Sensitive Land Protected by 2003.
Protection of special places for residents and all the people of the Province for all time, for their beauty, for watersheds, and for wildlife habitat and corridors.
1) Bluffs Park - 136.4 ha.
In 1947 a small group of islanders dipped into their pockets in hard times and by 1951 purchased, to preserve for ever, this rare forest with spectacular south west views of Active Pass and the Southern Gulf Islands. On a clear day the snow capped peaks of the Olympic Mountains are visible to the south. The forest is left in its natural state. Fallen trees lie undisturbed for the natural cycle of decay. Dead trees spread their limbs for wildlife. Live trees in biodiversity grow majestic.
The park is owned and managed by the Galiano Club a society incorporated in 1924.
|2) Galiano Mountain - 81 ha.
The "Mountain" is 1000 feet high, offering trails to panoramic views. Early explorers climbed, probably many of the same trails, to view the uncharted seascape, according to records.
MacMillan Bloedel's first development plan of 1972 included ˝ acre lot development of the "Mountain". Without the gruelling efforts of a small band of Official Community Plan writers, suburbia is how this wonderful place would look today.
When MB placed the "Mountain" on the market twenty years later, the Galiano Club asked that it be preserved for the people. MB gave the Galiano Club three weeks to raise $ 330,000. "The drive for funds, which started with an art auction on Saturday April 6th , was originally aimed to meet a deadline of April 26th set by MacMillian Bloedel. At a subsequent meeting, M-B extended the deadline to April 30th. However, on Friday April 27th 1991, with the fund standing at $ 250,000 and growing at about $ 10,000 per day, M-B agreed to sell the mountain for that amount.
|The fund had been buoyed by a generous donation from Salt Spring artist Robert Bateman, but Galiano Club officials were quick to point out that the effort had involved the entire community. Island groups organized an almost continuous round of fund-raising events….Mount Galiano will be cared for by the Galiano Club, under similar arrangements to Bluff Park, which the Club has administered for many years." (Islands Tides May 9th 1991).|
3) The Ecological Reserve - 30.0 ha.
This is a peat bog in a uniquely preserved state, one of the very few such sites in BC. It still exists through forward - looking decisions by the Ministry protecting the environment in the 1930s, that saved it from filling in to run cattle. The reserve is owned by BC Parks. The neighboring forest owner has clear-cut right up to the borders of District Lot 84, where the ecosystem of the bog is protected. Perhaps future neighbors will be kinder, and leave a recommended buffer of trees.
|4) Dionisio Point Park -142.4 ha.
This is the only area of size on the island to face north. It has spectacular wild flowers in a differing climate from the rest of the island.
The most frequented area, Coon Bay, used to be a lagoon of sand-pipers. When fishermen built seasonal huts, their dogs chased the wild life away.
MacMillan Bloedel left the forest, including Coon Bay, open to the public. Trustees became concerned about cars and Winnebagos parked over, and privies dug, in the very ancient midden. MB asked for a map to show what area should be protected, and one was drawn for the Trust, conservatively from core samples, by the archaeologist Donald Mitchell who had done an earlier exploration of the ancient settlements there. This map is now part of the management plan for Dionisio Point Park.
|The park consists of two lots that were donated
by MB, and two lots purchased from MB by
BC Parks. A spectacular grove of maples,
reprieved from logging by the pleas of the
islanders, attracts photographers in Autumn.
The road access has been determined by the Courts to be private. It is blocked from public entry by neighboring landowners.
|5) Bodega Ridge - 149 ha.
This is a magnificent site with majestic trees. MB sold a large portion of the "ridge" to a Salt Spring Island logger who was approached by islanders, (for District Lot 76 under the name of The North Galiano Community Association and for District Lot 73 under the name of The Galiano Island Forest Trust), with a view to purchase for preservation for the public pleasure. The landowner, it was felt, created a high-priced emergency by appearing on the island with a crew ready to operate with chain-saws. A purchase arrangement was made, and the GIFT battled to pay the monthly interest of over $ 3,000 with sales of artists' donated work, wine festivals, ethnic dinners, auctions, dances, pie sales, t-shirt sales, psychic fairs, and most importantly donations. They held the fort over a four year period, some in a state of exhaustion, until' helped by the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and later Provincial / Federal funding.
|In the fourth year of acquisition efforts to save Bodega Ridge District Lot 75 , the large waterfront section of the ridge which includes Lovers Leap, was purchased and held by a local group of islanders called "The Leap Of Faith". This was included in the Nature Conservancy's purchase package.|
6) District Lot 63 - 61.5 ha.
This site of harvested forest, purchased from MB by what used to be BC Tel, has been purchased and preserved by the Galiano Conservancy, to be a restoration and research project with public trails to the sea. It is intended that, with District Lot 60 and part of DL 66, presently Crown Land, the total area of 134.8 ha shall become the Pebble Beach Reserve.
7) Laughlin Lake - 10.9 ha.
This site includes the lake area, which acts as a bird sanctuary, and the bordering valuable riparian area. It is owned and managed by Galiano Conservancy, under covenants held by the Trust Fund Board and Habitat Acquisition Fund.
8) Trincomali Bird Sanctuary - 14.3 ha.
This spectacular site is of high Provincial significance. It is one of the rarest ecosystems in the Sensitive Ecosystems Inventory study area. On its 400 meter coastal bluff the double crested cormorant nests at the high elevations, with the pelagic cormorant nesting lower down on the bluff. On these cliffs the red listed peregrine falcon also raises young.
The site was purchased by an island resident and given for safe keeping to the Trust Fund Board. Covenants are held by the Habitat Acquisition Fund and the Land Conservancy.
9) Retreat Island - 1.6 ha.
This sheltered islet, a beautiful example of the Coastal Douglas Fir biogeoclimatic zone forest, has been carefully preserved by its owners who have gifted 1.6 ha, a significant part of the islet to the Galiano Conservancy, to be preserved for all time. As this unique forest becomes increasingly rare we may have here a museum piece. Covenants are held by the Trust Fund Board and the Garry Oak Meadow Preservation Society.
|10) Bellhouse Park - 2.5 ha.
This beautiful little park, with rare sedges on the rocks, was gifted by an old-time islander to the people of the Province, and is owned and managed by BC Parks.
11) Montague Harbour Park - 64.8 ha.
|12) Matthews Point - 14.4 ha.
This site, purchased with community assistance by the Capital Regional District, is a bluff which rises 400 feet steeply from the sea. Tree stands show magnificent Douglas fir with scattered pockets of Arbutus and Garry Oak - a typical sample of the rare Coastal Douglas fir biogeoclimatic zone of which Galiano is part. The site provides habitat for birds including the bald eagle.
13) Mount Sutil - 17.4 ha.
This is a sister site to Mount Galiano, and protects wildlife and rare plant life at its 1000 foot altitude while offering panoramic views. The site was rescued from residential subdivision by purchase by the Galiano Conservancy, and is protected for all time for all people.
|Green Frog Farm
This site contains forest and a large lake, a favorite haunt of the bald eagle. Some landowners have made their wetlands "tidy", removing dead trees on which bird life often relies. But this is a site where the owner works with nature. Wetlands make up only 1.7 % of the entire Sensitive Ecosystems Inventory study area, and they are of high conservation concern.
This landowner has placed preservation covenants over the entire property. The covenants are held by the Trust Fund Board.
The Heritage Forest
click for heritage Forest page.
For those botanically minded turn to the
list of rare fauna and flora provided by the Galiano Conservancy.
For those legally minded turn to the full decision of the Court of Appeal in favour of the Galiano Island Local Trust Committee.
Water. See Sustainable logging and sustainable groundwater.