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Love Where You Live

MAY
2024

 

Taken from a press release

The Galiano Conservancy Association, a community-based land trust and registered charity dedicated to preserving and enhancing the human and natural environment, together with The Nature Trust of British Columbia, one of the province’s leading non-profit land conservation organizations, announce that 26.5 hectares of ecologically diverse coastal Douglas-fir forest and over one kilometre of pristine rocky shoreline at Cable Bay has now been purchased for conservation.

Zoned for a six-lot residential subdivision, this waterfront property has been saved from development thanks to conservation-minded land owners who preferred to see the area remain as forest and held off selling the property until adequate funds could be raised to purchase the property for conservation purposes. The acquisition is the culmination of a multi-year partnership between the Galiano Conservancy Association and The Nature Trust of BC and will add to a network of connected conservation areas totalling over 500 hectares that spans the width of the island.
Part of the traditional and unceded territories of the Penelakut, Hwlitsum, and other Hul’qumi’num-speaking peoples, the Cable Bay area has a long history of use and habitation by Coast Salish Peoples. According to Florence James, a respected Coast Salish Elder from Penelakut Island, the area is traditionally known as Qw’xwulwis, the Hul’qumi’num word for the action of paddling, and was an ideal place to live thanks to its sheltered geography, abundant traditional food sources, and freshwater creek.

Galiano Island is part of the Southern Gulf Islands archipelago and lies near the centre of both the biologically diverse Salish Sea and the provincially and globally imperiled Coastal Douglas-Fir biogeoclimatic zone. Home to the highest number of at-risk species and ecosystems in BC, the CDF is of great conservation concern, yet only 11% of its area is currently protected.

Cable Bay and the network of protected areas it joins are a valuable remnant of the CDF. Preserving these forests helps maintain habitat and connectivity for native plants and wildlife species. The sheltered waters and rich biodiversity of nearshore areas found at Cable Bay also provide significant habitat for resident and overwintering birds, intertidal life, fish and marine mammals.

This important land acquisition was made possible by the Government of Canada through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, part of Canada’s Nature Fund, and by the Sitka Foundation, the MapleCross, the Collings Stevens Family Foundation, and more than 150 individuals including many Galiano Island residents, who generously donated to ensure Cable Bay is protected for generations to come.

The Cable Bay property is projected to formally open to the public in early 2022, once a management plan and signage are in place.

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