The Salmon River.

Ecological quilting and the Nature Trust of BC

The headline may seem a little confusing; but let me explain.

For many years the Nature Trust of BC and Ducks Unlimited Canada have formed partnerships where they work together to secure important wildlife and fish habitats for the future. They also form working groups with fish and game clubs, enhancement societies, municipal governments, aboriginal governments and any other group with conservation goals that are compatible with the goals of the Nature Trust.

At the recent outdoor show of the local fish and game club they had a booth explaining the goals of the Salmon River project.  Wondering about the Salmon River being out of our range? Think again because it is important to Comox Valley steelheaders, elk and deer hunters and anglers who fish Johnston Strait for salmon.

The ecological reference in the headline is a simplistic way of illustrating the co-operative model used in women’s quilting groups, where they bring together small patches of material to create a warm quilt that becomes a beautiful piece of artistic work that keeps the recipients warm and secure.

Such an analogy applies to the co-operative efforts of conservation groups who collectively pool their resources making it possible to secure relatively costly and important estuaries along our coast and other ecologically important land areas that would be too expensive for a single organization. By applying the simple joys of quilting to the equally simple joys of working together to buy important natural places gives great pleasure to all involved.

This brings us to the Salmon River Estuary. In 1978 the Nature Trust joined other groups in starting to secure the significantly important estuary lands at the mouth of the river where it enters Johnston Strait near the Sayward.

To date, through a series of progressive purchases, they have secured 257 acres though fee simple and in partnership with Ducks Unlimited Canada. They are in the process of acquiring the final 165 acres that stretches about 1.5 km along the north side of the river.  Through the quilting philosophy of pooling our wealth they have support from several conservation groups to proceed with the purchase; however the deal would be easier for the  Nature Trust if they could get some much-needed additional funding.

Since it is too hot to fish I would like to suggest it would be a great time to donate the costs of a fishing trip to this important watershed, enabling the Nature Trust to complete the deal in all of our interests. With this thought in mind I would like to invite my readers to join me in a quilting exercise where hunters who hunt the elk and deer, steelheaders who fish the river and boaters who fish the marine waters donate the costs of going for a day in the Salmon River Valley to the Nature Trust. By my calculations it would be about $50 each in costs to enjoy a day on the Salmon River with friends. To this end this column will donate $50 and I invite all people who feel that estuaries are critical to the well being of our coastlands to help in any way you are able.

The Nature Trust came into being during a period of rapid industrial growth in the province. With the current LNG panic and an increased interest in the province as a retirement goal and vacation destination we need to try to save these priceless estuaries that are vital to the well-being of our ecosystems.

 

To make a donation or get more information from www.naturetrust.bc.ca or call toll free at 1-866-288-7878 or email info@naturetrust.bc.ca

 

 

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