The first leg of a campaign to purchase lands owned by Mike Larmour’s estate has been successful.
Maxine Leichter, president of the Salt Spring Island Water Preservation Society, announced last week that the society’s purchase of 20-acre Lot H had been completed as of Oct. 30. Leichter said more than 300 islanders contributed to the campaign.
“We are so thankful to our donors,” she said.
Leichter would not disclose the final purchase price, but BC Assessment valued Lot F and H together at $1.143 million as of July 1, 2019, and the society was aiming to raise between $1.2 and $1.5 million for both 20-acre lots and associated costs.
“We made the very best deal possible,” she said, noting that the value of the timber on the property was also a consideration.
But Lot H, which includes valuable wetland areas that are part of the Cusheon Lake watershed, will now be preserved and not logged.
“We will be working on putting a conservation covenant on the property so that it will be protected in perpetuity,” Leichter said.
While SSIWPS is not usually in the business of owning land — except for 272 acres in the St. Mary Lake watershed — when a deadline for making the purchase approached, its board members decided the society could be the land owner. SSIWPS was able to take action more quickly than other potential agencies, such as the Salt Spring Island Conservancy or the Islands Trust Conservancy.
Leichter said SSIWPS will now start working on a plan to acquire the estate’s Lot F. People can email firstname.lastname@example.org for information or to donate.