A large swath of ecologically sensitive land along the Englishman River will be conserved for future generations thanks to a donation to The Nature Trust of BC.
Emil Anderson Group donated 71 acres of land in the Coastal Douglas Fir bio-geoclimatic zone to a conservation complex the Nature Trust has been building with partners since 1978. The land, valued at more than $5 million, will be preserved as the Englishman River – Kw’a’luxw – Emil Anderson Legacy Forest and will never be sold.
“Keeping a significant portion of our floodplain and hillside land near the Englishman River in a natural state has been a goal of mine and my family’s for many years,” said Mike Jacobs, Emil Anderson Group chair. “It is proof that resource extraction, land development and habitat preservation can be balanced through thoughtful land-use planning.”
The announcement was made at the Suspension Foot Bridge in Top Bridge Regional Park in Parksville on Sept. 26.
“The Englishman River is the most important salmon-spawning stream in the mid-Vancouver Island region,” said Jasper Lament, Nature Trust of BC CEO. “This is B.C.’s most endangered bio-geoclimatic zone. It is also one of B.C.’s least-protected bio-geoclimatic zones.”
Lament added the Coastal Douglas Fir bio-geoclimatic zone is an ecological area of conservation concern. The area now-protected is home to old-growth trees more than 100 years old, as well as species-at-risk Western painted turtle, northern red-legged frog and purple martin.
The event also recognized a Stewardship and Management Agreement with the Snaw-Naw-As First Nation to support the long-term conservation of the property. This agreement recognizes Snaw-Naw-As First Nation as a rights holder to manage their lands and resources, protect the cultural and ecological values of traditional lands and improve stewardship of forests with ecosystem-based land use planning.
Kw’a’luxw means ‘dog salmon’, explained Chris Bob, Snaw-Naw-As First Nation council member.
“Our natural resources have always been a priority for First Nations since time immemorial,” Bob said. “Building meaningful relationships to protect wildlife for future generations to enjoy and respect is the goal.”
The Nature Trust of BC has been conserving land on the Englishman River since 1978 and this is the eleventh conservation property in the area. It now protects 847 acres in the watershed.