We did it! KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest has been protected!

Together, Raincoast, the Pender Islands Conservancy, and our conservation community have permanently protected KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest.

In just over 12 months, Raincoast and the Pender Islands Conservancy raised $2.18 million to purchase and permanently protect the 45 acre KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest on S,DÁYES (Pender Island). The closing of this campaign comes just over a year after our collective effort to purchase S,DÁYES Flycatcher Forest. Combined, these two properties, both located on W̱SÁNEĆ Territory, equate to 58 acres of globally rare and threatened Coastal Douglas-fir forest and associated habitats that will now be protected in perpetuity. 

KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest has been secured as an essential piece of a larger nature corridor. In a region with less than 1% of its historic extent of old growth remaining, it is essential to safeguard the maturing old growth forests of the future.

Before the protection campaign was launched, the land now known as KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest was slated for development. If those plans had proceeded this forest would have been transformed from a rare regional refugia to a residential suburb.

These land protection campaigns would not have been possible without the incredible support of our conservation community. From Victoria to Halifax, from British Columbia to Switzerland, and beyond, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone who made this campaign possible. In particular we would like to thank the people of Pender Island, who showed overwhelming support throughout the fundraising campaign. This land could not have been protected without you! 

This project was also made possible by the Government of Canada through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, part of Canada’s Nature Fund. Support was also provided by the Islands Trust Conservancy’s Opportunity Fund, which awards funds on a bi-annual basis to conservation groups working in the Islands Trust area and aims to defray costs associated with conservation initiatives. Additional support was provided by Sitka Foundation, McLean Foundation, The Greater Victoria Savings Credit Union Legacy Fund, Patagonia’s Holdfast Collective, and a number of large funders and  foundations who prefer to remain anonymous.

In the months to come, science and conservation staff from Raincoast and the Pender Conservancy will spend time getting to know the land and making plans for its ongoing restoration and ecological management. As these plans are developed and restoration activities are initiated we ask that community members refrain from accessing the land without consent. Because the property is not being managed as a recreation area this will ensure the personal safety of community members while also safeguarding the integrity of any restoration work undertaken on the land. 

If you have any questions or wish to visit Kingfisher Forest please contact Shauna Doll (), Forest Conservation Program Director with Raincoast or Sue Kronen (), Education and Outreach Coordinator with the Pender Conservancy.

Belted kingfisher sits in a tree with their head plume looking very majestic.
Photo by Les Peterson.

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Get highlights from the year, our science, flagship projects, staff and volunteers, as well as a peek at what’s in store for the coming year.

Research scientist, Adam Warner conducting genetics research in our genetics lab.
Photo by Alex Harris / Raincoast Conservation Foundation.