Protecting iconic landscapes

Protecting Crown Land

About 23% of the islands is Crown land - unceded land that is the responsibility of the B.C. provincial government.  In some circumstances, the Province makes this land available for forestry, mining, or high-impact recreational use.  Where significant ecological values are identified, the Islands Trust Conservancy works with First Nations and island communities to permanently protect ecologically significant Crown land as nature reserves.

What's at threat?

Our studies show that Crown land contains some of the region's most intact, ecologically significant land in the islands.  The provincial government is responsible for large tracts land across several islands in the region, including Gambier, Bowen, Lasqueti and Salt Spring.  These natural areas can provide vital habitat for wildlife and ecological services to communities, sometimes encompassing entire watersheds and large sections of forestland.

How the Islands Trust Conservancy is protecting Crown land

Where we have the support of First Nations, the Islands Trust Conservancy, with the assistance the Islands Trust - applies to the B.C. Provincial government to transfer ownership of selected Crown land parcels from the government to the Islands Trust Conservancy through B.C.'s Sponsored Crown Grant program.  Once acquired, we're protecting the land and its habitat forever as nature reserves.

To be eligible for the Sponsored Crown Grant program, the Crown land must be:
       •   Unencumbered (no licences, leases, reserves or claims)
       •   Outside any active treaty process
       •   Unreserved for disposition under the Land Act
       •   Ecologically significant, as defined by our Regional Conservation Plan

To ask the provincial government to transfer a property to us, we must have the support of the local community and First Nations.  Each application must be sponsored by the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, and is limited by an annual budget set out by the Province.

How you can help

Although the Province doesn't require payment in exchange for the transfer of a Crown land parcel, the Islands Trust Conservancy must first raise the funds necessary for a survey, appraisal and management plan before our application is approved.  We usually fundraise in partnership with our local land trust partners.  Please help us support this work by donating to the Islands Trust Conservancy.  Your gift will help protect some of the region's most admired landscapes.

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Your support, and the support of our local partners has helped protect these iconic landscapes through the Sponsored Crown Grant program

Elder Cedar

Elder Cedar Nature Reserve, Gabriola Island

In the Hul'qumi'num language, 'elder' means more than old; it signifies unseen ancestors and guardians - a fitting name for a forest filled with some of the most ancient Western redcedar trees on Gabriola Island.  Island residents worked from more than 15 years to protect this Crown land parcel.  It was through the Sponsored Crown Grant program that the community was finally able to achieve its goal.  Read more
Mt. Artaban

Mt. Artaban Nature Reserve, Gambier Island

With spectacular views of Howe Sound and surrounding mountain ranges, Mt. Artaban Nature Reserve protects old-growth trees, a wetland, and of course, the summit of its namesake.  Permanently protecting Mt. Artaban filled the missing piece in Gambier Island's first protected area network of 525 hectares - an area 25% larger than Vancouver's Stanley Park. The network of neighbouring parks along with the new nature reserve offers island residents and visitors exhilarating hiking experiences extending from the Long Bay and Brigade Bay waterfronts to the mountain's peak.  Read more
Fairy Fen

Fairy Fen Nature Reserve, Bowen Island

A wetland inventory of Fairy Fen revealed an island gem - an intact and undisturbed peat-forming fen, something incredibly rare in the islands.  Coastal reindeer lichen, Labrador tea, bog cranberry and yellow starry feather-moss are just a sampling of the diversity of plants found at the Fen.  The Bowen Island community was worried about the future of the fen and asked the Islands Trust Conservancy to protect the property through the Sponsored Crown Grant program.  Read more
Page last updated: 10/08/18
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