photo by John Millen
After a ten year campaign (see Flagstone 2000) by DCA to preserve this forest block, the Province of British Columbia acquired the Lindsay Dickson property for preservation of its natural values in April 2001, and transferred it to Islands Trust Fund..
The Lindsay Dickson property is 134 acres of forested land and foreshore on East Road, Denman Island. This is the remaining forested portion of a large family holding purchased early in the 20th century by Dr. Lindsay Dickson.
The property was hand logged in the early 1900s, a small orchard was established and for a while the family ran a small dairy farm. Most of their land was left untouched.
The Reserve is owned by Islands Trust Fund and managed by Denman Conservancy Association. DCA holds a conservation covenant on the Reserve..
Nearly the entire property is forested. Most of the western portion is large second growth Douglas fir; two low-lying patches are predominantly red alder. The 600 meters of forested shoreline are particularly noteworthy. The area adjacent to the shoreline, through which East Road passes supports a remnant patch of largely undisturbed ancient forest. This grove (perhaps 25 acres in extent) contains several dozen exceptionally large Douglas firs, western red cedars and grand firs. This is one of the few forests on Denman Island with abundant large fallen trees, in all stages of decay. An invasion of English Ivy located between East Road and the sea shore is being removed by DCA volunteers.
River otters and mink are both common along the shoreline. Black tailed deer are frequently seen crossing East Road on the property. The closed-canopy forest is probably particularly important to deer as a refuge during the few weeks of snow cover that the island experiences in most winters.
The property supports the usual community found in this dwindling habitat type. There is an active bald eagle nest in the dead top of a Douglas fir near East Road. The combination of forest snags and adjacent abandoned farm land make this an ideal hunting ground for all raptors. Hawks are common, and owls are often heard. Common ravens, by no means common on Denman Island, are frequently seen and heard here.
The threatened marbled murrelet is locally common in summer on Lambert Channel; one of the localities where adults and, in late summer, young are seen is the vicinity of the Lindsay Dickson property. These small seabirds nest on large limbs in old coastal forest; it is quite possible that they breed on the property.
The Lindsay Dickson place has supported a great blue heron colony in years past.
Much of the Lindsay Dickson foreshore is the bedded sedimentary rock interspersed with gravel beaches that characterizes the Eastern shore of Denman Island.
Along the shoreline sandstone is eroded into deeply sculpted, rounded organic shapes. The drift logs deposited by storm tides and the undercut roots of shoreline trees are heavily used by otters and mink.