will be celebrating the protection of native species this holiday season. The North Pender couple permanently protected the habitat on their property with a conservation covenant. The conservation covenant ensures plants and animals will always have a safe home on the Roses' land, even after the Roses are gone.
Bob and Fran's love affair with their land started more than twenty years ago, spending weekends and holidays at their island sanctuary until moving to North Pender permanently in 2001. Even before work was started on their house, Fran and Bob worked to create a sanctuary for native species on the lot, pulling the scotch broom that had invaded the Garry oak meadow. Today, the Roses are delighted by the camas, fairy-slippers, buttercups and blue-eyed Mary that carpet the meadow where the broom once stood. Since adding a hive for mason bees near their garden, the Roses enjoy watching bees venture into the meadow of native wildflowers.
With the help of the Islands Trust Fund (the Islands Trust's land conservancy), the Pender Islands Conservancy Association, and the Nancy Waxler Morrison Biodiversity Protection Fund, Bob and Fran permanently protected the property with a conservation covenant. As well as the meadow, the new conservation covenant protects a grove of Garry oak and a forest of veteran Douglas-firs, arbutus, bigleaf maples and western redcedar.
"We were inspired to protect our land by other families on Pender Island who've been doing the same," said Fran. "Realizing the development pressures that exist on the island, we're reassured that by registering the covenant we are protecting the natural habitat on our property from being broken up or built on in the future."
The covenant, now named the Garry Oak Conservation Covenant, protects the natural features of the property by restricting what both the Roses and future landowners can do on the land. The covenant prevents anyone from removing native plants, using pesticides, dumping fill or garbage, or building in the protected area. The Roses registered the covenant through the Islands Trust Fund's Natural Area Protection Tax Exemption Program (NAPTEP). The program gives the Roses, as well as future landowners, a 65% reduction in property taxes for the covenanted portion of their land.
To learn how you can protect your land with a conservation covenant, visit http://islandstrustfund.cfm or call 250-405-5186 (Victoria) or toll free through Enquiry BC at 1-800-663-7867 (604-660-2421 in Vancouver).
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Manager, Islands Trust Fund