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Archive for the ‘Housekeeping’ Category

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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Annual General Meeting

It is time to recount the activities of Malaspina Land Conservancy Society over the past year. Attending the annual general meeting is a great way to become familiar with the organization and help define the path forward.

Our AGM will be held at 7 pm on Tuesday, November 24, in Powell River. Invitations have gone out to all on our contact list, however, if you are reading this, are in the Powell River area and wish to attend, please send us an email or comment and the address will be sent along to you.

This year has been more hands-on with a conservation covenant over land in town and a push to develop a preservation strategy for land on Texada Island. The latter will be more thoroughly discussed after the AGM on Tuesday night.

Putting our best feet forward toward conservation takes community dedication. Please be part of this community and attend the AGM.

Janet

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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?

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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.

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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.

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