Denman Conservancy Association purchase will protect the island’s Douglas fir forest ecosystems

Pickles Waterfall Wetland at south end creek confluence. Photo suppliedPickles Waterfall Wetland at south end creek confluence. Photo supplied
This photo shows one of the Douglas firs at property edge. Photo supplied.This photo shows one of the Douglas firs at property edge. Photo supplied.
Pickles Waterfall Wetland looking north. Photo suppliedPickles Waterfall Wetland looking north. Photo supplied

Denman Conservancy Association (DCA) has purchased two adjacent lots of maturing Coastal Douglas fir forest ecosystems and valuable wetlands on Denman Island.

The properties, traditionally occupied by various Coast Salish peoples, and unceded, were most recently held by Raven Forest Products Ltd. of Campbell River BC. Together they total 32.02 hectares ( approximately 80 acres).

The “Pickles Waterfall Wetland” properties are contiguous with Denman Island Provincial Park lands and are across Pickles Road from the Inner Island Nature Reserve, held by Islands Trust Conservancy. The land also has a common boundary with DCA’s settlement lands. This new conservation area is home to the SARA-listed (Species at Risk Act) red-legged frog (Rana aurora) and contains habitat for many other species at risk recorded in adjacent conservation areas.

Securing this conservation land rounds out a series of conservation campaigns and land acquisitions that spans the entire 30-year life of Denman Conservancy Association. Contiguous conservation lands now extend from DCA’s Central Park northward to Chickadee Lake and the main bulk of Denman Island Provincial Park.

“This is splendid news,” said Des Kennedy, a founding director of DCA who has been active in conservation initiatives since the 1970s. “The current DCA board of directors is to be applauded for stellar work in significantly expanding the Pickles preserved area through this most recent acquisition.”

This project was made possible by the Government of Canada through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, part of Canada’s Nature Fund, and the Provincial Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation’s Acquisition Grant, as well as DCA’s Acquisition Fund, a grant from Islands Trust Conservancy’s Opportunity Fund, in-kind support from Nature Conservancy of Canada and funds generously provided by DCA members and supporters including Denman Island Chocolate and the Denman Climate Action Network. The purchase was completed on September 29th 2021.

“By working with partners like the Denman Conservancy Association, we are protecting nature in British Columbia and across the country,” said Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault. “Protecting and conserving more nature across the country is an important part of our plan to address the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. Through programs like the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, we are making progress towards our goal of conserving a quarter of Canada’s lands and a quarter of its oceans by 2025, working towards 30 per cent by 2030.”

Denman Conservancy Association is a community-based volunteer organization and a registered charity formed to preserve, protect and enhance the quality of the human and natural environment of Denman Island. It is supported by about 240 members, most of whom are residents of the Island.