Within the Powell River region there is privately owned forest land. As with any privately owned land, Malaspina Land Conservancy Society opens its doors to negotiation with owners over the purchase or preservation of land, however, the society can only step forward into negotiation if the owners are willing to discuss sale or conservation.

If the land falls within the mandate of MLCS (it is of scenic beauty, scientific, cultural, recreational or historic interest to the community) and is of a size and quality that MLCS can justify fundraising for or managing under conservation covenant, the society will be interested in preservation in perpetuity of the land for the good of the community.

MLCS is a registered charity. In order to keep its charitable status it cannot engage in activism or lobbying. Instead, it can engage in fundraising and education.

Currently, there are many calls for MLCS to get involved with the Lot 450 parcels of land. One parcel, a privately managed forest land, owned by Island Timberlands, was targeted for logging in the spring. On Earth Day, April 22, chainsaws were revved  and the community, especially in Cranberry, began living with the daily crashes of trees. The situation engaged local citizens and through actions and the very successful declaration that such logging was against the Wildlife Act due to nesting season, the logging was halted. Over the summer, the fire risk has remained extreme and currently logging cannot take place due to fire hazard. But, as the days tick by and a chill develops in the air, the air is getting more moist and by early fall those fire restrictions may be lifted. What will stand in the way of further logging?

For MLCS to be involved in this particular privately owned parcel, there needs to be a willing owner wishing to negotiate a sale price. Using that as a launching step, the community can look at a target fundraising amount and MLCS could be involved with assisting with the fundraising.

Another portion of Lot 450 is forest land owned by PRSC (City of Powell River and Tla’amin First Nation) upon which Island Timberlands has a one-time right to the trees. Here there are two entities with an interest in the land – PRSC and Island Timberlands. If Island Timberlands were to show interest in negotiating a sale price for the value of the trees left standing on the lot, and if this were to be in keeping with the wishes of the landowners PRSC, then MLCS would be happy to be involved with the negotiations and creating a fundraising campaign. Until that situation happens, MLCS cannot take an active part in fundraising.

However, MLCS can help with education. In both of these situations, the society could assist with engaging the community, drawing in interest on the educational, aesthetic, health-giving and biodiverse value of the land, and thereby helping to capture the heart of the community. Doing so would be a positive move toward future fundraising as it is essential people feel some connection to the land for them to open their pocket books and donate to a cause.

MLCS is keeping a close eye on the Lot 450 situation because other forest lands within the Powell River region are also key to the community. Stillwater Bluffs has long been a focus for MLCS. At least four years ago, MLCS offered to be involved with negotiations for the purchase of the Bluffs. The Powell River Regional District took on the lead negotiation position and engaged Island Timberlands, the owner of the land. The response from Island Timberlands was to connect the regional district with its real estate arm. Negotiations seem to have gone quiet and MLCS has not been invited into any action to assist. However, here again, education could happen. MLCS is interested in hosting a bioblitz on the land. This is an in-depth, limited time exploration of the biodiversity of the land. It involves all sorts of community groups and knowledge, from biologists to girl guides, hikers to artists, in a 12-hour or 24-hour marathon of data capture.

But, the society cannot do this alone. It is interested in engaging with other community groups to host a bioblitz. Interested? Please send us a note.

And, what about Valentine Mountain? As another beautiful scenic parcel of land with a key emotional attachment to the community, it could be protected and preserved…

If we are not doing this for our children, who would we do this for?

Please join us for the 2014 annual general meeting for Malaspina Land Conservancy Society. It will be held at 7.30 pm on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 3852 Gordon Avenue, Powell River BC. If you intend to attend, please drop us an email at info@malaspinaland.ca so we can send you the AGM information.

It has admittedly been a while since this website was last updated. This speaks to a need for more members to join our organization and to take a position on the board. We welcome anyone and everyone to share in preserving land for the generations who follow. We have committees already formed and are open to new committees for new projects as members with ideas come along and share.

A copy of our minutes of any of the previous annual general meetings up to 2013 is available if you contact us. After our 2014 AGM, the 2013 minutes will also be available. These are a good way of catching up on how the society has been progressing since it first began in the spring 2008.

But, the best way of finding out more is to attend our 2014 AGM. This year we assisted with Earth Week Powell River, an initiative which closely matches our own mission of protecting land. We have also formed into a close alliance with local land trusts and similar organizations in the Salish Sea area. We are actively interested in preserving Stillwater Bluffs, an iconic landscape south of Powell River where coastal bluffs sport a mixture of coastal Douglas fir and coastal western hemlock ecosystems.

To vote on any issues at the AGM you need to be a member in good standing for the year 2013/14. If your membership has lapsed, please visit the membership renewal page on this website and renew online, or drop us an email info@malaspinaland.ca or snail mail. We will take memberships for the current year until midnight Tuesday, November 11, 2014. If you do not wish to vote at the AGM, we encourage you to renew your membership so you will be a member in good standing as we enter the 2014/15 year. Membership dues remain as always at $10 per person, $30 per non-profit organization and $100 per corporation/business.

We hope you will join us on November 18, and if unable, then please join us as a member for the 2014/15 year. Thank you.

A New Year

We held our annual general meeting on November 15 and now have five board members. The meeting went well and thank you to all who attended.

We have adopted the Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices as a guideline to our organization and will work toward incorporating the guidelines into the work of Malaspina Land Conservancy Society.

Our guest at the AGM was John Dove. John lives on Texada Island and is well known over there for his hiking leadership and vast knowledge of natural history and geology. He came to our AGM to update us on a large parcel of land on the northwest coastline, half of which is privately owned and half Crown land. There is an initiative to put the area (which is about 1,200 acres and includes about seven kilometres of coastline) into a park.

MLCS is interested in being involved with this initiative. It will involve fundraising to purchase the private land, which means MLCS will be entering into a large-scale fundraising campaign in the near future. This campaign will be longterm.

MLCS will be creating a plaque to commemorate one of our members who died in August, 2012. Martin Rossander was a firm supporter of MLCS and we will miss his dedication to sustainability and forest preservation. The plaque will be placed at the tree which has been planted in his honour at Willingdon Beach during a celebration of Martin’s life in February 2013.

Rob Southcott and Anne Parkinson have joined the board to work together with Janet Southcott, Wendy Cocksedge and Lesley Thorsell.

To find out more about MLCS feel free to send us a comment to this site.

As November approaches it is time once again to prepare for the Annual General Meeting. This is usually held in the first week of November and the exact date will be posted shortly and details sent out to all members.

   Over the past year we have increased our number of board members to five. Unfortunately, we face two vacating their positions.

   Having been a board member for three years, Rachel Walker is moving out of town and thus leaving her position as vice-president and land committee chair. We shall miss her input deeply.

   Angie Davey joined us in the spring as secretary and she has decided to step down from the board and remain an active member.

   So, we are looking for people to take on being a board member and involving themselves as an active participant of the development of Malaspina Land Conservancy Society. Positions of secretary, treasurer and vice-president, as well as committee heads for the Land, Fundraising, Membership and Public Engagement committees are available.

   Currently, leadership of the above committees is done by the board, but we need to form strong membership around each committee with interested and knowledgeable leaders reporting to the board.

   We have been asked to assist with the preservation of a large piece of land in the area which could potentially involve a multi-million-dollar long-term fundraising campaign. The board has considered the value of participating in this and would like to proceed. Members will receive more information once details have been ironed out. Innovative fundraising ideas will be required including participation of many people in the campaign.

   This is one of various opportunities coming our way to help preserve land of natural Canadian beauty. It is an example of why we need the strength of a dedicated and willing board.

 Janet Southcott, President

Moving forward

At our annual general meeting in November 2011 three of our directors, Janet Southcott (nee Alred), Rachel Walker (nee Botting) and Lesley Thorsell remained on the board. Since then we have added Wendy Cocksedge to our board.

This is all good news. Our organization has been progressing through foundation work…forming, becoming non-profit, becoming charitable, and creating our strategic plan. We are now starting to put together and submit proposals for land interests, which is very exciting, and our board members will soon be focusing more directly on the actual work of a land conservancy rather than the setting up of the organization.

But, don’t mistake this to mean we have done all the setting up. Recently, Rachel and Janet attended a board governance course and came away after five weeks realizing that there is still one heck of a lot of things to do.

So, we are looking for more people to not only become members but to become active in the work of the board and on committees. This is an exciting time to be involved and for anyone considering doing so, please contact us at info at malaspinaland dot ca.

At the AGM we showed three short films to emphasize the work of land conservancies. For anyone not able to attend the AGM, click on the following links to access these inspiring films.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdabcHZ820E which is about the Friends of Mississippi River and is almost 7 minutes long.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iX5yT7QSyc4 about children and the wilderness, with last child in the woods author Richard Louv, 14 mins long.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huO_NRn34GI which is a great little film about raingardens as well as other ways of slowing down water runoff, 9 mins long.

Just to backtrack a little, back in the fall, 2011, we were delighted to receive a donation of $150 from Powell River Community Foundation. PRCF created Powell River’s Vital Signs report. The foundation decided to calculate carbon offsets to compensate for the energy used to create the report. The sum of $150 was determined and MLCS was the recipient of the funds.

We decided that we will hold the funds and use them specifically for adding more trees to the environment. We intend to do this with any carbon offset money we receive as it seems to be the logical use of such funds.

AGM, November 2011

Janet Southcott, president, at AGM, November 2011

It is time, once again, for our Annual General Meeting, and we hope that all members and anyone wishing to know more about Malaspina Land Conservancy Society join us on Thursday, November 3 at 7 pm at Vancouver Island University Powell River campus’s room 148.

This year we are looking for new directors. Five of our directors, who have given many hours and dedication to the society, are stepping down. This includes Paul, who has been our Treasurer for the past two years, and has provided us with legal advice over the past three, and David, our secretary and membership committee chair and the person responsible for our website. Both David and Paul have been with MLCS from the start. Also leaving us are Maureen, Judy and Nola. However, all remain as members.

We intend to involve membership more this year. Since our conception we have worked hard to form a strong foundation. It is now time for us to become more active in pursuit of our objectives.

We hope that many members join us for the AGM. If technology works, there will be a couple of short videos about how other land conservancies are preserving land.

To vote at the AGM you must be a member in good standing in the current year as of one week prior to the AGM. Membership is $10 per person. Membership renewals for the 2011/2012 year will be available at the AGM.  To find out more, see an agenda for the AGM, view the Proxy voting form or the membership renewal form, click on the attached PDF.

Janet Southcott (nee Alred)

MLCS Call to 2011 AGM

There is a lot going on behind the scenes, as we get ready to start helping local people and groups preserve their lands. Take a look at our Spring newsletter. If you’re interested in getting more involved, please contact us at info@malaspinaland.ca.


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