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Caring for Your Land

A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.

Aldo Leopold’s famous quote from his book A Sand County Almanac was written over 50 years ago and embodies the fundamental concept of caring for your land.

The Galiano Conservancy Association encourages land management that embodies this basic concept, making decisions that are accountable to the “biotic community” in which we live.

The following are a selection of stewardship tips stemming from our “Ecologically Conscious Neighbours” Stewardship program.

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  • Learn to identify and control invasive exotic species such as Scotch Broom, Himilayan blackberry, Evergreen Blackberry, English holly, and English Ivy
 
  • Steward, protect and restore ecological anchors including older forest, Garry oak meadows, bluffs, wetlands and streams.
 
  • Streams, swamps, ponds and wetlands of all kinds are the vital organs of ecosystems. Nurture the vitality of these systems with protective natural vegetation buffers (15 meters is often suggested but it can vary, more is always better) If a buffer does not exist, consider restoring one using native vegetation.
 
  • Protect and monitor dead trees which provide valuable habitat for a variety of wildlife species.
 
  • Allow the natural cycle of decomposition to occur in fallen trees and branches by leaving them to become part of the soil.
 
  • Consider leaving parts of your land unfenced allowing the movement of wildlife through your property.
 
  • When planning to clear any part of your land, consider saving the vegetation and organic debris: it is a valuable resource for restoring disturbed land after construction, for example, or use the material in the restoration of other places on your or other people’s land. The Conservancy is always open to salvaging native plants for its restoration nursery and projects.
 
  • If possible, share your ecological goals with your neighbours (adjoining or nearby properties) and work together planning protection and restoration so that your efforts may contribute to larger “reserve” areas.
 
  • Consider helping to heal “unused” disturbed areas of your land through ecological restoration.
 
  • Conserve water: Store water for garden use in roof-fed cisterns; plant drought resistant vegetation whenever possible. Use mulches in your garden.
 
  • Seek alternatives to chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
 
  • Get to know your non-human neighbours, local plant, animal and wildlife species.
 
  • Protect and honour your local native tree species.
 
  • Our island is a unique place on the planet. Revel in caring for nature’s bounty on our parts of it.

The Galiano Conservancy Association is open to helping you with any of the following guidelines. Our library is an excellent resource for researching questions that may arise. Our staff can provide information that makes it easier for you to embrace these guidelines.

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Posted in Care for Your Land, Take Action.

Keith Erickson

Keith is a registered professional biologist and has worked for the Galiano Conservancy since 1998. His main passion is ecosystem based planning. He has a broad diversity of experience that includes forest ecology, GIS mapping, and ecological restoration. Keith's inspiration is rooted in a deep connection with his home place and is stoked through sharing his work and experiences with youth and adults participating in the Conservancy's learning programs and internships.

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