Just a few days away from the holiday break, Raincoast Conservation Foundation is hoping to access the holiday spirit with a campaign to help protect an olive-sided flycatcher in a Douglas-fir tree. Today, the Vancouver-based Sitka Foundation pledged a $100,000 matching gift putting the fundraising goal in sight before the end of 2020. Once the group raises $195,000 (they have already raised $160,000), then the Sitka Foundation will match every dollar all the way to the final goal of $395,000.
In late November, Raincoast and the Pender Islands Conservancy launched a campaign to purchase a 13-acre property on North Pender Island as part of a larger effort to improve local protection of globally rare Coastal Douglas-fir forests and associated habitats. These ecosystems are among the most heavily degraded in all of British Columbia and are rapidly disappearing despite their importance to wildlife and the climate change buffering services they provide.
At least thirty-five bird species have been identified on this land including olive-sided flycatchers. 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 WSÁNEĆ people, who know them as S,DÁYES, we have dubbed the place S,DÁYES Flycatcher Forest. “Now we are hoping to tap into the holiday spirit and the pledge from Sitka has been a tremendous boost”, said Raincoast Executive Director, Chris Genovali.
“Our hope is that our pledge of support will help encourage other donors to support the acquisition of this valuable property and the lasting protection of Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystems. We know this campaign will protect biodiversity and support the communities who connect to S’DÁYES Flycatcher Forest”, said Carolynn Beaty, Executive Director of the Sitka Foundation.