Iconic Area On BC's Central Coast Now Protected

April 10, 2024

Iconic Area On BC's Central Coast Now Protected Forever

A historically important and ecologically rich area about 100 kilometres north of Vancouver Island on the BC coast is now protected in perpetuity, thanks to a generous donation from the Tula Foundation’s Eric Peterson and Christina Munck.
55 acres on Calvert Island has been transferred to the BC Parks Foundation with the intention that it will become part of the Hakai Lúxvbálís Conservancy. The conservancy is more than 1,200 square kilometres of land and sea.

“This is not just any piece of real estate; it is an extraordinary place,” says Eric Peterson. “First, its geography alone makes it special. This corner of the Central Coast is a labyrinth of land and sea. Its complex coastline was carved by cycles of glaciation. All the involution, complexity, shelter, and ample nearshore foster incredible biodiversity and bounty, making it a natural place for humans to settle.

Human settlement dates well over ten thousand years, at least as far back as the end of the last Ice Age and perhaps beyond. We've even seen 13,000-year-old human footprints.”
Along with the rich biodiversity, and incredible stretch of beach and ecology, the area also contains rich old-growth forests.

“Species are under threat around the world,” says Andy Day, CEO of the BC Parks Foundation. “70 per cent of the world’s biodiversity has been lost in the last 50 years. Protecting land like this through incredible actions like Eric and Christina’s donation is one of the best ways to make a difference. It’s exactly what all our supporters, followers, and partners are about--  keeping BC beautiful, for all, forever.”

Peterson and Munck purchased Calvert Island in 2009. They restored the site and opened it up to visitors, converting the private fishing lodge into a meeting place for scientists, educators, First Nations and others. The Hakai Institute has flourished and will continue to operate on a property adjacent to the ones being donated. But Peterson and Munck have started conversations with the Foundation and others about its future. “The land being transferred to the BC Parks Foundation today is a symbolic first step,” he says.

“Working together with First Nations and the Province of British Columbia, today’s gift will be managed responsibly for all British Columbians and for all the species in the area to enjoy,” Day says. He hopes this incredible gift will spur others to make land donations to help protect and restore the rich biodiversity in this beautiful province we call home.

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