The Morrison Marsh Nature Reserve covenant area is 51.7 hectares (127.75 acres). Located on the northern boundary of Boyle Point Provincial Park at Denman’s south end, the reserve is owned by the Island Trust Fund. DCA is both the covenant holder and manager of the reserve. The reserve was established as the result of a Section 99 (Land Title Act) subdivision by which the owner was able to subdivide an otherwise unsubdividible parcel on the condition of a donation of part of the parcel for conservation purposes.
The covenant area contains a complex of natural ecosystems including the southern 28% of Denman’s largest marsh, Morrison Marsh, terrestrial herbaceous rock outcrops, creek and marsh riparian ecosystems and a large section of young Douglas-fir salal forest. The reserve serves as an important corridor between other significant ecosystems. The shallow water and fen sections of Morrison Marsh wetland provide wetland ecosystem habitat that is rare in this Bio-geoclimatic zone. Two blue-listed species have been identified on the reserve — the Red-legged Frog and Great Blue Heron. In addition, two listed plant communities that are expected to develop from species currently in the sites are the red-listed Trembling aspen / Pacific crab apple / Slough sedge community and the blue-listed Red alder / Skunk cabbage community.
The intent of the covenant is:
- “to protect, preserve, conserve, maintain, enhance or restore the Land and its Amenities in a natural state; and
- to prevent any occupation or use of the Land that will impair or interfere with the natural state of the Land and the Amenities.”
The covenant provides for the preparation of a Management Plan to guide in the stewardship of the reserve, the initial plan having been completed in 2007. Among management provisions is to continue to accommodate public access confined to low-impact pedestrian use which is restricted to designated trails only.