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British Columbia Ancient Forests News
ACTION ALERT: Support Expanded Protection of the Endangered Coastal Douglas-Fir ecosystem in British Columbia!
January 9, 2018
Please take just a couple minutes to WRITE to the BC government, telling them you support their proposal to expand protections in the endangered Coastal Douglas-Fir ecosystem on Vancouver Island and in the Gulf Islands!
The BC government is seeking the public’s input on their proposal to increase the amount of Coastal Douglas-Fir ecosystem protected on public (Crown) lands on Vancouver Island’s southeast coast and in the southern Gulf Islands.
The Coastal Douglas-Fir (CDF) ecosystem is home to the highest number of species at risk in BC, including Garry oak trees, sharp-tailed snakes, alligator lizards, and Vancouver Island screech owl and pygmy owl subspecies. With less than four percent of the region’s ecosystems currently protected by the province, the proposed protection measures are greatly needed and are a significant step forward, although by themselves are not sufficient to halt the loss of biodiversity from the region.
The BC government is proposing to protect 21 parcels of public land in Bowser, Qualicum Beach, Nanoose Bay, Gabriola Island, Ladysmith, Galiano Island, and Saltspring Island. The proposed new protected areas total 1,125 hectares and expands upon a similar process in 2010 that resulted in the issuance similar land use orders, which protected 2,024 hectares of public lands on southeast Vancouver Island the Sunshine Coast.
Please write to the BC government until Monday, January 15th 2018, to express your support for this proposal and for greater protection of the Coastal Douglas-Fir ecosystem.
Email your written comments to CDFOrderAmendment2017@gov.bc.ca and Cc Forest Minister Doug Donaldson at FLNR.Minister@gov.bc.ca and Environment Minister George Heyman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Be sure to include your full name and address so that they know you are a real person.
The Coastal Douglas-Fir ecosystem, the smallest of BC’s 16 distinctive biogeoclimatic zones (classified according to their climatic and ecological features), is among the most endangered ecosystems in Canada.
The CDF ecosystem encompasses about 260,000 hectares on southeast Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands south of Cortes Island, and a small area of the Sunshine Coast. About 50 percent of the entire ecosystem has been converted to human uses such as agriculture and urbanization. About one percent of the region’s original old-growth forest remains.
Only nine percent of the land base is provincial Crown land, so the purchase and protection of additional private land is also critical to help safeguard conservation values and species at risk.
The Ancient Forest Alliance is calling on the BC government to establish an annual $40 million provincial land acquisition fund to purchase and protect private lands in BC, including in the Coastal Douglas-fir zone, which has the highest percentage of private land in the province of any biogeoclimatic zone in BC.
The proposed fund would rise to an annual $100 million by 2024 through $10 million increases each year and would enable the timely purchase of significant tracts of endangered private lands of high conservation, scenic, and recreation value to add to BC’s parks and protected areas system.
Many regional districts in BC have land or “park” acquisition funds, including the Capital Regional District of Greater Victoria (CRD). The CRD’s fund generates about $3.7 million each year and, with its partners, has spent over $35 million to purchase over 4,500 hectares of land since its establishment in the year 2000, ensuring the protection of such iconic natural areas as the Sooke Hills and Potholes, Mount Maxwell on Saltspring Island, and lands between Thetis Lake and Mount Work. Like the CRD’s land acquisition fund, the proposed $40 million provincial fund could be used as leverage to raise additional funds from private land trusts, environmental groups and private donors.
See the Ancient Forest Alliance’s media release about the proposed expansion of Coastal Douglas-Fir zone protections at: http://ancientforestalliance.org/news-item.php?ID=1162