Salt Spring Islander reduces his Property Taxes by Protecting Forest
Natural Area Protection Tax Exemption Program benefits landowners and the environment
Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, October 8, 2014
Larry Appleby is Salt Spring Island’s 10th landowner to permanently protect private land with a Natural Area Protection Tax Exemption Program (NAPTEP) covenant. With the addition of Mr. Appleby’s 0.8 hectare Coastal Douglas-fir forest on Old Divide Road, Salt Spring Island now has 45 hectares of land protected by NAPTEP covenants.
The incentive program, administered by the Islands Trust Fund, gives Mr. Appleby, as well as anyone who buys his land, a 65% reduction in property taxes on the covenanted portion of the land. The covenant restricts what Mr. Appleby and future landowners can do with the natural portion of this property, protecting the Coastal Douglas-fir forest forever. With approximately 80% of the Coastal Douglas-fir area in BC under private ownership, land owners like Mr. Appleby are the leaders essential to conserving this disappearing ecosystem.
“In a time when many of us feel that forces which affect us deeply are beyond our control, I’m grateful to the Islands Trust Fund for providing a mechanism to protect the land that I love,” said Mr. Appleby. “The NAPTEP covenant, now in place, allows me as owner, but most importantly as steward and caretaker, to make a difference and chart a future for my land. Two acres of maturing second growth Coastal Douglas-fir forest now has the time and therefore the potential to attain the status of old growth forest.”
A unique feature of Mr. Appleby’s forest is that it is enclosed by a fence, which protects it from grazing deer. Increasingly, biologists are concerned about the effects of overbrowsing by burgeoning deer populations on plants and young trees in the Gulf Islands. This already fenced area may provide an interesting study plot in the future. The Salt Spring Island Conservancy co-holds the NAPTEP covenant with the Islands Trust Fund. The covenant is only 350 meters from the Blackburn Lake Nature Reserve, recently acquired by the Salt Spring Island Conservancy.
The Islands Trust Fund is a regional conservancy, preserving landscapes of Canada's islands in the Salish Sea. To learn more about how the Islands Trust Fund works with landowners to protect land and about the NAPTEP program, please contact the Islands Trust Fund at 250-405-5186, or visit www.IslandsTrustFund.bc.ca/naptep.
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Kate Emmings, Ecosystem Protection Specialist, Islands Trust Fund, 250-405-5176
Caption: Mr. Appleby's protected Coastal Douglas-fir forest. Photo by Islands Trust Fund staff.