Conserving endangered Gulf Islands forests

The Coastal Douglas-fir (CDF) bio-geoclimatic zone is the smallest and most endangered of 16 such zones in British Columbia. According to BC’s Conservation Data Centre, nearly every ecological community in the CDF is provincially listed as threatened or endangered. The Gulf Islands represent 33.2% of CDF forests and associated habitats, and are the Traditional Territories of dozens of Coast Salish Nations. However, due to significant development pressure, a high proportion of private land ownership, and the impacts of climate change, the fragile ecological communities that make the Gulf Islands and the eastern coast of south Vancouver Island so unique are unravelling from former levels of diversity and abundance. 

The ultimate goal of the Gulf Islands Forest (GIF) project is to secure long-term protection for CDF forests and associated ecosystems throughout its natural range. 

We are employing multiple approaches to achieve this, including land acquisition and stewardship, community science initiatives, nature-based climate solutions, and improvements to the Islands Trust land use policy.

We also organized a number of online learning opportunities that focussed on topics like demystifing nature-based carbon projects, the complexities of tree and forest protection on private land, and expert panel discussions that unpack complex environmental problems currently faced by local governments. 

We also released a series of “How-To” videos to assist people across BC in their big tree hunting adventures. The Pender Islands Big Tree Registry is a living database of big trees across North and South Pender Islands, which has grown to include over 100 trees. We also produced a comprehensive report on implementing tree bylaws in the Islands Trust. 

One of the greatest achievements in 2021, however, was the purchase of S,DÁYES Flycatcher Forest, a 13-acre conservation property on North Pender Island with our partners at the Pender Islands Conservancy Association.

To celebrate the end of the year, we are so happy to be able to offer matching campaigns on two of our most pressing fundraising initiatives.

All donations to both the Southern Great Bear Rainforest tenure acquisition and our KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest initiative, will be matched until the end of the year. This is a great opportunity for our supporters, like you, to make your impact go twice as far, while benefiting from tax deductions.

Help us secure KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest on S,DÁYES (Pender Island). Together with Pender Islands Conservancy, Raincoast is raising $2.18 million to purchase a 45 acre coastal property on the edge of the Salish Sea.

Safeguarding Coastal Carnivores in the Southern Great Bear Rainforest tenure. We are currently raising funds to stop commercial trophy hunting in more than a quarter of the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia.