More than 10 years of negotiations between the Islands Trust Conservancy, the Denman Island Conservancy, the Province of British Columbia and the Lindsay Dickson family cumulated in the protection of 52 hectares of forested land on Denman Island in 2001. The Lindsay Dickson Nature Reserve stretches from the sandstone shore of Lambert Channel to the shores of Graham Lake.
Even with a rich cultural history, nearly the entire property is forested. A grove close to the shoreline is particularly spectacular as one of the island's few remaining patches of undisturbed ancient forests. Exceptionally large Douglas firs, western redcedars and grand firs stand tall over the ocean. In late winter and early spring, sounds of drumming echo through the forest as a rich assortment of woodpecker species use large old-growth snags for foraging and nesting. A nearby population of marbled murrelets, a threatened species in B.C., likely nest on the large limbs of this coastal forest.
Remnants of a native shell midden have been found and recorded on the Lindsay Dickson foreshore. Several cedar giants with strips of bark missing from their trunks show the importance of this forest to local First Nations. The bark carefully taken from these trees generations ago may have been used for clothing, blankets, basketry, fishing nets or ropes.
The land which would become the Lindsay Dickson Nature Reserve was first settled by John Graham in 1878. The property was purchased as part of a large family holding early in the 20th century by Dr. Frederick Lindsay Dickson. Some parts of the property were hand logged in the early 1900s, but most of the land was left untouched. The reserve today is the remaining forested portion of the family holding.
The Denman Conservancy Association lobbied for more than 10 years to preserve this forest block, raising more than $200,000. After negotiations failed between the Conservancy and a subsequent landowner and logging operations resumed on the property, the Provincial government stepped in, arranging a purchase agreement with the owner to preserve this special place. As part of the agreement, the land was transferred to the Islands Trust Conservancy to preserve as a nature reserve once the acquisition was complete in 2001.
The Lindsay Dickson Nature Reserve is open to the local community for light recreational use, such as walking and nature appreciation. Trails to the beach remain open, but please refrain from lighting fires on the beach. Please stay on established trails to protect the many sensitive ecosystems found on the reserve. Please keep pets under control to make sure the wildlife that find sanctuary here are not harassed.
The Lindsay Dickson Nature Reserve was protected to preserve habitat and provide a place for plants, both rare and common, to flourish for the future. Please do not take native plants or plant material from the reserve. Please contact our staff if you wish to collect specimens for study.
Garbage collection and toilet facilities are not provided at the Lindsay Dickson Nature Reserve. No camping is allowed. Please do your part to keep the reserve clean for the future.
The Denman Conservancy Association holds a conservation covenant on the Lindsay Dickson Nature Reserve, and acts as the on-island management group on behalf of the Islands Trust Conservancy.
The Islands Trust Conservancy's primary management priority for this protected area is to steward the areas previously disturbed by logging and the Lindsay Dickson farm as they transition into young and mature forest. In partnership with the Conservancy, we're monitoring and removing invasive species that might damage habitat on the reserve, especially English ivy. Young trees in a previously logged area have been protected from deer browse. We're also monitoring and managing trails on the property to make sure the ecosystem values, such as the old-growth forest, wetland, and endangered plant communities are protected from trampling and overuse.
The management plan for the Lindsay Dickson Nature Reserve can be viewed here and the appendix here.