Final piece of the ‘Heart of Quadra parks’ secured
Years of “close, but no cigar” negotiations concluded Wednesday when it was announced that the province, with support from several groups, will be acquiring almost 400 hectares of private property on Quadra Island, linking two provincial parks to further protect unique and sensitive ecosystems.
The province will purchase three parcels of private land on Quadra Island from Merrill & Ring Forestry L.P. for $5.85 million, including a donation of $350,000 from the forest company and $200,000 raised in the community by Quadra Island Conservancy and Stewardship Society and Save the Heart of Quadra Parks.
“Quadra Islanders are really excited that the northern parks on Quadra have finally been completed,” said Ken Roxburgh, chair, Quadra Island Conservancy and Stewardship Society. “I would like to thank the many people who contributed and who worked so hard on the campaign to raise $200,000 as a statement of local support for this land acquisition.”
As a result, Small Inlet Marine and Octopus Islands Marine provincial parks will be connected, increasing the island’s designated protected area. With numerous bays and small islands, these parks serve as habitat for a host of marine life including salmon, harbour seals, porpoises and octopi.
This acquisition will improve access for recreational opportunities including boating, kayaking, fishing, wilderness camping and hiking. Important archaeological sites and a historic portage route will be protected.
A number of partners will be contributing to this purchase, including:
- Merrill & Ring Forestry L.P. ($350,000)
- BC Marine Parks Forever Society ($433,000)
- Quadra Island Conservancy and Stewardship Society and Save the Heart of Quadra Parks ($200,000)
- Vancity Community Foundation, supported by Vancity Credit Union, is funding $186,940 and acquires the rights to carbon offsets resulting from the protection of the acquired area.
To complete the transaction, the province will provide $2.7 million in cash to Merrill & Ring Forestry L.P. Two parcels of land on nearby East Thurlow Island worth almost $2 million will be given to the forestry company through a land exchange.
The total provincial contribution will be approximately $4.68 million, or about 80 per cent of the land value. This includes a bequest of $901,308 to BC Parks from John Locke Malkin estate, and $829,631 from the Pacific Marine Heritage Legacy trust.
Merrill & Ring have owned the land between Small Inlet Marine and Octopus Islands Marine provincial parks since the late 1800’s. The lands were first identified for protection by the province in 1995.