Salish View Nature Reserve
Salish View Nature Reserve is located on the southeast corner of Lasqueti Island, directly adjacent to, and northwest of, Squitty Bay Provincial Park. The property rises above Lasqueti Island’s rocky southern coastline to a prominent ridgetop with a stunning 270-degree vista of the Salish Sea. Salish View is open to the public with a designated walking trail through the beautiful old-growth trees and rocky bluffs to the stunning viewpoint. The Salish View Nature Reserve protects rare Coastal Juniper habitat among towering basalt cliffs rising out of the forest, prime Peregrine falcon and Goshawk habitat. Salish View Nature Reserve is the top of the Wamer Creek watershed– one of only three salmon bearing streams on Lasqueti Island.
The Islands Trust Conservancy acquired the 11.5-hectare (28 acre) Salish View Nature Reserve in August 2019 through a community fundraising effort led by the Lasqueti Island Nature Conservancy (LINC) with the Islands Trust Conservancy (ITC). The land owner who sold the property agreed to a substantial reduction of the appraised property value as a donation to the project. At the time of closing a conservation covenant was registered on the property in the name of the Lasqueti Island Nature Conservancy (LINC) and the Nanaimo & Area Land Trust (NALT).
According to the Salish View Nature Reserve Management Plan the property contains many important ecological features including remnant old growth forest, 20-meter high rocky bluffs, deep, narrow valleys, small wetland pools and moss-covered outcroppings within the Coastal Douglas-fir biogeoclimatic zone. The elevation ranges from 40 to 160 meters. The property possesses significant watershed values and includes four sensitive and provincially red- or blue-listed ecological communities. To date, six species at risk have been noted in or next to the reserve: Little Brown Myotis (Myotis lucifugus), Northern Red-legged Frog (Rana aurora), Common Nighthawk (Chordeiles minior), Olive-sided Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi), batwing vinyl lichen (Leptogium platynum) and leafless wintergreen (Pyrola aphylla).
In the autumn of 2020 LINC installed a 7’ high fence around a man-made pond on the Nature Reserve and planted nearly 1500 native plants inside the fenced exclosure. The goals of this restoration project are: 1) to revegetate exposed soils from the pond excavation and; 2) increase native plant numbers and diversity in a heavily grazed area. In 2021 LINC volunteers built a low-impact footpath to the restoration site, through a grove of veteran old-growth Douglas-firs and up to the prominent viewpoint.