The Nature Trust of BC rallies to raise $1M to conserve rare coastal rainforest and at-risk species – including the endangered Taylor’s Checkerspot Butterfly.

October 10, 2023, Denman Island, Canada – The Nature Trust of British Columbia, one of the province’s leading non-profit land conservation organizations, announces that it has the opportunity to purchase 38.7 hectares (95.6 acres) of mature Coastal Douglas-fir forest on Denman Island. A Northern Gulf Island in the Salish Sea, Denman Island is close to the town of Comox on Vancouver Island and is within the K’ómoks First Nation traditional territory.

The property is adjacent to a Denman Conservancy Association conservation area called Central Park and the Denman Island Provincial Park and Protected Area. Once purchased, this ecologically valuable conservation complex will increase to 187 hectares, increasing connectivity and ensuring that it will never be sold or developed. The conservation area has merchantable timber value and its purchase will ensure that its sensitive rare mature forests and wetlands are protected in perpetuity.

The Denman Island-Coastal Rainforest includes young and mature forests interspersed with wetlands and open areas. It also contains a riparian corridor along Beadnell Creek – Denman Island’s largest Class A salmon spawning stream. The creek supports commercial and recreational fishing and is also home to the of-special-concern provincially Blue-listed Cutthroat Trout. In addition to providing a food source for humans and animals, the salmon life cycle provides vital nutrients to the forest floor and trees. This ecosystem has its own unique combination of climate, plants, and animal life; mild yet wet, the area is part of the Moist Maritime Coastal Douglas fir-biogeoclimatic subzone, encompassing some of the rarest ecosystems in British Columbia with only 11.5 per cent protected provincially.

“Coastal rainforests are some of the wettest non-tropical ecosystems on earth. The Denman Island-Coastal Rainforest is an ecological powerhouse and provides tremendous benefits to wildlife, people, and our planet. It is so important that we join together to protect these vital ecosystems and combat climate change and biodiversity loss.” said Dr. Jasper Lament, CEO of The Nature Trust of BC.

The Denman Island-Coastal Rainforest is located within an area of continental significance to waterfowl under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP). It is also a regionally significant wetland area within the Pacific Birds Habitat Joint Venture (PBHJV) program area. Ten bird species listed under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) have been seen on or near the property – the Band-tailed Pigeon, Evening Grosbeak, Peregrine Falcon, Marbled Murrelet, Barn Swallow, Western Screech Owl, Ancient Murrelet, Great Blue Heron, Olive-sided Flycatcher, and Common Nighthawk.

In addition to birds and fish, the conservation area provides designated critical habitat for the Blue-listed Little Brown Myotis and one endangered butterfly – the Red-listed Taylor’s Checkerspot.

Left: Provincially Red-listed Taylor’s Checkerspot; Right: SARA-listed Peregrine Falcon

“Not only do mature forests provide clean air and cooler temperatures, they provide breeding and foraging habitat for mammals, birds, and invertebrates. It is our responsibility to ensure that these majestic forests can continue to grow and thrive for the benefit of the planet and people.” said Dr. Jasper Lament, CEO of The Nature Trust of BC.

The purchase of this area adds to the legacy of The Nature Trust of BC, demonstrating its unwavering commitment to protecting the vulnerable ecosystems and rich biodiversity in BC and helping to mitigate the impact of climate change in our province.

You can support The Nature Trust of BC in purchasing and protecting the Denman Island-Coastal Rainforest by donating to their campaign. Donate here.


The Nature Trust of British Columbia is a leading non-profit land conservation organization with over 50 years of success protecting and caring for B.C.’s most critical habitats. Since 1971, The Nature Trust of BC and its partners have acquired more than 73,000 hectares (180,000 acres) of ecologically significant land to save vulnerable wildlife, fish and plants.


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The Nature Trust of BC

Alicia Collyear, Account Director