The Settlement Lands comprise 157 acres in two blocks of land bisected by Central Road. The land was logged around the year 2000 leaving some mature trees including a fringe of trees in the riparian zone around the Pickles Road wetland. The southern boundary of the Settlement Lands is contiguous with the Inner Island Nature Reserve. The Settlement Lands form a significant link in the chain of conservation properties between Central Park and Chickadee Lake that comprise DCA’s Central Park Vision.
At its Open House on Saturday September 26th, 2015 DCA explained its conservation proposals to the Denman Island public. Subsequently the Settlement Lands Conservation Covenant Proposal 2015 (pdf) was submitted to the Islands Trust Fund which has agreed to hold a conservation covenant on this land. The work to define and register this covenant is underway.
To view the current draft of the Management Plan: Settlement Lands Management Plan DRAFT(6)-20Feb2016 (6 Mb pdf)
The Settlement Lands were obtained by DCA in November 2006 as part of the settlement of the legal case against 4064 Investments Ltd.
For a detailed account of this marathon struggle click here.
The Settlement Lands encompass the two northern arms of one of the Island’s principal fresh water catchment areas; rich wetlands with varied water depths, sedge marshes and surrounded by a recovering Douglas-fir forest with some veteran trees, it provides valuable habitat for a diversity of wildlife. The wetlands are a valuable heritage in these dry islands, a legacy left by the retreating glaciers from the last ice age.
In 2005 Denman Island biologist Jenny Balke discovered Taylor’s Checkerspot butterflies in the Settlement Lands. (Download the 2.5M PDF report on the Checkerspot on Denman.) Taylor’s Checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha taylori) is on the British Columbia provincial red-list, and is listed as Endangered under the federal Species at Risk Act. Denman Island is currently the only known breeding location for the species in Canada. (In 2008 one specimen was seen flying on Vancouver Island land adjacent to Denman Island.) see also Stewardship here and here.
In 2015 and 2016 DCA undertook habitat restoration work on a part of the Settlement Lands Reserved for Checkerspots. See Fyson and Bland: Taylor’s Checkerspot Habitat Enhancement in SLBR 2015-2016 (pdf – 911 kb)
Report prepared for the Denman Conservancy Association, Denman Island, 15pp.
DCA did a baseline biological survey of the Settlement Lands in 2009 as a first step in the preparation of a Management Plan.
Two locations on the Settlement Lands were previously used for disposing of garbage. For the current status of these sites see: Settlement Lands old dumps