Island Conservancy is dedicated to:
appropriate management strategies to preserve and restore
Gambier's biological diversity, and
and sharing knowledge of its ecosystems.
Gambier Island Conservancy Easter 2018 update
• Organization Structure
The law firm, Gowling WLG, that Director, Peter Snell,
works for has kindly offered to provide us in April
with proposed changes to our constitution and bylawsalong with guidance
on transitioning to the new
Societies Act which must be completed this year.
• Fund Raising:
Treasurer, Boris Gorgitza, reported about $500 in donations this past
discussed, agreed to help, and will follow-up on a verbal request from
the recently formed Subsea
Society of Howe Sound to administer donated funds for two marine
projects which are just off the coast
of Gambier Island. One project is to create a new Howe Sound Rockfish
Conservation Zone off the
coast of Brigade Bay. A mooring buoy has already ready been set up in
the area. The other project is to
prepare a management plan for the designated marine extension of the
Halkett Bay Marine Park.
• Nature Reserve Work
Party on 7 April:
Forester consultant, Doug Hopwood, will again lead the tree
planting work, this year as a volunteer. It is planned to depart from
Horseshoe Bay at 8:00 am and be
picked up for the return trip from Brigade Bay at 3:30 pm. Water taxi
transportation and lunch will be
provided to volunteers. Please contact me if you are interested in
Trails and Trail Map:
We all agreed that we should try to get some type of updated trail map
information ready and made available in time for the upcoming hiking
season. Director, Tim Turner, has
offered to help get GPS data from trails in the northern part of the
island using our Garmin GPS unit. A
hiker sent us an offer to this email address to take GPS reading on
some of our trails. We would
welcome any other offers to provide us GPS readings from our trail
network. This will help us prepare a
more accurate and up-to-date trail map.
• A Pilot Adaptive
Research and Management Program for Salmonid Enhancement in Tributaries
of Howe Sound & Burrard
In response to an invitation from the Pacific Science Enterprise
Center (PSEC), Streamkeeper & DFO Citizen Science Program,
Director, Mike Stamford, has agreed to
attend the initial meeting. This pilot project could include
identifying and mapping all tributaries to Howe
Sound and those streams known to have salmonid populations. Much of
this information is already
available for Gambier Island as a result of the streamkeeper project
led by previous Conservancy
director, Lois Kennedy.
• Possible New Park on
We have learned that the David Suzuki Foundation is
undertaking a feasibility study for a national park and that the
possibility of a new provincial park is
being considered by the BC Parks Foundation. We hope to be able to
provide more details at our AGM.
1. April 10 – Director, Kathy McTaggart and myself will be
participating in a Howe Sound Marine
Conservation Workshop to be held at the Bayshore Inn in Vancouver.
2. May 4 – I will be attending the Howe Sound Community Forum at
Furry Creek which is being
hosted by the Squamish Lillooet Regional District.
3. June 21 – The Annual General meeting (AGM) of the Conservancy
will be held at the
Gleneagles Community Centre, in West Vancouver. We hope to have a guest
4. July/August – We are planning to hold an event at New Brighton
sometime during the summer
which will include a special guest speaker and possibly a hike.
Gambier Island Conservancy Year-end
• It was held on 13 June at the Gleneagles Community Centre and
featured two guest speakers.
Stephen Foster from the David Suzuki Foundation gave an update on the
proposal for a Feasibility
Study for a National Park on Gambier Island. He said that he was
pleased with the response from
those who attended public meetings in West Vancouver and at New
Brighton on Gambier Island. A
letter of support was sent by our MP to the federal minister of the
Environment and Climate Change.
The minister’s response in September basically stated that a
feasibility study is not a priority in the
Howe Sound region at this time, as the federal government is awaiting
the results of Pathway to
Canada Target 1 recommendations that should available in March 2018.
The Squamish Nation seems
interested in a feasibility study and the critical support of the
provincial government is now being
sought. Unfortunately, Stephen suffered a serious stroke in mid October
and we don’t know how this
will affect progress on the initiative.
• Birgitta Von Krosigk briefed us on the initiative for a Howe
Sound UNESCO Biosphere Region
designation. The Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative Society is now
Incorporated under the BC
Societies Act and they have a website at:
https://www.howesoundbri.org/. The AGM adopted a
resolution to send letters of support for both of these initiatives
which was done in August. There was
discussion but no final decision at the AGM about transitioning to the
new Societies Act and adopting a
new constitution and bylaws.
• A Task Group comprised of Peter Snell and Ruth Simons was
established to look into what the
Conservancy might suggest be done with the bequest of former director
Lois Kennedy’ to the Islands
Trust Fund. Lois died on 3 April 2010. The $100,000 bequest (now
approximately $116,800) is to be
used for the purchase, enhancement or maintenance of public trust
lands, including parks and nature
reserves on Gambier Island.
• The existing slate of directors was elected to continue for
2017/18: Boris Boris Gorgitza, Kathy McTaggart,
Peter Scholefield, Peter Snell, Mike Stamford and Tim Turner.
Very little trail maintenance was done in the past year, but some posts
and temporary signs were
installed on the trail from the SW peninsula up to Gambier Lake. In
February, we purchased a Garmin GPS unit
and used it at the end of the month to record way points on the trail
from Camp Artaban to Brigade Bay and to
Lost Lake. Ian Roxburgh from the Sea Ranch has provided us with GPS
readings for the trail up to and beyond
Lost Lake to Gambier Creek just east of Gambier Lake.
Future of Howe Sound:
• The Conservancy is one of the coalition partners with the Future
of Howe Sound Society promoting a
renewable, sustainable Howe Sound. I attended, as an observer, two
meetings of the Howe Sound
Community Forum this year, one at Lions Bay on 5 May 2017 and the other
at YMCA Camp
Elphinstone on 13 October. The Forum is comprised of elected officials
from all of the communities that
have jurisdiction over the land areas adjacent to Howe Sound. At both
meetings, there were
presentations on a proposal to have Howe Sound designated as a UNESCO
Biosphere Region with a
project video featured at Camp Elphinstone
this October meeting, our Trustee, Kate-Louise Stamford, announced the
formation of an Ocean Watch
Task Force – Howe Sound. She is co-chairing this group of local
government representatives, staff and
NGO representatives to develop appropriate policy actions arising from
the recommendations in the
Ocean Watch – Howe Sound edition published by the Coastal Ocean
• On 3 October, I was at the Cheakamus Centre in Brackendale to
meet with representatives from 11
conservation organizations from around Howe Sound. The purpose of the
meeting was to learn more
about the Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative and to share thoughts
on the future of conservationOn 3 October, I was at the Cheakamus
Centre in Brackendale to meet with representatives from 11 conservation
organizations from around Howe Sound. The purpose of the meeting was to
about the Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative and to share thoughts
on the future of conservation
work in Howe Sound.
• As they did in 2015, the Islands Trust Fund made funds available
for restoration work on their nature
reserves on Gambier Island. On 25 February, I organized a work party to
plant trees in the Long Bay
Wetland and Brigade Bay Bluffs Nature Reserves. Islands Trust Fund
consultant forester, Doug
Hopwood led the work party which included myself and 7 other
volunteers. Two of the volunteers were
participants in the 2016 Camp Suzuki adult camp.
May, I accompanied Doug Hopwood, Peter Klassen from the Brigade Bay
subdivision, Ian and
Vivian Roxburgh from the Sea Ranch and Paul Zaleski from the Fircom
Plateau subdivision on the
annual monitoring of the three Islands Trust Fund nature reserves. We
were pleased to see significant
new growth on the trees that we had planted in February and on those
that we had protected with
screening during the 2015 work party.
Gambier Island OCP Review:
The Conservancy is well represented with three of the five members on
Advisory Planning Commission (APC). The APC is to provide advice to the
Gambier Island Local Trust
Committee with regard to its review and update of the Gambier Island
Official Community Plan (OCP).
Conservancy members, Ruth Simons, Boris Gorgitza and myself
participated in two meetings that were held
earlier this year at the community centre in New Brighton. At these two
meetings, we addressed the referral to
the APC to review Economic Development and Livability Policies in the
current OCP and suggest questions for
further public consultation. The next meeting of the APC is planned for
Gambier Island OCP
On 1 May, I participated in Regional Conservation Plan
Workshop for the Islands Trust Fund which was held in Nanaimo. It was
there that I learned about the Gambier
Island OCP Conservation Mapping project. The Gambier Island Local Trust
Committee (LTC) and the Coastal
Douglas-fir and Associated Ecosystems Conservation Partnership (CDFCP)
partnered in October 2016 to
develop ecological mapping for possible use by the LTC in its Official
Community Plan (OCP) review. The
mapping identifies priority conservation areas and priority watersheds.
A first draft of the mapping has been
made available. With feedback, the mapping will be refined and the
CDFCP will work with the Gambier Island
Planner to provide options for integration into the Gambier Island OCP.
2016 involvement with the Howe Sound
Conservancy is one of the coalition partners with the Future of Howe
Sound Society promoting a renewable, sustainable Howe Sound. In this
capacity, the Conservancy attended, as an observer, two meetings of
the Howe Sound Community Forum, one at Camp Fircom on 29 April and
more recently on 14 October, 2016 at the Gleneagles Golf Clubhouse in
West Vancouver. The
Forum is comprised of elected officials from all of the communities
that have jurisdiction over the land areas adjacent to Howe Sound.
The April meeting was hosted by the Gambier Island Local Trust
Committee and the October meeting by West Vancouver.
the October meeting, there was a group presentation led by Ruth
Simons, Conservancy member and executive director of the Future of
Howe Sound Society, proposing a Howe Sound UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
It was well received by the Forum members. There was also a report on
the Sunshine Coast Fixed Link Feasibility Study and an announcement
on plans to conduct public open houses this fall. None of the three
possible route options being studied will touch Gambier Island.
Stephen Foster from the David Suzuki Foundation informed the group
about a proposal to approach Parks Canada about the possibility of
them conducting a feasibility study on developing a national park on
Gambier Island. Stephen has participated in discussions with the
United Church of Canada about the involvement of Camp Fircom in a
Summer, 2016--The Conservancy at Camp
Suzuki, Camp Fircom, Gambier
Conservancy significantly expanded its involvement in Camp Suzuki at
Camp Fircom this past summer. In August 2015, we were invited to
participate in the last day of the first Camp Suzuki. This gave us an
opportunity to introduce the young adult participants to the
Conservancy and suggest some volunteer projects that might be of
interest to them. There were some follow-up inquiries after the camp,
but none materialized into volunteer work for the Conservancy.
year, the Conservancy was invited to participate in the planning of
an expanded Camp Suzuki, consisting of a young adult camp and youth
camp. Boris Gorgitza, the Conservancy's treasurer and one of its two
trail coordinators, participated in a Camp Suzuki planning meeting
held in Horseshoe Bay on 11 June. This resulted in the Conservancy
committing to involvement in the programs at each of the two camps.
Monday, 8 August, Boris and Peter Scholefield were transported to
the adult camp on a 6 pm water taxi from Horseshoe Bay accompanied by
Squamish Nation Chiefs Ian Campbell and Bill Williams. The chiefs
were part of a Squamish Nation contingent going to the camp to
conduct a First Nations day on Tuesday. For this occasion, they towed
a war canoe behind the water taxi.
supper, Boris and Peter talked to the adult campers about the
Conservancy and some possible volunteer opportunities. Following the
presentations, the group was taken on short hike from the camp up to
the junction of the trail leading to the Halkett Bay Marine Park and
Mt Artaban. They carried up supplies and together installed a trail
sign post at the junction. An 8-inch diameter Sonotube was installed
into a 2.5 foot hole along with a 6 ft length of 4x4 treated wood
post. The post was secured inside the Sonotube by pouring in a liquid
expanding foam mixture designed for this purpose. About two weeks
later, existing signs were mounted onto the post.
Thursday morning, 18 August, Boris and Peter returned to the camp and
joined about 50 youth for breakfast. After breakfast, a group of
about 20 campers was led on a hike on the trail from the camp to the
Halkett Bay Marine Park. En route, the campers were entertained with
some frisbee golf. Boris and Peter wrote conservation questions on
the back of about 20 paper dinner plates. At
various intervals along the whole route, they stopped to nail a plate
to a tree and campers tried to hit the plate with a frisbee. The
camper that first hit the plate got to remove it and read the
question on the back for others to try to answer. The campers also
nailed aluminum white-coded trail markers into trees along the route.
Upon reaching the destination at the Halkett Viewing Bluffs, the
following group photo was taken overlooking Halkett Bay:
and Peter found this a worthwhile experience in educating campers
about the Conservancy, Gambier Island and its environment. Hopefully,
some of the participants will volunteer to work on the trail network.
Spring, 2016 work in the nature
28 May, Peter Scholefield accompanied Islands Trust Fund consultant
forester, Doug Hopwood, and Peter Klassen from the Brigade Bay
subdivision on the annual monitoring of the three Islands Trust Fund
nature reserves. A good number, but not all, of the young trees that
had been encircled with protective screening last year had survived
the very dry conditions of the previous summer. Another nature
boundary sign was installed at the border between the Long Bay
Wetland Nature Reserve and the Sea Ranch.
First project this spring was a weekend of tree-protection work for the
Brigade Bay Wetlands Nature Reserve. Keen volunteers came out on
Valentine's Day, Feb. 14.
In the words of our president, Peter Scholefield:
"We departed Horseshoe Bay by Mercury water taxi at 0800 and
arrived at the Brigade Bay marina at 0830. We were met at the
Brigade Bay marina and transported to the gravel pit located at the
northeast corner of the Long Bay Wetland Nature Reserve. The group
departed the marina on a Mercury water taxi for Horseshoe Bay just
the advice of Doug Hopwood, we concentrated our tree protection efforts
on small cedar trees which are the coniferous trees most susceptible to
being browsed by deer. We staked 28 trees in the gravel pit, which
included re-staking a couple of the originally staked trees that needed
to be re-done.
leaving the gravel pit, we headed south along the subdivision road to
the path/road leading west through the nature reserve to the Sea Ranch.
We searched for cedar trees and found most of them in the nature
reserve to the south of the road and staked about 20 trees in this area.
Next, we moved south along the subdivision road looking for cedar trees
to the west ...and then stopped to clear alder trees along the first
10-15 m of the trail in from the subdivision road ...This completed our
tree staking. We used four of the six 50 ft rolls of stucco wire to
stake an estimated 55 - 60 trees in total.
last work site was at the well-signed trail head to the Mt Artaban
Trail, located at the extreme south end of the nature reserve, adjacent
to the subdivision road. Here we cleared young alder trees that were
obscuring the signs and entrance to the trail."
everyone who came out! Contact us if you would like to participate in
future workparties. We have a lot of fun!
Year's end, 2014
consider a year-end donation to the Gambier Island Conservancy to
our trails network and work to preserve and restore Gambier's
happily issue charitable tax receipts for donations of $20 or
This came in on
November 5, with no
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations has decided to decline to
accept a winning
applicant in the recent tendering of two woodlots on Gambier Island in
order for the Province of British Columbia to address
concerns and undertake further consultations with the Squamish Nation
consistent with the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision
Nation v. BC (Tsilhqot’in
decision). On June
26, 2014, several months after the woodlots were tendered but prior to
the selection decision, the Supreme Court of Canada delivered its
decision in this case which provided greater clarity both on Aboriginal
title and the Province’s responsibilities in relation to both
established and asserted Aboriginal title. In reviewing the
consultation record for
the two Woodlot Licence areas, the Minister concluded that more work
needs to be done to ensure that the Province properly carries out its
constitutional obligations consistent with this new direction, as well
as to address the public interest."
tuned for updates...
thank-you's to all of you
who wrote letters, sent emails,
attended meetings, and otherwise fought for
the Wild Heart of
too, to the
well as our two local governments:
...and see the
reminder from Bob
about why this is so important
"...yesterday was a most remarkable day moving through a landscape that
has few equals in the Vancouver region or beyond. The possibility that
this sanctuary of the spirit--the wildest, most solitude- and
silence-rich corner of Howe Sound--would be invaded and compromised is
more than my heart can handle. I have spent the better part of 20 years
exploring its hidden treasure with family, friends, students, and, at
times, solo, and there simply must be another future for this most
magical place. This is the wild heart of, not just Gambier Island, but
Howe Sound itself." (Tim Turner,
Sunshine Coast Sea-to-Sky Outdoor School)
...and this just in...
The Ministry of Forests, itself, working through its second mandate as
the ministry responsible for recreation, is completing a marine network
of kayaking sites through Howe Sound...
to Sky Marine Trail Concept Plan
Map by Gordon
McKeever, Project Manager, Sea to Sky Trail
courtesy of Tim Turner
Background on the
of Forests plans to allow clearcutting northeast Gambier after offering
new woodlot opportunities...
pale green areas on the map to the left have been advertised "for
Ministry of Forests (FLNRO) and six bids have been received for each
woodlot. If this project is not cancelled, the successful bidders will
each receive a long-term
opportunity to harvest timber from one of the
woodlots, paying minimal stumpage to the province. Woodlots are a
long-term forestry tenure--being allotted for an initial 20 years, and
with 10-year renewals after that almost guaranteed if the operator
wishes to continue.
The Gambier Conservancy had an opportunity to discuss prescreened
questions with FLNRO in July of 2013. See these questions answered by
FLNRO after the meeting with
the Gambier Conservancy:
more information about Howe Sound and its amazing come-back,
follow this link to...
Gambier Island Conservancy is a small, local group working to protect
Gambier's wilderness areas. We are a registered charitable organization
and our work is funded almost entirely through donations. Our
campaign to preserve Gambier's
Crown land for a legislatively protected area through southern Howe
needs your help!
happily issue charitable tax receipts for donations of $20 or
in the Gambier Island Conservancy
supports its mission: to preserve and restore Gambier's biological
and share knowledge of its ecosystems. Membership also supports the
development and ongoing
maintenance of the extensive trail system on the island's Crown land.
This winter's project is a revised edition of our popular trail map.
are invited to join us in the Gambier Island Conservancy...
always, for more information on
membership and volunteer opportunities contact