Projects and other Conservancy News
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| Environmentally Sensitive Areas Study
2012 In Review
a special Director's meeting on 8 January, a
Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Gambier Island
Conservancy and the Sunshine
Conservation Association (SCCA), which forms a protocol on how the two
organizations will cooperate in being co-covenant holders on the
covenants on the three Islands Trust Fund Nature Reserves in the
Brigade Bay, on Gambier.
11 February, John Gibbs from the SCCA, Boris
Johnston, Peter Scholefield, Mike Stamford and Maria Van Dyk from the
Conservancy accompanied Jeff Ralph from the Islands Trust Fund office
visit to the nature reserves to examine possibilities for restoration
reserves near Brigade Bay, Gambier Island
annual monitoring visit to the three nature reserves
conducted on 21 April by Islands Trust Fund consultants Doug Hopwood
Ferris, who were accompanied by Conservancy members, Peter Scholefield
Johnston. Doug came
back to the nature
reserves the next day and on the following weekend to collect
his preparation of a baseline study of the reserves, which is
prerequisite for the covenants.
of a National Park Reserve on Gambier Island:
At its 8 January
meeting, the directors agreed to invite Nerys Poole, former Bowen
and park advocate, to speak with the Conservancy directors on the
also to invite Mel Turner of Bowen who was involved with the
the proposed feasibility study for a Bowen Island National Park
Nerys and Mel came to the director's meeting on 19 February, discussed
experience on Bowen Island and gave us their reasons why they thought
referendum to proceed with the Feasibility Study was defeated. They
that detailed preparation work be done before seeking input from the
on a proposed feasibility study for a National Park Preserve on Gambier
Island. There was
general agreement at the AGM that the
does not want to be a “lead-organization” on an
initiative of this size; rather,
it would prefer to be part of a Howe-Sound-wide general discussion on
AGM: One interesting proposal
arising from the
annual general meeting in the Gambier Island Community Centre on 17
June was that the Conservancy
participate in a
meeting of those concerned about the future of Howe Sound,
topics such as the
Aggregate Mine Project in McNab Creek Valley (top of page) and the idea of a
National Park Preserve on Gambier (below).
commemorate Wolf Wiedemann's contribution to the Conservancy, it was
to use local resources to construct a shelter to house a trail map of
Island and erect it in a prominent outdoor location.
Project planning is underway.
results of the
AGM election of officers were as follows: Peter Scholefield, President;
Boris Gorgitza, Treasurer; Kathy McTaggart,
Secretary; and Maria Van Dyk and Mike Stamford, directors-at-large.
The Islands Trust Fund is still considering our
to utilize the Sponsored Crown Grant process to acquire land on Gambier
Island--using the bequest from Lois's estate to cover the cost of a
survey and the preparation of a management plan that would be required
establish a new nature reserve on Gambier. It has been learned
Trust Fund staff are now examining the possibility of giving a higher
to pursuing a sponsored crown grant on Gambier than was previously the
case. In the meantime, the
Lois's bequest have been securely invested with the Municipal Finance
Wiedemann, a long-time resident of Gambier Island
and one of the founding directors of the Gambier Island Conservancy,
passed away on August 26, 2011 at the age of 84. Wolf and his wife,
Maria Van Dyk, who Is also a founding director, built a marvelous,
custom-crafted house on what had been their five-hectare recreational
property atop a hill near Gambier Harbour. They moved into their
retirement home on a permanent basis in 1995.
loved hiking in the outdoors and the peaceful solitude of nature.
Aside from his treasurer duties, he worked tirelessly over the years to
establish a network of hiking trails across the whole island to connect
all communities as well as routes to popular recreational destinations
such as Gambier Lake and beach access locations. Initially, there was
some opposition to his vision for an across-island interconnecting
trail network. He patiently supported the efforts of various
communities to develop trails in their vicinity and eventually these
trails became connected to each other, forming a network across the
Once this network became established, Wolf took the lead in the
preparation of a detailed trail map with colour-coded routes and trail
descriptions, including estimated hiking times for each of the routes.
Using Conservancy funds, he arranged for the map to be printed in a
convenient brochure format with the Conservancy's logo, mission
statement and contact information included. This trail network and map
was perhaps Wolf's greatest legacy to the Conservancy, which will serve
to facilitate access for future generations of nature lovers to explore
and preserve the natural beauty of Gambier Island.
experience in accounting and
sales for Canadian Pacific
Airlines highly qualified him to assume the responsibility as the
Conservancy's treasurer, a position he held from the inception of the
Conservancy in 1995 until his death. Wolf proved to be a very
dedicated, talented and innovative treasurer. His precise and
meticulous financial reports, presented at every Conservancy meeting
and annually to the provincial government, were impressive in their
detail and professionalism.
Among his accomplishments as treasurer were
the following: a land trust fund he set up and managed for the
Conservancy; collecting and administrating funds donated to the
Conservancy to help establish the Mt Artaban Nature Reserve; financial
advice he provided to the Islands Trust Fund when they were developing
the Natural Area Protection Tax Exemption Program; and through his
negotiation skills, the ability to annually secure funding from the
Sunshine Coast Regional District to maintain and develop trails on the
island. Wolf's contribution to the Conservancy was exceptional and
won't soon be forgotten!
Reserves: The Islands Trust Fund has proposed
that its three east-side nature reserves on Gambier Island have
conservation covenants for future protection. The Conservancy has been
working towards being joint covenant-holders with the Sunshine Coast
Conservation Association (SCCA). The process is well underway with both
groups agreeing with the latest draft of a Memorandum of Understanding
and the Islands Trust Fund is in the process of preparing the covenants.
On 16 April, Peter Scholefield
from Gambier Estates accompanied Tess
Johnston from the Sea Ranch, Jason Herz and Angela Kroning from the
SCCA and Doug Hopwood, Islands Trust Fund consultant (left to right in
the photo) on the annual site monitoring visit to the three nature
reserves. This visit included the installation of a variety of signs
supplied by the Islands Trust Fund. On 10 July, a crew of three engaged
by the Conservancy, spent a long day cleaning up the remains and debris
from an old fire watch station within the Mt Artaban Nature Reserve at
Those who want to hike to the
top of Mt Artaban on the trail up the
south side can now more easily find their way to and from the public
docks at Camp Fircom and at the Halkett Bay Marine Park. The subdivision's developer, Jim
Green, has installed numerous signs at relevant locations throughout
the Fircom Plateau subdivision, including on sections of dedicated
trail rights-of-way through some of the subdivision lots.
May, at its Annual General Meeting, the Conservancy was pleased to
welcome two new directors; James Fralic and Mike Stamford who were
elected along with President, Peter Scholefield, Treasurer, Wolf
Wiedemann, Secretary, Kathy McTaggart and Directors-at-large, Maria Van
Dyk and Wendy Graham. On 26 August, the Conservancy was saddened by the
death of one of its founding directors and long-time treasurer Wolf
Wiedemann. His contribution to the Gambier Island Conservancy was
exceptional and will not soon be forgotten.
At the invitation of the Island Trust Fund, Maria Van Dyk and Peter
Scholefield attended a board meeting in Victoria on 26 May. The purpose
was to inform the board on the Conservancy's suggestion for what
property on Gambier island would be most suitable to acquire using
Lois' bequest to the Islands Trust Fund of $100,000 for acquisition of
land for protection. Following the decision of the AGM on 15 May, they
proposed that the first priority should be Muskeg Lake, one of Lois'
favourite spots. Lost Lake and Gambier Lake were suggested as second
and third priorities respectively. They further suggested that property
be acquired through the free crown grant process, which would allow for
a larger piece of property to be protected. The Board directed staff to
review the possibility of utilizing the Free Crown Grant process to
acquire land on Gambier Island and to report back to the Board. It was
mentioned that it may not be possible to proceed for a couple of years
due to another free crown grant application that has precedence.
Feasibility of a National
Park Reserve on
Gambier Island: This topic arose at the AGM from
local interest in the feasibility study being done with regard to
establishing a national park reserve on Bowen Island. It was decided
that the Conservancy should contact Parks Canada to explore the
possibility of establishing a national park reserve on Gambier Island.
This possibility seems more enticing now that Bowen Island property
owners voted, on 19 November, against Parks Canada continuing with its
feasibility study which has resulted in Parks Canada terminating its
project on Bowen Island.
a long time resident of Gambier passed away on April 3, 2010. Lois and
her husband Desmond moved in 1989 from Saskatoon to Gambier Harbour
where they built a retirement home. But
retirement was the last thing on
characteristic energy and passion, Lois got involved with
community life and soon became President of the Gambier Island
Community Association. During Lois’s tenure, the GICA
addressed issues such as the relocation of the barge ramp, the Federal
Department of Transportation’s divestiture of the Gambier
docks, a ‘Wither Gambier Forum’ and allocation of
seed money for the Gambier Fire Equipment Group and the Gambier Island
world was of paramount importance to Lois. She earned a
Masters degree and PHD in Science at The University of Manitoba where
she taught and did research on the effects of acid rain in Northern
Ontario. Later, she moved to the University of Saskatoon where she did
research in the field of embryology.
So it was
not surprising that Lois formed a strong bond and love for
Gambier Island and its natural treasures. This translated into an
initiative to try and focus the community on how to best preserve and
protect the natural amenities of the Island. In 1995 Lois became a
founding Director and guiding light of the Gambier Conservancy at the
time the Islands Trust was undertaking a review of the Official
It was an
opportune time to work with the Trust by helping to provide
detailed data on Gambier’s environment; data that was sadly
lacking. Along with many others, Lois secured grant monies and
dedicated herself to the Streamkeeper’s and stream mapping
projects. This work resulted in more detailed maps of Gambier streams,
watersheds and environmentally sensitive areas.
community work, fraught with challenges, often put her at odds with
others in spite of her high ideals. Lois never shied away from a fight!
But she was optimistic and ready to take the initiative; Lois brought
passion, dedication and a keen intellect to all her tasks. This
continued after she relocated to Gibsons where she served on the
executive of the Sunshine Coast Conservation Association, the Community
Foundation, the Iris Griffiths Centre and the Water Summit. Lois
continued to serve as a director of the Gambier Island Conservancy
As a final
way to serve her community, five charities in the lower
mainland each received $100,000 from the Lois Kennedy
the Islands Trust Fund. This Trust Fund bequest is to be used for the
enhancement or maintenance of public trust lands, including parks and
nature reserves on Gambier Island.
Gambier Island Conservancy
applauds Lois’s bequest
and welcomes donations or bequests to its land trust fund.
Tax receipts will be issued.
At the peak of Mt Artaban, following the opening
ceremony on 22 August 2009
Artaban Nature Reserve:
profile of a Special Place
Reprinted from Fall 2009 Islands Trust Fund
Under blue summer skies, the
Mount Artaban Nature Reserve filled with pride as Gambier islanders
gathered recently to celebrate the grand opening of the newly protected
area. The ceremony was a landmark event for the community and the
Gambier Island Conservancy, who led the funding campaign to protect the
"With many of
the fundraising campaign's key contributors present, the
grand opening was as much a tribute to the community's spirit and
vision as it was a celebration of the natural legacy created by the
protection of the mountain," said Christine Torgrimson, Chair of the
Trust Fund Board. "Due to the outstanding generosity of private
individuals, businesses, local governments and community groups, the
permanent protection of Mount Artaban will forever be a reality. "
The highlight of the day's
event was a hike to the mountain's summit.
The celebrants, aged 11 months to more than 70 years, enthusiastically
made the 614-metre climb to the top of Mount Artaban where stories were
shared about the history of the mountain's protection. The demanding
climb to the peak was a fitting way to commemorate the community's long
journey to protect Mount Artaban.
For the Islands Trust Fund, the
journey to preserve Mount Artaban
doesn't end here. The habitats we protect depend on us to maintain them
into the future. Mount Artaban Nature Reserve is home to old-growth
trees, a wetland, several at-risk plant communities and a source of
clean water for the surrounding community and aquatic habitats below.
With the help of the community, the Islands Trust Fund recently
completed a management plan for the property, which sets out the best
methods to preserve these features for the future. The Islands Trust
Fund is grateful to islanders for not only helping with acquisition
campaigns on the islands, but also for the help and local knowledge
they provide in the management of our properties. Together, we can work
to ensure the ecosystem values we all worked so hard to protect will
continue to delight generations to come, through effective stewardship
interested in learning
more about the management of the Mount
Artaban Nature Reserve
can view the management plan online at:
Artaban Nature Reserve!
A site visit
to Mount Artaban on April 11th, 2009.
Over 260 acres are permanently protected for future generations
by the Gambier Island Conservancy in partnership with the Islands Trust.
Plan for the Mount Artaban Nature Reserve
Public Consultation Meeting, 2009
The Islands Trust Fund
contracted Doug Hopwood to complete a management plan for the Mount
Artaban Nature Reserve. A consultation meeting regarding Mt. Artaban
was held on January 24, 2009 at the Gleneagles Community Centre,
including the general public. Members of the public, stakeholder groups
and agencies are valued participants in this planning process. An
abbreviated general meeting of the Gambier Island Conservancy followed.
There was a site visit to Mount Artaban on
April 11th, 2009. Over 260
acres will be permanently protected for future generations by
the Gambier Island Conservancy in partnership with the Islands Trust.
The Islands Trust
website has a copy of the Mount Artaban Nature Reserve Management Plan
Left to right:
Doug Hopwood, Kate Emmings, Wendy Graham, Wolf Wiedemann, Peter
Scholefield, Maria Van Dyk.
(photo by Jan Hagedorn)
Artaban Nature Reserve
part of Gambier Island's first protected-area network
View from Mount
Artaban north towards Whistler
Island’s Mt. Artaban is noted for its significant
natural values, its challenging hikes and its awe-inspiring views. The
prospect of protecting this special place has finally been realized. At
the end of May 2008, Gambier Island’s first protected area
network came into being with the transfer of 107 hectares from the
Province of British Columbia to the Islands Trust Fund through the
provincial Free Crown Grant program. The new
Nature Reserve, when combined with neighbouring local,
regional and provincial parks, creates a continuous protected area of
525 hectares – 25%
larger than Vancouver’s Stanley
from the Sea-to-Sky Highway, the Mount Artaban Nature Reserve
protects old-growth trees, a wetland, and several at-risk plant
communities. The water flowing from this pristine mountain provides
clean drinking water for the surrounding communities and feeds aquatic
habitats below. Bald eagles are often seen in the skies above the new
reserve, and Steller’s Jays, Rufous Hummingbirds and Blue
Grouse inhabit the forest.
new Mount Artaban Nature Reserve and adjoining protected areas
offer an exhilarating hiking experience. Island residents and visitors
can enjoy trails that extend from the head of Long Bay and the Brigade
Bay waterfronts to Mount Artaban’s peak. The trail system
also extends south through the Halkett Bay Provincial Marine Park and
can be accessed from the landing dock at the Marine Park or from the
Halkett Bay government dock at Camp Fircom.
satisfy the province’s conditions for the transfer, the
Gambier Island Conservancy partnered with the Islands Trust Fund to
fundraise over $40,000 to cover the costs of the land survey and a
management plan. In addition to the support of the Islands Trust Fund,
the Gambier Island Conservancy, the Sunshine Coast Regional District,
and the Squamish Nation, over 80 contributions were made by private
individuals, businesses and community groups.
Islands Trust Fund and the Gambier Island Conservancy will work
with the Gambier Island community to develop a management plan for the
property. This plan will define short and long-term management goals
for this new nature reserve, including public access. As one of Howe
Sound’s most notable landmarks, this highly visible and
environmentally important section of Gambier Island’s Crown
Land will remain protected for future generations.
View from Mount
Artaban east towards the Sea-to-Sky Highway
Mount Artaban Nature Reserve Fundraising
a Huge Success!
Island Conservancy's fundraising project to cover the expenses related
to the free crown land grant from the Province of BC has been a huge
success. The goal to raise $42,000 was met and by the end of November,
2007 was exceeded by $5,250. Many in-kind contributions helped keep
funds raised are being used by the Islands Trust Fund to cover the
cost of the required land survey and the development of a management
plan for the reserve area. Excess funds will go toward maintenance
expenses of the nature reserve.
Land Survey of this 107-hectare parcel of land was completed by
Penonzek Land Surveyors in October at a cost of $29,180. The survey has
been accepted by the Land Title & Survey Authority of British
the acceptance of the survey, Islands Trust can now initiate the
land transfer from the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands to the
Islands Trust Fund. The Islands Trust Fund will oversee the creation of
a management plan for the Mount Artaban Nature Reserve. This plan will
be drawn up with public consultation and will address issues such as
environmental protection, access, on-going maintenance and monitoring
of the area.
Islands Trust Council selected the Gambier Island Conservancy for a
2007 Community Stewardship Award in recognition of its fundraising to
acquire and protect the Mount Artaban Nature Reserve.
very heartfelt "thank-you" to the many individuals, associations,
corporations, foundations and governments who made this effort such a
success. In total, the Gambier Island Conservancy received 91
A special vote of thanks to Glen and Kathleen Hafey for organizing a
fundraising concert featuring Shane Philips as guest performer during
summer 2007. This concert made a significant contribution to the
Mount Artaban Reserve.
Island Community Association, Gambier
Island Conservancy. and the Halkett Bay Owners Association.
River Mechanical Inc., Howe Sound Pulp and
Paper, Pacific Works Diving Ltd,
Penonzek Land Surveyors Ltd, and
Sewell's Landing Inc.,
donations-in-kind coming from Gambier Island
Water Taxi, Jim Green, and Rick Gustavson.
A. & Rose Getz Foundation, Joan Ford
Charitable Foundation, and Sunshine Coast Community Foundation.
Trust and Sunshine Coast Regional District.
commemorative plaque with donor names and a map is currently being
designed and will hang in the Gambier Island Community Centre at New
Brighton. It is planned to post copies of this plaque outdoors at
community access points in the vicinity of the nature reserve.
more information, call Peter Scholefield at 604-913-9090 or Maria
Van Dyk at 604-886-8901.
few years ago, the Gambier Island Conservancy created a Land Trust
Fund specifically for acquisition of property for conservation.
bequests to the Gambier Island Conservancy are gratefully
received and added to this fund.
Stewardship Award for
Mt Artaban Nature Reserve
Trust Council has selected the Gambier Island Conservancy for a
Community Stewardship Award in recognition of its fundraising to
acquire and protect Mount Artaban as a nature reserve. The award in the
group category will be presented at a Gambier Island local trust
committee meeting later this year.
response to this project has been truly inspiring with
significant contributions from many private individuals, businesses,
governments and community groups. The Gambier Island Conservancy wishes
to thank everyone for their generous donations and in-kind
contributions. It is planned to place a commemorative plaque of donor
names in the Gambier Island Community Centre excluding those who wish
to remain anonymous.
To date, the Gambier
Island Conservancy has raised more than $42,000
towards the protection of Mount Artaban. The money raised so far will
pay for a management plan and a Land Act survey which are necessary to
create the new nature reserve.
parcel of crown land on the north east side of Mt
Artaban including the summit has been offered to the Islands Trust as a
free crown grant from the Province of BC and is valued at 1.2 million
dollars. This planned reserve adjoins several other parks and reserve
areas that together create a contiguous protected area of 525 hectares,
- 25% larger than Stanley Park. With this land protected, it will form
the first protected area network on the Island that crosses the full
range of habitats, from shore up to mountain peak and back down to
A condition of the
transfer of land is that a Land Act Survey be
registered by August 2007 and that it be held as a nature reserve. The
survey is costly due to the remote location and extremely rugged
terrain. Penonsek Land Surveyors Ltd were selected as the surveyors and
started the groundwork on June 11.
In addition to the
survey, funds were raised to provide a management
plan to protect the environment and the public. This plan will address
the on going maintenance issues and monitoring of the area. The Gambier
Island Conservancy plans to continue to fundraise for improvements at
the property such as trail repair and signage.
Project to Secure the
Mount Artaban Nature Reserve
Island Conservancy has helped select a major part of Mount Artaban
Crown land for protection. The Islands Trust Fund has successfully
applied for the land, valued at
$1.2 M, from the Province of B.C. for a nature reserve. Now the
Conservancy is seeking at least $30,000 in donations towards the costs
required to complete the acquisition, improve safety and access to the
land, and institute the terms of protection.
The condition of the transfer of land is
that a Land Act Survey be
registered by August 2007 and that it be established as a nature
reserve. A management plan is vital to ensure the nature reserve is
maintained as a conservation area. Donated funds will be allocated to
the following tasks: a Land Act survey and a management plan must be
completed in 2007.
A professional biologist, after
user groups, will author a plan to guide conservation, access, and use
of the nature reserve. This plan is vital to meet the "nature reserve"
requirement of the offer and to protect public safety. Trail
improvements and signage will be made to allow better public access.
For further information, please contact
Peter Scholefield, President of
the Gambier Island Conservancy, 604-913-9090, email@example.com.
You may also contact the IslandsTrust Fund at (250) 405-5186 (Toll free
BC at 1-800-663-7867 or 604-660-2421 in the Lower Mainland),
or email - firstname.lastname@example.org.
107 Hectare Free Crown Land
Nature Reserve on Gambier?
The Islands Trust Fund Board in Victoria
applied to the Provincial
Government for a free Crown grant on Gambier for the purpose of
nature reserve. After public consultation the Trust has identified a
hectare parcel on the east-facing slope of Mount Artaban in its
This area would create a network of protected areas connecting the
Marine Park at Halkett Bay, the Trust Fund Board's Long Bay Wetland -
Reserve and the adjacent SCRD regional park at Brigade Bay.
There are, however, no guarantees that
this application will be
it travels through the many layers of authority. The decision to
with this free crown grant is expected on or before June 27, 2006.
Although no money exchanges hands for
the actual land in the Free Crown
Grant program, the receiving agency is required to pay for the cost of
surveying the property within 90 days of accepting the offer and the
subsequent development of a management plan for the nature reserve.
Islands Trust has begun consulting with the community on a fund raising
initiative to cover the expected costs involved.
The Gambier Island Conservancy has
expressed support for this land
will assist the Trust Fund in the fund raising once the offer of the
received. All donations will be tax receipted.
This important initiative will preserve
a significant piece of our
community. More to come!
Gambier Island Conservancy Creates Land
The Gambier Island Conservancy (GIC) has
recently created a Land Trust
Fund for the specific purpose of acquiring land for conservation. It
has become clear to many nature preservation organizations that the
most effective and permanent way to protect special or sensitive areas
is through the purchase of land or the receipt of land by donation.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada
and the Islands Trust Fund
examples of this.
The GIC has received permission from
to accumulate funds
in excess of the amounts normally allowed by registered charities and
from the provincial government to hold land covenants in partnership
with private individuals and/or public agencies.
The Conservancy is now capable of
establishing a land acquisition Trust
Fund specifically for the purchase and/or acquisition of property for
conservation. Although no specific parcels of land have been identified
as yet this is a long-term project that will position the Conservancy
well in the future. Such acquisitions projects usually involve several
partners with various levels of government matching community/private
This is an important beginning. The
Gambier Island Conservancy
gratefully acknowledges the support it has received from so many
individuals who believe this Island is a very special place and
encourage you to participate through the contribution of funds or land.
For further information please contact Peter Scholefield, President of
the Gambier Island Conservancy, 604-913-9090, email@example.com