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March 28, 2019, 2:26 pm

The Islands Trust Conservancy’s Valens Brook Nature Reserve Receives 6 Acre Donation

Islands Trust

DENMAN ISLAND - Thanks to the generosity of ecologists Luise Hermanutz and David Innes, the Valens Brook Nature Reserve on Denman Island is expanding by nearly three hectares (six acres). The addition will add protection to Valens Brook - a salmon-bearing creek that runs through a maturing forest and a lush sword fern gully into Baynes Sound, on the southwest side of Denman Island.

The Islands Trust Conservancy’s Valens Brook Nature Reserve was established in 2012 when Dr. Kal Holsti and Marilyn Wan protected nearly four hectares (nine acres).

“Protecting our property was part of a bigger vision started by Kal Holsti and Jenny Balke,” said Luise Hermanutz. “As ecologists and scientists, we recognize the importance of Valens Brook in protecting the watershed, salmon, and the Coastal Douglas-fir region. Denman Islanders are conservation minded, so we hope the entire Valens Brook will someday be protected.”

Holsti and Wan hoped their original donation would be the first of many along Valens Brook where numerous private properties border the stream and are critical to salmon protection. Hermanutz and Innes hope, in turn, that their recent donation will inspire more to do the same.

“In the Gulf Islands, private landowners hold the key to protecting the beauty and vitality of our natural environment,” said Kate-Louise Stamford, Chair of the Islands Trust Conservancy Board. “We look forward to working with others who are inspired by the donations of their neighbours."

The Valens Brook Nature Reserve was protected using Section 99 of BC's Land Title Act which allows landowners to donate a portion of their land while retaining the remainder for their own use through a simplified subdivision process. Both lands were also donated through Environment Canada's Ecological Gifts Program.

The Islands Trust Conservancy is the conservation land trust for Canada's islands in the Salish Sea. Since 1990, the Islands Trust Conservancy has protected more than 1,270 hectares of natural island ecosystems. This success is thanks to the vision, support and generosity of our donors and partners. Visit us online at

Kate-Louise Stamford, Chair
Islands Trust Conservancy Board

Kate Emmings, Acting Manager
Islands Trust Conservancy