Nature Trust of BC Photo Book Excerpt


This is an excerpt from our 47 Years of Conservation photo book.


Foreword by Ross Beaty 7

Into the Wild 9

The Nature Trust of British Columbia 17

Build a Legacy with Us by Rob Butler 23

Journey Across the Regions 25

West Coast 27

South Coast 39

Thompson Okanagan 49

Kootenay Boundary 59

Cariboo 71

Skeena 79

Omineca 85

Northeast 91

Honourary Patrons & Directors 98

Staff 101

Special Contributors 102

Anna’s Hummingbird

• 3 •

photo text here

• 22 •

Trumpeter Swans at Somenos Flats

Build a Legacy with Us

By Dr. Rob Butler, Director of The Nature Trust

Our first land purchase in 1972 is now part of a treasury of more than 480 properties. The

location and area of land is an important measure of our success but the real test of The

Nature Trust is the ongoing survival of living things on our conservation properties.

Less than a century ago, the survival of the trumpeter swan was in jeopardy. Years of hunting

had brought it close to extinction. Recovery required the cessation of hunting and land to be

set aside so it could repopulate. When I was a young man, swans were scarce. But a recovery

was underway in part thanks to contributions of land by The Nature Trust and its partners on

Vancouver Island. Today the swan’s bugling call resonates in the estuaries of British Columbia.

The Nature Trust has assisted many other species including elk and bighorn sheep in the Kootenays,

rare insects and plants in the Okanagan, and migrating birds in the Fraser Valley.

The success of our organization is due to the support of many people, organizations and all

levels of government who share our passion for British Columbia, and I hope you do too. We have

accomplished a great deal on our journey but there remains much more to do. And we need your

help to do this.

Please consider a donation. The Nature Trust of BC is an effective and efficient land conservation

organization. Decisions are made based on science guided by business management. The Nature

Trust has no mortgages and carries no debt. Yearly external audits are undertaken. Our focus is

solely British Columbia. Every dollar raised stays in our province.

By giving to The Nature Trust of BC, you will be creating a lasting legacy for our children and

grandchildren. Nature forever…what could be more important than that?

• 23 •

British Columbia Regions

• 24 •

Journey Across the Regions

There are many ways that Nature Trust conservation properties

could be arranged: by habitat type such as wetlands or grasslands, or

by biogeoclimatic zones such as Coastal Douglas-fir or Bunchgrass.

However, the way that seems to make the most sense is based

on regions that our Conservation Land Managers oversee and

which have been designated by the Province of BC to facilitate the

management of our forests, lands and other natural resources: West

Coast, South Coast, Thompson Okanagan, Kootenay Boundary,

Cariboo, Skeena, Omineca and Northeast.

We invite you to explore Nature Trust conservation properties as

you travel across this amazing province.

• 25 •

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Englishman River

West Coast

This region includes Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, BC’s Central Coast and

Haida Gwaii. The West Coast Region transitions from temperate rainforests near

sea level, characterized by deep fjords, long inlets and estuaries, to the Coast

Mountains, characterized by high rugged mountains, glaciers and alpine meadows.

Vegetation is dominated by Coastal Western Hemlock and Mountain Hemlock

ecosystems. The dry rain shadow areas of southeastern Vancouver Island and

the Gulf Islands are in the Coastal Douglas-fir zone—an area of highest Provincial

conservation concern. Within the Coastal Douglas-fir zone, the Garry oak and

associated ecosystems are among the most endangered in Canada. The remaining

Garry oak meadows, with their array of spring wildflowers, occur in fragmented

patches, as half of the land in this zone has been converted to human uses.

Unique and rare mammals, including the Kermode Bear and Vancouver Island

The Nature Trust has acquired 116 properties

covering 2,580 hectares (6,377 acres) in this region

Marmot, occur in this region. Haida Gwaii, known as Canada’s Galapagos, is world

renowned for its distinct animal species that have evolved over thousands of

years in isolation from BC’s mainland. Waterfowl use coastal wetlands throughout

the region while colonial breeding seabirds can be found nesting and foraging

on islands, islets and cliffs. The coastal areas provide an essential corridor for

millions of birds that migrate from as far away as South America to destinations

in Alaska and the Arctic Circle. Brant geese, for example, migrate from Mexico to

their northern breeding grounds and stop to rest and feed on the shores of mid-

Vancouver Island.

• 27 •

• 28 •

Mount Maxwell

295.7 hectares (730 acres)

Acquired 2001-2011

Conservation of a Garry

oak woodland in Mount

Maxwell Ecological Reserve

on Salt Spring Island


28.2 hectares (70 acres)

Acquired 2005

Adding old growth forest and

habitat for Roosevelt Elk to

MacMillan Provincial Park

near Port Alberni

• 29 •

• 30 •

Salmon River Estuary

185.8 hectares (459 acres)

Acquired 1978-2015

Estuary lands north of Campbell River

acquired to protect fish and wildlife habitats

• 31 •

Shooting Star

This pink flowering plant

grows in open woodlands

and moist areas and is seen

here along the Salmon River

Northern Rice Root

This plant has distinctive brown

flowers and often grows along

shorelines and estuaries

Conservation Youth Crew

Restoring riparian habitat along

the Salmon River

• 32 •

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• 34 •

Buttertubs Marsh

23.1 hectares (57 acres)

Acquired 1975-2008

Conservation of a freshwater

marsh in Nanaimo

The trails are used by 70,000

people a year

Restoring Painted Turtle Habitat

Conservation Youth Crew restoring

nesting area for endangered turtles

at Buttertubs Marsh

• 35 •

Brant Geese

These small geese rest and feed on

the shores of mid-Vancouver Island

during their spring migration to

northern breeding grounds

Arrowsmith Naturalists

This enthusiastic volunteer group

assists with restoration on the

Englishman River Estuary

Englishman River Estuary

67.3 hectares (166 acres)

Acquired 1981-1992

Conservation of a critical estuary

within Parksville-Qualicum Beach

Wildlife Management Area

• 36 •

• 37 •

• 38 •

Fraser River Estuary-South Arm Marsh Islands

South Coast

The South Coast Region covers the southwest corner of BC’s mainland including Metro

Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast, Squamish-Whistler corridor, and the Lower Fraser

Valley. This region is influenced by heavy fall and winter rains that promote the growth

of huge conifers characteristic of BC’s temperate rainforests. These forests have a

tangled undergrowth of Devil’s Club, Salmonberry, Salal, and a variety of ferns. This

region is home to more than 60% of BC’s human population. And as a result, huge areas

of these ecosystems have been converted to urban, industrial, and agricultural uses.

A significant feature of this region is the Fraser River delta characterized by low

hills and a narrow floodplain with nutrient rich soils comprised of glacial and alluvial

deposits. Where the Fraser River meets and mixes with the Pacific Ocean, one of the

largest estuaries along the North American Pacific Coast is formed. The Fraser River

estuary is of international importance to millions of birds, fish and other wildlife.

The Nature Trust has acquired 75 properties

covering 1,731 hectares (4,279 acres) in this region

Given its location mid-way along the Pacific Coast, it is a critical crossroad along the

Pacific Flyway, a route that millions of birds traverse each year between breeding and

wintering grounds on three continents. It is also Canada’s most important wintering

area for migratory birds and most important estuary in BC for Pintail, Snow Geese and

other waterfowl. The Fraser River is the largest salmon-producing river along the Pacific

Coast. Chinook, Chum, Coho, Pink and Sockeye salmon traverse through the Fraser

River estuary. As adults they migrate upstream to spawn along shallow gravel reaches

of tributary streams and as young smolts they become accustomed to saltwater in the

estuarine marshes and mudflats on their way out to oceanic habitats.

• 39 •

Francis Point

72.8 hectares (180 acres)

Acquired 2001

Conservation of a dry coastal forest

within Francis Point Provincial Park

on the Sunshine Coast

Squamish Estuary

5.6 hectares (14 acres)

Acquired 2008

Protection of a critical estuary

adjacent to a Wildlife Management Area

• 40 •

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Tom Berry Road

8.2 hectares (20 acres)

Acquired 2007-2009

Conservation of old forest and

riparian area along the banks

of the Fraser River at Hope


Hundreds of thousands of

Sandpipers travel along the

coast each year, especially

in Boundary Bay

• 43 •

Snowy Owl

These birds are often seen at

Boundary Bay in the winter

Boundary Bay

32 hectares (79 acres)

Acquired 1987

This internationally significant

waterfowl habitat is threatened

by an invasive plant called Spartina

• 44 •

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• 46 •

Conservation Youth Crew

The Conservation Youth Crew and

Chilliwack Field Naturalists team

up to install a large post for a

Barn Owl nesting box at Camp Slough

Camp Slough

8.8 hectares (22 acres)

Acquired 1994

Conservation of a significant

wetland and upland near Chilliwack

Riverside Wetlands

27.1 hectares (67 acres)

Acquired 2012

Protection of a critical wetland

ecosystem in the Pemberton Valley

MacMillan Provincial Park

• 47 •

• 48 •

Vaseux Lake and McIntyre Bluff/nʕaylintn

Thompson Okanagan

The Thompson Okanagan Region includes two distinct geographic areas. The

Thompson portion extends from the Fraser River canyon to the Monashee Mountains,

while the Okanagan portion extends south to the Canada-USA border. The Thompson

area is characterized by gently rolling glacial benches comprised of vast grasslands,

sagebrush-steppe, and dry forests transitioning eastward to interior temperate

rainforests. The North and South Thompson Rivers define the Thompson Basin,

merging near Kamloops to form the largest tributary flowing into the Fraser River. This

area supports expansive ranchlands. Although grasslands are abundant in this region,

they are a rare ecosystem in British Columbia, covering less than 1% of the province. It

is difficult to find any large undisturbed grassland in BC, since non-native plants have

spread through these ecosystems. As a result, grasslands are considered to be more

endangered than coastal old growth forests.

The Nature Trust has acquired 90 properties

covering 2,949 hectares (7,287 acres) in this region,

plus 1 grazing lease (76 hectares/187 acres) and

2 grazing licenses (46,396 hectares/114,647 acres)

The Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys represent the northernmost extension

of the Great Basin of North America. The Okanagan Valley stretches 200 kilometres

(124 miles) and is bounded by the Cascade Mountains on the west and the Monashee

Mountains on the east. Low annual precipitation, hot summers, and mild winters create

a variety of semi-arid ecosystems. These valleys have a diversity of habitats including

a network of large valley bottom lakes, alkaline ponds, low elevation grasslands,

Antelope-brush steppe, Ponderosa Pine forests, and prickly-pear cactus in Canada’s

only true desert near Osoyoos. The South Okanagan is not only noted for the diversity

and uniqueness of its plant and animal species, it is also the region with the most

endangered, threatened and rare species in the province.

• 49 •

Okanagan Falls Biodiversity Ranch

714.8 hectares (1,766 acres)

plus grazing licenses and lease

Acquired 1993-2000

Biodiversity Ranch program

integrating livestock management

with conservation of habitat for

species at risk

Okanagan River Oxbow

8.6 hectares (21 acres)

Acquired 2009

Conservation of riparian

ecosystem along the

Okanagan River

• 50 •

• 51 •

• 52 •


151.7 hectares (375 acres)

Acquired 2003-2016

Endangered ecosystem which is

home to many species at risk

Bighorn Sheep

These animals require grasslands

and rocky terrain for survival which

are abundant in the McTaggart-Cowan/

nsək’łniw’t Wildlife Management Area

• 53 •

Conservation Youth Crew

The crews undertake a variety of tasks each

summer including monitoring wildlife (such

as the Burrowing Owls shown on this page)

and plants (shown on the page opposite)

as well as habitat restoration

• 54 •

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• 56 •

Roderick Haig-Brown

Signage at the park acknowledges

Roderick Haig-Brown’s contribution

to conservation in the province,

especially his passion for rivers,

and his service on the Board of

Directors of The Nature Trust

Roderick Haig-Brown-Adams River

47.7 hectares (118 acres)

Acquired 1976-1986

Conservation of land to protect

Sockeye salmon spawning grounds

within Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial

Park along the Adams River

• 57 •

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