The forest is lush and filled with life in the Lower Perseverance corridor. The June rains have nurtured the fern forest, the Devil’s Club is reaching up through the forest floor to the sky, the mosses are every vibrant shade of green, berries are bursting from blossoms that have come and gone, Coho smolts are darting about in the cool creek pools and fledgling ravens are chatting with anyone willing to listen. The nights are warming up and the little brown bats are feasting on mosquitos and moths at dusk. Cougars and bears stealthily navigate the quiet forested corridor. While we seldom see them, we know they see us.
Protecting natural areas in the Comox Valley is different from other places on the island or BC, where the target is crown land. Our community is entirely surrounded by privately owned timber lands. The rules and regulations are different. The 150-year-old legacy of private land ownership of unceded Indigenous territory on the east side of Vancouver Island means that conservation organizations like the CCFS are working directly with timber companies to protect land and trees.
This is why the CCFS acquires land and why we raise money. We’re working within the context of privately owned lands, trees, creeks and streams to protect mature, natural succession, second growth forests and return them to the commons. The Lower Perseverance corridor is not a tree farm, its a beautiful example of the natural recovery of older second growth forests when they are left to heal.
The Cumberland Community Forest is currently working with our community partners to secure a 25 acre parcel of forest that closes the gap in the Perseverance Creek corridor from Allen Lake to Comox Lake. This effort is part of a larger strategy to secure lands in the Perseverance Creek Watershed to support drinking water resilience, protect biodiversity and link together protected lands from upland forests to wetlands, to creek, to lakes, and down to the Salish Sea.
We have until June 30th to secure our Leadership Fund of $200,000. These funds will provide us with the leverage we need to secure funding that requires matching contributions from the community. Please consider becoming a Leadership Fund donor today. Visit www.cumberlandforest.com/protect/
PHOTO CREDIT – Meredith Rose Photography