Conducting Research in our Protected Places

Islands Trust Conservancy nature reserves are excellent places to conduct scientific research.  These spaces can provide natural laboratories to study how island ecosystems function and adapt.  Our nature reserves offer a diversity of landscapes and ecosystems in which to study, including old growth forests, wetlands, herbaceous and riparian.  Researchers can take pride knowing their work not only benefits their own studies, but also provides the Islands Trust Conservancy and our partners with much-needed information that assists us in managing our protected places.

Permission Required

If you are considering conducting research on a property protected by the Islands Trust Conservancy, you will need to first obtain permission from either the Board or staff.  To obtain permission, please submit a written research proposal summarizing the purpose and goals of the research, timeframe, methodology, anticipated benefits and potential impacts of the research. 

We recommend contacting staff early in the design of any research proposal concerning Islands Trust Conservancy nature reserves.  Staff may have helpful suggestions regarding past research and potential methodology techniques.

Financial Support

Research projects conducted in an Islands Trust Conservancy protected area, particularly those meeting specific management goals already set by the Islands Trust Conservancy may be eligible for financial support from the Islands Trust Conservancy.  For more information on the management goals of our nature reserves, please visit our property management plans

Funding is dependent on the Islands Trust Conservancy's available budget that year and other management priorities.  Contact staff to determine if your research project may be eligible for funding.

Areas Closed to Research

Some Islands Trust Conservancy nature reserves and sanctuaries are closed to the public because they are home to species especially sensitive to disturbance (e.g. nesting birds).   Typically, research will not be permitted in these areas unless the researcher can demonstrate their work is essential to the survival of the particular species the reserve is closed to protect.


Protected Area Statistics

As of March 31, 2020, 19.58% of the Islands Trust Area is protected. Protected land includes parks, nature reserves, ecological reserves, watershed lands, heritage forests lands, Old Growth Management Areas, Coastal Douglas-fir Land Use Order lands and conservation covenants.

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Page last updated: 10/08/18
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