Community Engagement - Gabriola Island Management Plans

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We would like to hear your ideas and concerns regarding the long-term management of these special places...


S’ul-hween X’pey/Elder Cedar and Coats Millstone nature reserves

Islands Trust Conservancy acknowledges and respects that Gabriola Island is within the territory of the Coast Salish Peoples including Cowichan Tribes, Halalt First Nation, Lyackson First Nation, Penelakut Tribe, SEMYOME (Semiahmoo) First Nation, Snuneymuxw First Nation, Stz'uminus (Chemainus) First Nation, Ts'uubaa-asatx (Lake Cowichan) First Nation.

The S’ul-hween X’pey/Elder Cedar Nature Reserve (ECNR) is a 65-hectare protected area which holds some of the last remaining mature forest on Gabriola Island. Rocky outcrops, several interconnecting streams, and wetland complexes travel through the property. The diversity of landscapes provide habitat to a wide array of species, including those provincially designated as a 'species at risk'. Of the provincially designated species that have potential habitat on the property, presence of the following have been confirmed through surveys: the Red-legged Frog, Western Screech-Owl, Band-Tailed Pigeon, and Townsend's Big-eared Bat.

The Coats Millstone Nature Reserve (CMNR) is a 0.25-hectare protected area encompassing part of a ridge rising above Descanso Bay. The reserve is an old sandstone quarry. The different tiers of the ridge offer very different habitats for plants on the reserve. The young forest and water-filled millstone holes provide habitat for various birds and animals. The steep cliffs and deep millstone holes make this site very dangerous. The millstones occupy much of the upper ledge on the site and the moss-covered ground is slippery, leaving little space for walking, therefore CMNR has been closed to the public.

Islands Trust Conservancy’s primary goal is to protect and nurture the sensitive ecosystems and natural values on this land. The information and actions required to achieve this goal and guide the management of the property are set out in a management plan that is updated every 10 years. We welcome community input and ask you to share your thoughts on the protection and long-term management of the S’ul-hween X’pey/Elder Cedar and Coats Millstone nature reserves.        

Questionnaires can be completed online at and

The deadline to complete each survey is March 15, 2021.


There will be a webinar with information about the Coats Millstone Nature Reserve and the S’ul-hween X’pey/Elder Cedar Nature Reserve on February 22, 2021 at 2 p.m.

Register in advance for this webinar:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


Islands Trust Conservancy is committed to honouring the rich history of Indigenous stewardship in the lands and waters of the Islands Trust Area and to building mutually respectful relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners in conservation. In 2019, Islands Trust Conservancy passed a Reconciliation Declaration committing to building relationships to work to protect and manage the area and any cultural heritage sites in these nature reserves in a way that is reflective of treaty, inherent rights, and the territorial lands.

Conservation Success Stories: The Kikuchis and Frog Song Forest

Arthur Kikuchi honoured his parents and his family's future generations by using his inheritance to purchase and protect a wetland and forest on North Pender Island.

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Page last updated: 18/02/21
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