Rare Forest on Lasqueti Island Permanently Protected
Conservation covenant safeguards John Osland Nature Reserve’s coastal Douglas-fir trees
Lasqueti Island, British Columbia, April 28, 2015 - The mature coastal Douglas-fir forest on the John Osland Nature Reserve on Lasqueti Island is now officially protected by the Islands Trust Fund and its partners, the Lasqueti Island Nature Conservancy (LINC) and the Nanaimo & Area Land Trust (NALT). Both LINC and NALT have registered a conservation covenant on the property owned by the Islands Trust Fund to ensure its permanent protection.
The nature reserve is named after John Osland, a steward of his Lasqueti Island property for over 60 years. He protected his forest from logging in the 1950s – a time when the area was undergoing a timber boom. Osland wanted future generations to experience the pleasure and peace he felt walking through his treasured forest. In 2010 Osland passed away and donated his property to the Islands Trust Fund as a nature reserve. The new covenant on the nature reserve provides an extra layer of protection for Osland’s land and legacy.
“Even though the land is permanently protected as a nature reserve, we often bring on local groups as covenant holders,” said Jennifer Eliason, Manager of the Islands Trust Fund. “Our partnership with LINC and NALT fosters community stewardship.”
The 63.5 hectare John Osland Nature Reserve protects not only a mature forest of Douglas-fir, cedar and pine trees, but also a thriving re-established wetland and pond that provides habitat for birds and amphibians. The nature reserve is an important wildlife corridor, acting as a bridge between undeveloped Crown land to the south and the nearby protected areas of Mount Trematon Nature Reserve and the Lasqueti Island Ecological Reserve.
“We are delighted to be the local stewards of the John Osland Nature Reserve in cooperation with our partners,” said Gordon Scott, Chair of the Lasqueti Island Nature Conservancy. “John’s donation to the community of his homestead and forest is a legacy of his generosity and deeply felt love of this place. We will honor his decision to donate the property by faithfully protecting this gift to the islands.”
“It’s always a pleasure to work with the Islands Trust Fund on covenants – whether they are the co-covenant holder or the property owner,” said Gail Adrienne, Executive Director of the Nanaimo & Area Land Trust. “The Islands Trust Fund is a great resource for a smaller and newer organization, such as our local land trust. We also enjoy working with other local land trusts—such as the Lasqueti Island Nature Conservancy—that generally make up the third party in a conservation covenant process.”
The Islands Trust Fund is the conservation land trust for Canada's islands in the Salish Sea. Since 1990, the Islands Trust Fund has protected more than 1,100 hectares and helped partners protect another 300 hectares of island ecosystems.
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Manager, Islands Trust Fund
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Photo Credit: Islands Trust Fund