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Denman conservation charity buys 80 acres of forest and wetlands

It is home to the red-legged frog and habitat for many other species at risk, likely including the wandering salamander, little brown bat and western screech owl
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Denman Island. GOOGLE STREET VIEW

The Denman Conservancy Association has purchased 80 acres of coastal Douglas fir forest and wetlands from Raven Forest Products, a Campbell River forestry and real estate development company.

The Pickles Waterfall Wetland is adjacent to Denman Island Provincial Park and across ­Pickles Road from the Inner Island Nature Reserve, held by Islands Trust Conservancy. It is home to the red-legged frog and habitat for many other species at risk, likely including the wandering salamander, little brown bat and western screech owl. Heron and beaver are active in the area.

The conservancy association has worked on securing the lands for its entire 30-year history. It acquired the two parcels for their assessed value of $460,000 each, a total of $980,000.

The project protects 80 acres of maturing Douglas fir forest, including three hectares of ­wetland and a cascading waterfall stream.

The federal government contributed $460,000 to the project through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program. The province kicked in $300,000 through the Provincial Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation’s acquisition grant. The conservancy acquisition fund and Islands Trust conservancy’s opportunity fund also contributed.

“Protecting and conserving more nature across the country is an important part of our plan to address the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss,” said Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault.

“Through programs like the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, we are making progress towards our goal of conserving a quarter of Canada’s lands and a quarter of its oceans by 2025, working towards 30% by 2030.”

The Denman Conservancy ­Association is a community-based volunteer organization and a registered charity formed to preserve, protect and enhance the quality of the human and natural environment of Denman Island.

It is supported by about 240 members, most of whom are residents of the island.

ldickson@timescolonist.com