Osland Nature Reserve
The John Osland Nature Reserve was established by the Islands Trust Fund in 2012 following the donation of the property by John Osland, a long-time resident of Lasqueti Island. The John Osland Nature Reserve is a 63.5 ha property located centrally off Lake/Centre road on Lasqueti Island. The Reserve forest is primarily Douglas-fir – Shore Pine – Arbutus woodland (Red-listed), however local valley topography results in diverse vegetation types; a large wetland occurs near the center of the site, with several small streams and seepages watering abundant moss and lichen communities along cliff faces and rocky outcrops.
The property also holds several unique or uncommon features that add to its conservation value:
- Numerous large veteran trees occur as a result of limited logging, particularly within the southern portion of the property;
- Sensitive ecosystems – woodland forests, a wetland pond, and rocky outcrops – with potential to support rare and threatened species;
- Recent transition of a wetland from a cultivated field. Continued development of wetland vegetation is expected to further enhance wildlife value; and,
- Historical value and legacy of homesteader John Osland.
John Osland acquired the property in 1948 as a homestead, and after two years of logging, he ended the contract to preserve the remaining old growth forests within the property. John resided on Lasqueti for 62 years, as an active member of the community, boat-builder, and island historian. Upon his passing in 2010, the property was donated to the Islands Trust Conservancy, as per the terms of his will. The property was certified as an Ecological Gift through Environment Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program. Volunteer efforts to restore the property to its natural state were completed in the fall of 2011, prior to the transfer of the land. Volunteers carefully removed the old homestead building and filled in drainage ditches to help restore natural drainage patterns.
The Osland Reserve is a unique property on Lasqueti because much of its old growth forest has been never been logged, resulting in numerous large, veteran trees throughout the property. The Reserve supports many high value ecological features, including small streams, a large wetland, rocky outcrops and moss/lichen communities. The John Osland Nature Reserve lies within the Coastal Douglas-fir moist maritime subzone (CDFmm). This biogeoclimatic ecosystem classification (BEC) subzone is represented in only 0.25% of the provincial land base and contains a significant number of rare or uncommon species and vegetation communities.
Management objectives for the Osland Nature Reserve are focused upon the following:
- To conserve and protect the ecological and natural values of the property;
- To allow natural ecological processes of the reserve to function without interference, and;
- To manage the property in accordance to Island Trusts policies, goals, and objectives.