Lək̓ʷəŋən, METULIYE / Victoria, BC ⎯ With just seven days left to raise an additional $100,000 to meet their $200,000 fundraising target, Islands Trust Conservancy has announced an Opportunity Fund grant of $5,000 to help Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the Pender Islands Conservancy Association protect 18 hectares (44.5 acres) of land known as KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest on North Pender Island. Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor and the Sitka Foundation this donation will be matched, making it a $10,000 contribution towards the protection of this forest.
“Supporting community-based conservation efforts is vital if we are to stem biodiversity loss on the islands in the Salish Sea,” says Kate-Louise Stamford, Chair of the Islands Trust Conservancy Board. “More than 200 individuals have contributed to Islands Trust Conservancy’s Opportunity Fund since it was started in 2005. This generosity allows us to support campaigns on the islands when it is needed most.”
“This $5,000 contribution is a welcome and gratefully received gift that will certainly help us to meet our fundraising goal. What’s more, it is a demonstration of Islands Trust Conservancy’s support of the protection of KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest. Islands Trust Conservancy is a regional land trust focused on safeguarding the lands and waters of the Salish Sea. It is staffed by biologists who intimately know and understand the condition of Coastal Douglas-fir forests and associated habitats. To have their support is more than a financial milestone, it is a recognition of the ecological value of this 45 acre habitat at the edge of the Salish Sea.”Shauna Doll, Gulf Islands Forest Project Coordinator, Raincoast Conservation Foundation
Since launching this matching campaign, Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the Pender Islands Conservancy Association have raised nearly $90,000 in donations from individuals and small businesses, mostly based around the Salish Sea.
“Islands Trust Conservancy has been a long-time supporter of ecosystem conservation on Pender Island, most notably through their commitment to land protection via conservation covenants and nature reserves. As a co-manager on many of these protected lands in our community, the Pender Islands Conservancy has enjoyed a strong and collaborative working relationship with the ecologists and other expert staff at Islands Trust Conservancy that has spanned decades. We are grateful for Islands Trust Conservancy’s support for our efforts to protect KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest as it symbolizes our continuing shared commitment to the protection of Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystems and their diverse habitats on these unique islands in the Salish Sea.”Erin O’Brien, Ecology and Conservation Director, Pender Islands Conservancy Association
All donations made to the protection of KELÁ_EKE Kingfisher Forest will be doubled until June 8th (World Oceans Day). Individuals who are interested in making a donation are encouraged to visit https://www.raincoast.org/forest/.
- Currently only 19% of land in the North Pender Island Local Trust Area is protected, despite having high biodiversity values.
- Islands Trust Conservancy protects natural landscapes across the Islands Trust region. The support of individuals and partners has helped to protect more than 1,365 ha of land within 32 nature reserves and 79 conservation covenants on islands in the Salish Sea.
- More than 65% of land on islands in the Salish Sea are privately owned – meaning that individual landowners’ voluntary conservation actions are critical to protecting biodiversity and addressing impacts from climate change in the region.
- B.C. is the most biologically diverse province in Canada– but it is also a hotspot for biodiversity loss.
- Nearly 300 species are listed as being at risk of extinction in the Islands Trust Area, representing 25% of rare species found in BC. Protecting habitat is one of the best ways to prevent species from becoming extinct and aids in the recovery of those species currently at risk.
About the Islands Trust Conservancy Opportunity Fund Grant
The purpose of Islands Trust Conservancy’s Opportunity Fund is to support timely opportunities to protect biodiversity in the Islands Trust Area. The Opportunity Fund provides support for ‘hard to fundraise’ costs associated with land protection and can be used to leverage increased donations to land acquisition projects. Since 2005 more than 200 donors have contributed $200,000+ to the Opportunity Fund, enabling Islands Trust Conservancy to distribute 28 grants that have helped protect more than 530 hectares of land across the islands in the Salish Sea.
About Islands Trust Conservancy
Islands Trust Conservancy is the conservation land trust for over 450 islands of the Salish Sea and is a part of Islands Trust. Since 1990, Islands Trust Conservancy has protected more than 110 properties, covering more than 1,365 hectares of island ecosystems. This success is thanks to the vision, support, and generosity of donors and partners. Learn more online at islandstrust.bc.ca/conservancy.