Gulf Islands National Park expands

New land added to reserve includes shoreline, meadows, wetlands and forest

Helen Davies

Helen Davies

Gulf Islands National Park got a major boost last week after it was announced that new protected lands on Pender, Saturna and Prevost islands had been added to the Reserve.

During a press conference at the Gulf Islands National Park office on Harbour Road on Oct. 12,  Michelle Rempel, member of parliament for Calgary Centre-North and parliament secretary to the Minister of the Environment (Peter Kent), announced the expansion and the benefits it will have for the area.

“I am thrilled to announce that more spectacular coastal habitat will be added to Gulf Islands National Park Reserve which sits on the doorstep of Vancouver and Victoria,” said Rempel. “I know Canadians and visitors from around the world will have incredible experiences in this special place for generations to come.

“This just builds on our government’s commitment to ensure that conservation is on the top of our agenda when it comes to the environment and this (expansion) adds to our protected park lands in the country, which is an over 50 per cent increase since 2006. We’re very proud (of that).”

Rempel also added that some of the new land added will ensure that more of Canada’s rare Garry oak ecosystem is protected.

The new properties are a mix of waterfront and forested areas, including more than 2,700 metres of shoreline.

Rempel said the expansion will eventually lead to the development of new hiking trails, day-use areas and picnic areas and walk-in or boat-in camping sites.

All of the purchased lands were acquired from willing sellers or donors and the Saturna Island lands were transferred from Environment Canada to Parks Canada.