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Archive for the ‘Housekeeping’ Category

2021 AGM

Usually we hold our AGM at the end of October, beginning of November. However, in 2021 we delayed the AGM for personal reasons. We are therefore holding it on Friday, March 4 at 6.30 pm. It will only be an AGM. We will hold a special evening for speakers later into the spring. So, if you would like to attend, receive our AGM package, hear the president’s report and financial report and perhaps join our board, please contact us at info@malaspinaland.ca. The AGM will be held via Zoom. We will send out the Zoom call information to all who wish to attend. You do need to be a current member to vote at the AGM and to become a board member. Memberships are $15 per person and can be purchased on this website using the button “Join or renew your membership” or through e-transfer to info@malaspinaland.ca.

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Over the past two years, more than 4,300 Douglas fir seedlings have been planted around the qathet region through a project called Ted Talks Through Trees. The project continues in 2022, and each year a large portion of the seedlings have been donated through PRT Growing Services Ltd. on Vancouver Island.

Weston Thorsell: Planting for Future Generations during the 2021 Ted Talks Through Trees project

With the passing of our board member, Ted Crossley, an idea was born to honour him through a project to increase the number of trees in the Powell River region.

Ted often spoke about trees, and nurtured the trees on his own property, finding solace within their presence.

Our long-time board member, Lesley, envisioned an evening fundraiser at Little Hut Curry. With Mohinder’s help, the restaurant was sold out and those who gathered did so to support the purchase of seedlings that would be planted in the spring 2020 on private properties throughout the region.

Trees provide great habitat for wildlife, shade and cooler temperatures during the summer and warmth during the winter. They are carbon sinks, and refresh the air we breathe. They mitigate stormwater runoff by using the water saturating soils for growth. They provide stability on uneven ground and a canopy allowing the forest floor to flourish.

We selected species indigenous to this area that can adapt to a changing climate and are easily maintained.

The 2020 season of tree planting was a great success. We purchased 500 seedlings and received 1,660 more donated through PRT. And so, emboldened, we did it all again in 2021. This time we brought 2,160 into the region for planting, all donated by PRT. We are very grateful for our relationship with PRT Growing Services, Ltd. Headquartered in Victoria, with a branch in Campbell River, our main contact Suzanne has been a strong connection across the water, helping us build a strong forest family.

Now we are in 2022 and we are doing it again. We have purchased 500, and will receive 1,260 donated through PRT. By the end of spring, that means more than 6,000 trees will have been planted in the area through this project. So, if you would like to receive some Douglas fir seedlings to plant on your private land, please contact us at lthorsell@yahoo.com.

This year we are asking for a donation of funds from those wishing to plant. It is easy to donate. You can do so through this website, or by e-transfer to info@malaspinaland.ca. Any donation over $20 receives a charitable tax receipt, and we are asking for a minimum donation of $5. Thank you!

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This article was published in Powell River (now named qathet) Living Magazine’s “Home Grown” insert, page 23, spring 2021.

People have farmed the earth for thousands of years. Soil has been built up, depleted, nourished, starved, understood and misunderstood in a quest for food. With plants packing a punch of nutritious energy, how do we protect those lands and the food they provide into the future?

In the 1970s the BC government initiated the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), an unusually progressive action in North America. Urban sprawl had been chewing up the land. So, 4.7 million hectares, roughly 5% of the province1, were set aside for food sustainability, and the ALR designation has protected those lands for 50 years. However, nothing is perfect.

A small proportion of currently farmed land is within the ALR. Other farmland is held by families, or receives agricultural zoning by a local municipality. Farmers pass on, farms pass on, and there is little one can do, except cross fingers, to ensure that food-growing history continues. Little, that is, until a conservation covenant is placed on the land.

Imagine you need to sell your farm. This farm has been worked by your family for 60 years and the soil is rich. You’ve built it up and tended it with your bare hands. You’ve grown a vast variety of produce each year and sold it to your own community at the farmers’ market. You’ve toured people around, teaching them where their food comes from. Now you’re wondering what will happen after you leave.

You can create a legally-binding document that details your wishes. You can designate that a portion or all of your farm remains in food production, suggest the type of farming that can be used and provide a statement of agricultural values. This becomes your conservation covenant.

The covenant is placed on the title of the property and “runs with the land”, legally binding the future owner to abide by your wishes. If the property is within the ALR, the covenant cannot restrict agricultural potential, sits below the ALR on the title and permission from the Agricultural Land Commission needs to be sought. In this case, the covenant provides a second layer of defence to maintain agricultural integrity should the need arise.

Westcoast Environmental Law created Greening Your Title2, a wonderful resource should you be interested in protecting your property. Contact your lawyer, and work with a land conservancy or local government. Know that preserving your farmland protects food security for generations to come.

Janet Southcott

Malaspina Land Conservancy Society

www.malaspinaland.ca

1. https://www.alc.gov.bc.ca/alc/content/alr-maps/alr-history

2. https://www.wcel.org/publication/greening-your-title-guide-best-practices-conservation-covenant-3rd-edition

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Thank you, Ted

Ted Crossley: 72 years of living, learning and loving this planet

We are all saddened by the passing of Ted. His energy, imagination and enthusiasm has been felt at the heart of Malaspina Land Conservancy Society over the past five years as he has served as a director on the board.

He spent a great deal of that time encouraging others to join MLCS, be involved in conserving the places we all love, and turn away from acts that devastate our natural world. He was a firm believer in conservation through covenant, to keep the trees and landscape the same for eternity. Last year he doubled our membership numbers by sweet-talking many in his men’s group into supporting our society.

He could be counted on to look after our display table at our local Seedy Saturday, again, trying to swell membership by his persuasive words; and to attend covenant reviews of properties and the meetings of MLCS so long as freshly baked cookies were on hand!

Every person plays their part in MLCS, and Ted definitely fulfilled his role. His family is taking this one step further by honouring his passion, by asking family and friends to donate in Ted’s memory to the work of Malaspina Land Conservancy Society: preserving the places we love.

Thanks Ted, for all you have done, and all your legacy continues to do. We miss you.

Ted

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Our Annual General Meeting 2019 takes place at 7 pm on Monday, October 28, 2019 at the home of Malaspina Land Conservancy Society in Powell River, BC. If you would like to attend, please send us a message through this website or through email at info@malaspinaland.ca and we will send you more details and the agenda package.

This year’s invited guest will be Jasper Lament, CEO of Nature Trust BC. The Nature Trust holds land within the Powell River area, and this is an opportunity to find out what the Nature Trust does, as one of BC’s largest land conservation organizations, as well as explore ways MLCS and the Nature Trust may be able to collaborate.

We hope you can join us, if you are in this area. This is a time to renew your membership and consider joining our board.

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This property sold in the winter of 2019 to a cohousing community. 

For anyone in the Powell River area, Herondell Bed and Breakfast conjures up visions of an idyllic, serene, secluded paradise of nature.

Situated alongside the Eagle (Lois) River, the 45 acres is forested with a large house, three ponds and a guest cabin. I have visited there for weddings, activities and to search for species at risk.

Now Herondell is for sale, and we are looking for the perfect buyer. What makes a buyer perfect? It’s somebody who cares for the land, nature, home and has the funds. This is 45 acres and priced for today’s real estate market. If you are reading this and think you know the perfect buyer, please take a look at this flier and contact the owners or realtor.

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We invite everyone to attend the AGM on Sunday, November 26, 7 pm at 3852 Gordon Avenue in Powell River.

Along with the regular business of an AGM–president’s and treasurer’s reports, new and old business, election of officers, and new and renewed memberships–we have speakers Delia Becker and her partner Scott to talk about their experiences with salmon enhancement and restoration up and down the coast.

Send an email for a full AGM package including minutes of last year. In order to vote at the 2017 AGM you need to be a member in good standing for the current year before November 15. If unable to attend the AGM but wishing to have your voice heard, you need to submit a Proxy form. Both membership and proxy forms are included in the AGM package.

We hope you will attend and meet likeminded people interested in preserving and conserving our natural national biodiversity.

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New Beginnings

Hello from your executive director,

A change has happened, and I think it is a good one. After functioning as a volunteer board since inception on August 2008, we now have three volunteer staff.

At our November 2016 annual general meeting, I stepped down from being a board member (president since 2008) to being a staff member.

As executive director I am free to pursue the necessary funding we require to fulfill the mandate of a land conservancy.

Kelly Chapman, who has been assisting the board over the past year as a volunteer environmental specialist, is also now under the fold as volunteer staff ecologist and environmental planner.

The board is doing well. At our AGM we were thrilled to bring Justin Frazer and Rachel LeBlanc onto the board as directors. Rob Southcott moved into the president position, Ted Crossley is now vice-president, Lesley Thorsell is secretary and Gord Kennedy remains as treasurer.

Kelly and I have been busy developing connections with the conservation world. We and MLCS are partners in a study relating to the federally listed species at risk found within the coastal Douglas-fir biogeoclimatic zone. That’s the area in which Powell River is situated. You can find out more about this study on our new page: Research.

We have also applied for funding from the BC Real Estate Foundation to create a conservation strategy for the Powell River region. We have support from many different partners and hope to hear good news later this spring.

One of our newest members, Leeanne Barr, has offered to update our website and it is her handiwork you are now seeing.

Leeanne has added another new page to this website: Stories. When I attended the Land Trust Alliance of BC conference early November, the importance of storytelling was forefront. Stories carry the history of organizations, and for Malaspina Land Conservancy Society there are many stories to tell. Take a look. Do you have a story of your own about conservation that you would like to share? Send us a comment and let us know.

With that update, I will now sign off until next time,

Janet

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Hello,

Twelve months flies by. Here we are, once again, planning our annual general meeting. We hope you will join us this year to find out what your land conservancy has been up to.

The AGM is on Tuesday, November 22 at 7 pm in Powell River, BC. Please contact us through this website if you are in the area and wish to attend, and the address will be sent along with all of the AGM information.

Membership dues are still $10 per person, $30 per non-profit organization, $100 per business. They have remained the same since we began in 2008. Our memberships are our main source of funding at the moment, so please do join up. You can do so at the AGM or on this website with the buttons along the right side.

We have a good board of five, but are looking to bring on new people. Everyone shares their own ideas and this helps Malaspina Land Conservancy Society to grow.

After the AGM, there will be a review of the Land Trust Alliance of BC‘s recent educational seminar. Topics from the seminar include an update on conservation covenants, working with first nations on conserving land, and climate change and land conservation.

There will also be plenty of time for questions.

I and the board look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at the AGM.

Janet

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Malaspina Land Conservancy Society is delighted to be recognized as an eligible recipient of ecological gifts under Environment Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program.

The Ecological Gifts Program is good news for landowners who own ecologically sensitive property and wish to protect nature and create a legacy for future generations. Tax benefits encourage landowners to consider donation of interests in their land, whether that be through donating the land or engaging in a conservation covenant over part of their land.

The fair market value of land donated is established by the federal Minister of the Environment on land approved for the Ecological Gift Program through Environment Canada. The tax benefits are related to the Income Tax Act.

As a recipient, MLCS will be involved in ensuring the land’s natural biodiversity and environmental heritage are conserved forever.

Find out more about the Ecological Gifts Program by visiting http://www.ec.gc.ca/pde-egp.

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