Government increases protection of rare ecosystem
By Government of British Columbia
July 23, 2018 - An additional 980.5 hectares of the Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem has been protected in 19 land parcels near the communities of Bowser, Qualicum Beach, Nanoose Bay and Cedar on Vancouver Island, and on Galiano and Salt Spring islands.
The Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem is ranked both globally and provincially as a high priority for preservation, and is home to many endangered plant communities. Of the global range of Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystems, 80 per cent occur in the southern Strait of Georgia area. Of the 256,800 hectares in British Columbia, only nine per cent, or 23,500 hectares, is provincially owned.
The province consulted with 19 First Nations regarding the proposal to protect additional lands. In addition, the proposal was advertised for public review and comment from November 2017 to January 2018. Over 1,078 submissions were received, with 98 per cent supportive of the proposal.
The final set of approved parcels was based on the results of public review and First Nations consultation. Some of the parcels are of interest to First Nations.
The area of Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystem protected from logging now totals over 11,000 hectares. The protection has legal authority by way of amendment to the Coastal Douglas-fir Order under the Land Act. Under the Coastal Douglas-fir land-use order, the protected lands are managed for enhanced stewardship and conservation.