© 2017, Driftwood Gulf Islands Media
Isabella Point gets permanent protection
Salt Spring resident donates covenant for conservation
Long-time Salt Spring Island resident Basil Franey has permanently protected 2.15 hectares (5.3 acres) of his treasured property on historic Isabella Point on Salt Spring Island.
According to the Islands Trust Fund, Isabella Point is a beautiful coastal property of maturing mixed conifer and woodland forests with rocky open bluffs. The land includes Douglas-fir, cedar, maple and arbutus trees, and provides habitat for several species at risk, most notably the peregrine falcon and band-tailed pigeon. Scientists have also located the federally endangered sharp-tailed snake nearby. A conservation covenant, held by the Islands Trust Fund and the Salt Spring Island Conservancy, now protects the land’s rugged shoreline, forest and moss-covered rocky bluffs from human development and habitat loss.
“I wanted to ensure the land would not be lost to development and that it would be protected in perpetuity,” said Franey. “The first thing that got me triggered to the idea of land conservation was when the landowner of Beaver Point donated lands adjacent to Ruckle Provincial Park to the province for protection 15 to 20 years ago. I thought what a nice thing to do and it planted a seed in my mind that stayed for many years.”
Franey used the federal Ecological Gifts Program to help him protect Isabella Point. The Ecological Gifts Program conveys important income and capital gains tax benefits for qualifying covenant and land donations.
“The scarcity of publicly owned land on the islands means that private landholders hold the key to protecting our island ecosystems,” said Tony Law, chair of the Trust Fund Board. “The Islands Trust Fund is grateful to Basil for his dedication to protecting Isabella Point and looks forward to working with other Islands Trust Area residents who might be inspired by his initiative.”
“The Salt Spring Island Conservancy is delighted to hold a permanent conservation covenant on Isabella Point and work hand in hand with the Islands Trust Fund to realize Basil’s vision to protect a place that is so special to him and to the island,” said Christine Torgrimson, the conservancy’s executive director.
The Islands Trust Fund is the conservation land trust for Canada’s islands in the Salish Sea. Since 1990, the Islands Trust Fund has protected more than 1,190 hectares and helped partners protect another 300 hectares of island ecosystems.