More than 10 years of negotiations between the Islands Trust
Fund, the Denman Island Conservancy, the Province of British
Columbia and the Lindsay Dickson family cumulated in the protection
of 52 hectares of forested land on Denman Island in 2001. The
Lindsay Dickson Nature Reserve stretches from the sandstone shore
of Lambert Channel to the shores of Graham Lake.
Even with a rich cultural history, nearly the entire property is
forested. A grove close to the shoreline is particularly
spectacular as one of the island's few remaining patches of
undisturbed ancient forests. Exceptionally large Douglas
firs, western redcedars and grand firs stand tall over the
ocean. In late winter and early spring, sounds of drumming
echo through the forest as a rich assortment of woodpecker species
use large old-growth snags for foraging and nesting. A nearby
population of marbled murrelets, a threatened species in B.C.,
likely nest on the large limbs of this coastal forest.
Remnants of a native shell midden have been found and recorded
on the Lindsay Dickson foreshore. Several cedar giants with
strips of bark missing from their trunks show the importance of
this forest to local First Nations. The bark carefully taken
from these trees generations ago may have been used for clothing,
blankets, basketry, fishing nets or ropes.
The land which would become the Lindsay Dickson Nature Reserve
was first settled by John Graham in 1878. The property was
purchased as part of a large family holding early in the 20th
century by Dr. Frederick Lindsay Dickson. Some parts of the
property were hand logged in the early 1900s, but most of the land
was left untouched. The reserve today is the remaining
forested portion of the family holding.
The Denman Conservancy Association lobbied for more than 10
years to preserve this forest block, raising more than
$200,000. After negotiations failed between the Conservancy
and a subsequent landowner and logging operations resumed on the
property, the Provincial government stepped in, arranging a
purchase agreement with the owner to preserve this special
place. As part of the agreement, the land was transferred to
the Islands Trust Fund to preserve as a nature reserve once the
acquisition was complete in 2001.
The Lindsay Dickson Nature Reserve is open to the local
community for light recreational use, such as walking and nature
appreciation. Trails to the beach remain open, but please
refrain from lighting fires on the beach. Please stay on
established trails to protect the many sensitive ecosystems found
on the reserve. Please keep pets under control to make sure
the wildlife that find sanctuary here are not harassed.
The Lindsay Dickson Nature Reserve was protected to preserve
habitat and provide a place for plants, both rare and common, to
flourish for the future. Please do not take native plants or
plant material from the reserve. Please contact
our staff if you wish to collect specimens for study.
Garbage collection and toilet facilities are not provided at the
Lindsay Dickson Nature Reserve. No camping is
allowed. Please do your part to keep the reserve clean
for the future.
The Denman Conservancy Association holds a conservation covenant
on the Lindsay Dickson Nature Reserve, and acts as the on-island
management group on behalf of the Islands Trust Fund.
The Islands Trust Fund's primary management priority for this
protected area is to steward the areas previously disturbed by
logging and the Lindsay Dickson farm as they transition into young
and mature forest. In partnership with the Conservancy, we're
monitoring and removing invasive species that might damage habitat
on the reserve, especially English ivy. Young trees in a
previously logged area have been protected from deer browse. We're
also monitoring and managing trails on the property to make sure
the ecosystem values, such as the old-growth forest, wetland, and
endangered plant communities are protected from trampling and
The management plan for the Lindsay Dickson Nature Reserve can
be viewed here.