Raincoast’s land trust: Protecting forests for the future

Protecting some of the most threatened forests in BC.

Photo by Alex Harris /
Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

Raincoast established its land trust in late 2020, which falls under the umbrella of our Forest Conservation Program. Operating a land trust allows Raincoast to purchase and protect ecologically significant land in areas where environmental regulations are inadequate to protect and conserve local habitats and biodiversity. The land we target for protection is strategically chosen to increase large tracts of intact habitat to enhance connectivity, ecological integrity, and climate resilience. 

Shauna Doll measures the height of a tree in the Gulf Islands forests.
Photo by Alex Harris / Raincoast Conservation Foundation.
Drone photo of a forest next to the ocean.
Photo by Alex Harris / Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

The Coastal Douglas-fir biogeoclimatic zone

To date our land purchase efforts have been focused on the Coastal Douglas-fir (CDF) biogeoclimatic zone, which is the smallest and most threatened of 16 such zones in British Columbia. Despite being among the most biodiverse collections of ecological communities in the province, it is also among the least protected, and this protection is mostly made up of small disconnected patches.

It covers less than 0.3% of BC, which represents its entire national extent. Given the high percentage (80%) of private land ownership and intense development pressures, in this region, opportunities for ecological protection are limited, and if they do exist, expensive. 

At no point in history has the importance of preserving remaining tracts of undeveloped forests, wetlands, and other habitats within this region been more urgent. As climate change places unprecedented uncertainty on food security and living conditions for the species of this region, the best chance to maintain stability and build resilience is by purchasing and protecting private land.

An investment in our collective future

Since establishing our land trust, two properties have been protected on S,DÁYES (Pender Island) in partnership with Pender Islands Conservancy Association: S,DÁYES Flycatcher Forest and KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest. Both of these properties are located within the CDF zone.

Paired with the other work undertaken by Raincoast’s Forest Conservation Program and restoration initiatives implemented by land protection partners, our multi-pronged approach is intended to secure long-lasting and effective protections to safeguard threatened CDF ecosystems in perpetuity.

Land Trust Alliance of BC (LTABC) member 2024.
Banana slug on the forest floor.
Photo by Alex Harris.
Person planting a cottonwood sappling.
Photo by Alex Harris / Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

Get involved

Active restoration, or land healing, is needed to help these places recover from a long legacy of logging, soil compaction, invasive species, and other pressures. Most restoration projects undertaken on the properties we’ve protected are made possible by an incredible community of volunteers. Please contact the Forest Conservation Program Director, Shauna Doll, if you are interested in helping with restoration.

Stewardship endowment funds are in place for all properties protected by Raincoast. If you would like to make a financial contribution to support our ongoing land healing work, please make a donation today!

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