June 16th 2022, Vancouver, BC – Today, The Nature Trust of British Columbia, one of the province’s leading non-profit land conservation organizations, announced that 58.1-hectares (143.5 acres) of ecologically important land has been purchased for conservation on Saturna Island.
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The Saturna Island – Money Creek conservation area is located on the southwest corner of Saturna Island adjacent to part of the Southern Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. The purchase of this property protects habitat for rare and threatened species, conserves imperiled ecosystems, increases connectivity between critically important wildlife habitats, and connects to an existing conservation complex spanning the length of the island.
The conservation area is located within the moist maritime Coastal Douglas-fir biogeoclimatic subzone. The Coastal Douglas-fir biogeoclimatic zone (CDF zone) is the smallest and most at-risk zone in BC and is of conservation concern. The mild, Mediterranean-like climate allows for rich and rare flora and fauna to survive. The rain shadow of Vancouver Island and Olympic Mountains creates optimal conditions for multiple rare ecological communities. The conservation area includes mature and young forest, mixed woodland, riparian areas and pocket wetlands that are crucial for at-risk species.
The hills of the Saturna Island – Money Creek conservation area are home to a variety of wildlife and plant species, with some currently listed under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA). The distinctive and threatened Barn Swallow can be seen flying to catch insects nearby. The Northern Red-legged frog (a species of special concern) has been observed around Money Lake near the property.
Due to increased fragmentation from roadways, agriculture, forest harvesting and development, the connectivity of ecosystems in BC is dwindling. Fragmentation limits the ability of species to shift and adapt their distributions in response to the changing climate. Conserving this property will increase connectivity within this rare biogeoclimatic zone and expand protected habitat for plants and wildlife that depend on this land, thereby potentially increasing their resilience into the future.
The Southern Gulf Islands chain is also a retreat for many locals and tourists alike who are seeking refuge in the quiet and natural wonders of the islands. The connectivity of the multiple parcels of conservation land on Saturna Island will not only protect coniferous forest ecosystems and at-risk species but also provide space for people to connect with nature and the outdoors.
The Nature Trust of BC shares this announcement in memory of Patrick and Hilary Oswald, a much loved couple who enthusiastically served their community by working tirelessly for The Nature Trust and other charities including Pacific Riding for Developing Abilities, Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, and Western Institute for the Deaf. Many people have been inspired by this couple to give to protect B.C.’s amazing biodiversity.
Over the past 50 years, The Nature Trust of BC has acquired and cared for over 178,000 acres (72,000 hectares) of our province’s most critical natural habitat for vulnerable wildlife and plants. Learn how to support The Nature Trust of BC’s next conservation project on Saturna Island by visiting their website in the coming weeks.
This acquisition has been made possible by Jane McLennan, Grayross Foundation and many other donors. The Money Family, who owned the land for over 70 years generously donated to this project and to The Nature Trust of BC. This project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the federal Department of Environment and Climate Change.
“Patrick Oswald was a uniquely charismatic leader of philanthropy in BC. He loved nature, especially birds. We were fortunate at The Nature Trust to have him on our team for over a decade. During that time, he enthusiastically developed enduring donor support for our land conservation work in BC, often with his wife Hilary by his side. We are honoured to have acquired Saturna Island Money Creek in memory of both Patrick and Hilary.”
— Jasper Lament, CEO, The Nature Trust of BC
“At Islands Trust, we are passionate about protecting and enhancing our island communities and their environment. With the protection of the Saturna Island – Money Creek property, The Nature Trust of BC is doing just that. This property will add to the already protected pieces of land on the island, creating a conservation complex that will not only protect the coniferous forest ecosystems, and at risk species, but will also connect our local communities and British Columbians for generations to come.”
— Paul Brent, Saturna Island Trustee
“Our family bought this land in March 1945. During my childhood, once my chores were done, I was free to ramble all over Saturna Island along with my brother and some potatoes to roast. It was during these long rambles, which sometimes lasted for many days, that I got to know every inch and cranny of the island and love it.
I hope that there will be other people coming after me that will enjoy rambles over these lands as much as I have throughout my life and the restorative energy from being in the woods that these walks give you. I felt that The Nature Trust of British Columbia was the best way to enshrine these lands and keep the trails maintained for future generations to walk through and enjoy.”
— John Money for Money Family Projects Ltd.
The Nature Trust of BC
The Nature Trust of British Columbia is a leading non-profit land conservation organization with a 50 year history of successfully 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, Communications Manager