Forests on the Gulf Islands need to be protected. After decades of largely unregulated road construction, residential development, and logging, the forests of the Coastal Douglas-fir (CDF) biogeoclimatic zone have been fragmented, degraded, and destroyed. This has occurred not only in the Gulf Islands, but throughout the CDF range, which includes most of the Capital Regional District, the east coast of Vancouver Island, and a sliver on the southwest coast of BC’s mainland.
Though the Islands Trust and local conservation organizations have been making efforts to improve forest protection on the Islands, widespread habitat degradation continues. Learning from our success protecting coastal carnivores through the purchase of commercial hunting tenures, we have determined that a key component to secure long term forest protection in the Gulf Islands is land ownership.
In partnership with the Pender Islands Conservancy, we need to raise $395,000 to purchase a 13 acre property on North Pender Island.
Pender Islands are part of the territory of W̱SÁNEĆ people. Often referred to as Salt Water People, the interface of sea and land within the Salish Sea are irrevocably intertwined in W̱SÁNEĆ identity and culture. Though winters were spent largely on the Saanich peninsula, summers were spent travelling throughout the Gulf Islands. In SENĆOŦEN, Pender Islands are known as S,DÁYES.
The land hosts a maturing grove of stately cedar trees, a wetland that supports the Buck Lake Reservoir watershed, and a maturing stand of coastal Douglas-fir and arbutus. At least 35 native bird species rely on these habitats, including the olive-sided flycatcher. These birds, in particular, find their homes in the fringes of forests bordering wetlands, and have been federally listed as threatened due to habitat loss. Gulf Islands forests are among the few places these birds are thriving. As a species linking forests and wetlands, the flycatcher has become the namesake of the place. Given Pender Islands are the Traditional Territory of the W̱SÁNEĆ people, we are calling this land S,DÁYES Flycatcher Forest.
Raincoast and Pender Islands Conservancy need to meet our financial goal by April 2021. We always send a thank you card for a donation made, but for the month of December, anyone who makes a $50+ donation will be sent an extra blank art card depicting a piece from our 2012 artist collaboration that helped protect the Great Bear Rainforest from the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project. If you want to make your donation on behalf of a loved one for the giving season, we can send them a card with a personalized holiday message. We can’t guarantee that cards will arrive before Christmas due to Canada post delays.
To support the protection of S,DÁYES Flycatcher Forest, you can make a tax deductible donation to either organization. Please contact us for more information or donate through our websites.
With Thanks from the Gulf Islands Forest Project Team,
Shauna, Misty and Chris
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