Swift Family Link Island NAPTEP Covenant


Acquiring Link Island in 1963, the Swift family have strived to preserve the natural features and ecosystems functions on the island as an undeveloped refuge in the Salish Sea. In 2009 the family initiated consultations with the Islands Trust Conservancy seeking opportunities to maintain this refuge for future generations and in 2019 protected the island with a conservation covenant through the Natural Area Protection Tax Exemption Program (NAPTEP).

The island is located within the core traditional territory of several Coast Salish First Nations. It is southwest of Nanaimo, between Stuart Channel and Pylades Channel, and south of Mudge Island and north of DeCourcy Island in the DeCourcy Group. The island is 21.45 ha in size, and the covenant is 19.30 ha, excluding the 2.15 ha live/use area. The area referred to by the landowners as Spider Monkey Island (0.17 ha) at the south end of Link Island is included in the Covenant Area.  Link Island is connected to Mudge and DeCourcy Islands at low tides. A notch was cut in the sandstone above the low tide mark to allow boat access between Link and DeCourcy Islands.

Link Island has approximately a 3.3 km shoreline of which approximately 2.9 km is within the Covenant area. The shoreline includes coastal cliffs along the northwest shore and low rock shoreline and shoals. There are intricate sandstone formations along the entire western shoreline of the property. The shoreline and tidal flats are rich in marine life. There are coastal bluffs adjacent to Bull Kelp habitat along the southwestern shoreline and significant eelgrass beds off of the northeastern shoreline.

The island is primarily a mixed woodland ecosystem, including Douglas-fir and Arbutus with occasional Garry oak and cedar. Two seasonal wetlands that hold water for most of the year and pockets of Garry oak and herbaceous meadows are found in the covenant area. The island was partially logged between the 1930s and the 1950s. The forests are now maturing second growth and there are several old growth remnant trees on this island.

The covenant is jointly held with the Nanaimo and Area Land Trust.

CSS - Steil

The Steils and the Steil's Woods Covenant

After more than 50 years immersed in the hustle and bustle of the lower mainland, Sara and Richard Steil enjoyed a quieter life surrounded by natural habitat they protected with a conservation covenant.

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Page last updated: 02/10/19
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