Legislation introduced that will expand Quadra Island parks

Culmination of an extensive community effort on Quadra Island to expand Small Inlet and Octopus Islands provincial parks

Environment Minister Mary Polak introduced legislation Monday that, if passed, will add more than 1,500 hectares to B.C.’s protected areas system, one of the largest in North America.

It includes the culmination of an extensive community effort on Quadra Island to expand Small Inlet and Octopus Islands provincial parks, completing a protected corridor that traverses from one side of the island to the other.

Bill 8 – the Protected Areas of British Columbia Amendment Act, 2015, adds land to six parks, increases public safety along Highway 3, and makes administrative changes to clarify legal descriptions.

“B.C.’s treasured and world-renowned parks system continues to grow,” said Polak. More than half of the new additions come in the form of private land acquisitions, including the successful multi-partner Quadra Island deal. Announced in March 2014, this acquisition connects Octopus Islands and Small Inlet marine parks together, further protecting unique and  sensitive ecosystems.

Other private land acquisitions adding to the parks system through this legislation include 1,219 hectares to West Arm Park in the Kootenays and 109 hectares of land to Bodega Ridge Park on Galiano Island. Thirty-eight hectares of marine foreshore are also being added to Bodega Ridge Park. The boundaries of E.C. Manning Park are changing slightly, with the removal of two hectares of park land near Highway 3.

Quadra Island additions:

Octopus Islands Marine Park addition (86 hectares) and Small Inlet Marine Park addition (84 hectares):

The additions to Octopus Islands and Small Inlet marine parks are the result of a private land acquisition on Quadra Island linking these parks together. A number of partners contributed to the purchase including Merrill & Ring Forestry L.P.; BC Marine Parks Forever Society and Save

the Heart of Quadra Parks; and Vancity Community Foundation, supported by Vancity Credit Union. The additions protect unique and sensitive ecosystems, as well as improve access for recreational opportunities including boating, kayaking, fishing, wilderness camping and hiking. Important archaeological sites and a historic portage route that runs across the new additions from Small Inlet to the west (in Small Inlet Marine Park) to Waiatt Bay to the east (in Octopus Islands Marine Park) are protected. The total area of Octopus Islands Marine Park, located on the northeast side of Quadra Island, will be 862 hectares (404 hectares of upland and 458 hectares of foreshore). The total area of Small Inlet Marine Park, located on the northern tip of Quadra Island, will be 878 hectares (753 hectares of upland and 125 hectares of foreshore).