A Place of Abundance

The Pebble Beach Reserve consists of:

  • District Lot 63, owned by the Galiano Conservancy
  • District Lot 60 and Lot 1, District Lot 66, which are Crown Land

The adjacent Qw’xwulwis – Cable Bay Conservation Area is owned by the Nature Trust of BC and managed by the Galiano Conservancy, which played a central role in protecting this land.

Together, these properties protect the area known to Hul’qumi’num-speaking peoples as Qw’xwulwis.  This important ecological and cultural landscape includes a unique archeological site, several kilometers of undeveloped shoreline, and beautiful beaches that attract locals and visitors alike.

A Spectrum of Impacts

The properties that make up the reserve also exhibit a spectrum of human impacts.  DL 66 was mined for gravel in the 1950s and 60s, representing the highest level of impact; meanwhile, DL 60 was high-graded (selective removal of only the highest value timber) in the 1920s, but has otherwise been left to develop into one of the largest remaining examples of mature Coastal Douglas-fir forest on the island.  DL 64 was partially logged in the late 20th century.

Dl 63, on the other hand, was logged intensively in the mid-20th century: this includes clearcuts in 1968 and 1978, followed by the bulldozing of topsoil and slash into large windrows, partial combustion of the windrows, and replanting with uniform rows of genetically similar Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). These industrial treatments left behind an ecologically impoverished, single-age stand of regenerating Douglas-fir trees with very little biodiversity or habitat value.  Unfortunately, the state of the forest on this property is broadly representative of nearly half of the land area of Galiano Island, which was operated as a commercial tree farm until the late 1980s.

Restoration of Plantation Forests

The plantation forests of DL63 are the focus of a unique forest restoration effort that the Galiano Conservancy initiated in 2001 with the objective of restoring soils, structure, coarse woody debris, and biodiversity.  This restorative work, spearheaded by the late Ken Millard, involved novel applications of chain hoists, pulleys, and skylines to thin trees, distribute woody debris and implement restorative treatments without the use of fossil fuels.

Today, we continue to employ these techniques to restore forests across our conservation lands.

Pebble Beach Reserve

At a Glance

  • Size: 131.4 ha (DL 63: 61.5 ha; DL 60: 56.9 ha; Lot 1, DL 66: 13.0 ha)
  • Legal Description: District Lot 63, Galiano Island, PID: 009-624-911; District Lot 60, Galiano Island, PID: 009-624-902; Lot 1 District Lot 66, Galiano Island, PID: 003-892-301
  • Acquisition Year: 1998 (DL 63)


Trailhead for over 20 kilometers of public trails across the Mid-Island Protected Areas Network



Pebble Beach is a popular swimming spot and can be accessed via a 1 km trail

Knowledge Hub

Key Resources

Media Gallery

Explore photos and other media captured at the Pebble Beach Reserve


Let it Rot

Produced by students at the Gulf Islands Film & Television School (GIFTS) in 2006, Let it Rot documents the innovative restoration of the Pebble Beach Marine Reserve.

Knowledge Hub

Additional Resources

Explore the following resources to learn more about the Pebble Beach Reserve.

Stewardship Newsletters | September 22, 2005

Archipelago – Autumn 2005

“We Receive Our Breath from the Trees” | Ecocultural Restoration | Restoring Forests and Culture in S. Korea | Healthy Forests, Healthy Soil | The Golden Spruce | Where do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going | The Garden of Memory

Stewardship Newsletters | June 1, 2004

Archipelago – Summer 2004

WE Can’t See Underwater | Restoring the Forest in the Plantation | A Historical Map of Galiano | A Look at Archeological Research in the Gulf Islands | The Galiano Museum | Ann Erickson’s Decomposing Magic | A Review Essay