About 23% of the islands is Crown land - unceded land that is
the responsibility of the B.C. provincial government. In some
circumstances, the Province makes this land available for forestry,
mining, or high-impact recreational use. Where significant
ecological values are identified, the Islands Trust Fund works with
First Nations and island communities to permanently protect
ecologically significant Crown land as nature reserves.
What's at threat?
Our studies show that Crown land contains some of the region's
most intact, ecologically significant land in the islands.
The provincial government is responsible for large tracts land
across several islands in the region, including Gambier, Bowen,
Lasqueti and Salt Spring. These natural areas can provide
vital habitat for wildlife and ecological services to communities,
sometimes encompassing entire watersheds and large sections of
How the Islands Trust Fund is protecting Crown land
Where we have the support of First Nations, the Islands Trust
Fund, with the assistance the Islands Trust - applies to the B.C.
Provincial government to transfer ownership of selected Crown land
parcels from the government to the Islands Trust Fund through B.C.'s Sponsored Crown Grant program.
Once acquired, we're protecting the land and its habitat forever as
|To be eligible for the Sponsored Crown Grant program, the Crown
land must be:
| • Unencumbered
(no licences, leases, reserves or claims)
| • Outside any
active treaty process
| • Unreserved
for disposition under the Land Act
| • Ecologically
significant, as defined by our Regional Conservation Plan
To ask the provincial government to transfer a property to us,
we must have the support of the local community and First
Nations. Each application must be sponsored by the Ministry
of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, and is limited by an
annual budget set out by the Province.
How you can help
Although the Province doesn't require payment in exchange for
the transfer of a Crown land parcel, the Islands Trust Fund must
first raise the funds necessary for a survey, appraisal and
management plan before our application is approved. We
usually fundraise in partnership with our local land trust
partners. Please help us support this work by donating to the
Islands Trust Fund. Your gift will help protect some of the
region's most admired landscapes.
Your support, and the support of our local partners has helped
protect these iconic landscapes through the Sponsored Crown Grant
Elder Cedar Nature Reserve, Gabriola Island
|In the Hul'qumi'num language, 'elder'
means more than old; it signifies unseen ancestors and guardians -
a fitting name for a forest filled with some of the most
ancient Western redcedar trees on Gabriola Island.
Island residents worked from more than 15 years to protect this
Crown land parcel. It was through the Sponsored Crown Grant
program that the community was finally able to achieve its
goal. Read more
Mt. Artaban Nature Reserve, Gambier Island
|With spectacular views of Howe Sound
and surrounding mountain ranges, Mt. Artaban Nature Reserve
protects old-growth trees, a wetland, and of course, the summit of
its namesake. Permanently protecting Mt. Artaban filled the
missing piece in Gambier Island's first protected area network of
525 hectares - an area 25% larger than Vancouver's Stanley Park.
The network of neighbouring parks along with the new nature
reserve offers island residents and visitors exhilarating hiking
experiences extending from the Long Bay and Brigade Bay waterfronts
to the mountain's peak. Read more
Fairy Fen Nature Reserve, Bowen Island
|A wetland inventory of Fairy Fen
revealed an island gem - an intact and undisturbed peat-forming
fen, something incredibly rare in the islands. Coastal
reindeer lichen, Labrador tea, bog cranberry and yellow starry
feather-moss are just a sampling of the diversity of plants found
at the Fen. The Bowen Island community was worried about the
future of the fen and asked the Islands Trust Fund to protect the
property through the Sponsored Crown Grant program. Read