The Nature Trust of British Columbia is rallying to raise $1 million to purchase 38.7 hectares of mature Coastal Douglas-fir forest on Denman Island to protect and preserve it.
The property, adjacent to a Denman Conservancy Association conservation area called Central Park and the Denman Island Provincial Park and Protected Area, is close to Comox, within K’ómoks First Nation traditional territory.
If the trust purchases the land, it says it will increase the ecologically valuable conservation complex to 187 hectares, bolstering 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.
“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,” Dr. Jasper Lament, CEO of The Nature Trust of B.C., said in a release.
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.
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, which is 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,” Lament said.
The trust hopes to purchase this land to protect this ecosystem and help mitigate climate change in the province.
The $1 million needs to be raised by the end of 2023 in order for the sale to go through.
Donations to the fundraising campaign can be made on the Nature Trust of B.C. website.