News Release

Help Save Fairyslipper Forest on Thetis Island

Local videographer donates short film to raise funds for new nature reserve on Burchell Hill

Thetis Island, British Columbia, June 8, 2015 

The Islands Trust Fund and partners Thetis Island Nature Conservancy (ThINC) and Cowichan Community Land Trust have launched an online video to kick-start year two of the campaign to create the first publicly-accessible nature reserve on Thetis Island. At the same time ThINC announced a new name for the proposed nature reserve on Lower Burchell Hill – Fairyslipper Forest Nature Reserve, named after the fairyslipper orchid that dots the forest floor with its pink blossoms every spring.

The short film is a joint effort by members of ThINC and retired local videographer Don Cumming. In the video Thetis Islanders share their connection to the forest, and Andy MacKinnon, forest ecologist and co-author of Plants of Coastal British Columbia, makes a special appearance to highlight the ecological importance of the nature reserve. The video is available online at

“We are overwhelmed by the response from the small community on Thetis Island to protect Fairyslipper Forest as a nature reserve,” said Ann Eriksson, founding director of the Thetis Island Nature Conservancy. “In one year, over 100 islanders, out of a population of 350, have pledged a third of the $560,000 needed to purchase the land. We're hoping that our short film will appeal to donors beyond our shores. With less than 1% of the original old growth left in the Coastal Douglas-fir zone, we all benefit from the conservation of forested areas like Fairyslipper Forest.”

Thetis Island is the largest of Canada’s islands in the Salish Sea without publicly accessible protected land. The Fairyslipper Forest Nature Reserve will protect an imperiled Coastal Douglas-fir forest, an important watershed and sections of a popular trail to the summit of Burchell Hill. Please donate today to help meet the 2017 deadline to save Fairyslipper Forest. Visit for more information and to donate.

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.

Download a PDF version of this news release.

Media Contacts

Jennifer Eliason, Manager
Islands Trust Fund   

Ann Eriksson
Thetis Island Nature Conservancy


(Click photo to download full resolution version)

Calypso bulbosa (Fairyslipper Orchid).  Photo: Hans Stieglitz, Wikimedia


Thetis Island residents enjoying the future Fairyslipper Forest Nature Reserve.  Pictured left to right are Leah Howard, Kelly Bannister, Matthias Bannister, and Katia Bannister.  Photo: Kelly Bannister





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