Mayne Island Conservancy Society

Landowner Stewardship

Wildflower Bank Ecosystem Protection on Mayne
Photo credit: © Miriam Isaac-Renton

The "Stewards of the Land' Ethos

"I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art anyone could ever want to own." Andy Warhol.

What is it about your property on Mayne Island that you love? A stream that flows vigorously in the Spring? A grove of trees where eagles nest? The little green tree frogs that serenade you? Perhaps it is the foreshore area of your property. Do you want to care for it well or perhaps even protect it for future generations?

Land Stewardship

MICS & Landowner Stewardship

As a landowner, are you interested in maintaining the ecological integrity of your property?

If your answer is YES the Mayne Island Conservancy can offer you the following assistance:

  • An initial conversation followed by a walkabout of your land to discuss your stewardship goals while pointing out valuable wildlife habitat, native plant and animal species as well as potential trouble spots

  • An orthophoto map of your property

  • Recommendations for achieving your stewardship goals

You will be invited to consider entering into a non-binding stewardship pledge with the Mayne Island Conservancy. This pledge outlines nine areas of stewardship that you can practice on your land. You may choose to focus on any or all of the areas listed, ranging from protecting native plants to removing invasive plants to conserving water. For its part the Mayne Island Conservancy will assist you in any way it can. The renewable stewardship pledge is for one year. Mayne Island's SEM

To find out more about our "Walkabouts" program click here

A Complementary Approach to Sensitive Ecosystems Protection

Stewardship is a voluntary undertaking and ranges from awareness raising and non-binding stewardship agreements (such as the Conservancy described in the paragraph above) to covenants and incentive programs like the Natural Area Protection Tax Exemption Program (NAPTEP) and the Ecological Gifts Program, which can deliver substantial tax savings in the right circumstances. For more details of these additional steps please visit the Island Trust Fund's web site at

A photo of a Sharpie

Sharp Tailed Snake Search

Spring is here: the wildflower meadows are getting ready to burst, and the songbirds are trilling with all their might. This is when the Sharp-tailed Snake is most active, seeking out meals of molluscs when the ground is wet, but warming. Western Painted Turtles are waking too.

"Sharpies" are a Species at Risk and we have yet to find them on Mayne!

For more information on the subject of "sharp tailed snake stewardship" please visit the Habitat Acquisition Trust's web page

Marine Stewardship

Land stewardship necessarily entails care for the tidal beaches, which should not be thought of as a boundary but as an interface. Common human activities have the potential to disrupt the marine ecology, not only by "carrying crude oil up and down the coast in a balloon" but in these comparatively mundane ways:
·  Reduced water quality·  Nutrient run-off from land
·  Sediments from human activities on land·  Shading by overwater structures
·  Intensive trampling at low tide (kayak lanes)·  Dredging & filling
·  Boating & anchoring·  Shoreline armouring (bulkheads, riprap)
·  Intensive shellfish harvesting·  Economic impacts: fisheries, tourism

Such ways nonetheless may cause, or have the potential to cause damage that can be lasting and in the worst cases, practicably irreversible.

And in response to some of these threats we can:

  • Minimize the area of shoreline disturbed by construction activities
  • Protect trees, shrubs and grasses near the shoreline
  • Leave the site as natural as possible to prevent interruption of ocean currents and reduce the potential for beach erosion
  • Protect a wide shoreline buffer of vegetation
  • Consider sharing a dock to reduce their number and impacts on the near shore, or use a mooring float to tie your boat to
  • Consider alternative construction practices for docks that allow sunlight to penetrate eelgrass meadows
The Washington State Department of Ecology offers advice and resources on its web page Managing Vegetation on Coastal Slopes - well worth a visit!

Shoreline Atlas

In April 2013 the Mayne Island Conservancy's work on shoreline ecology has culminated in the publishing of the Mayne Island Shoreline Atlas Report, which synthesizes much of the knowledge gained from all the elements of our Shoreline Care Project. MICS is grateful to Environment Canada’s EcoAction Community Funding Program for much of the funding that has made this report possible. Deliverables of the project are a GIS database and maps, which provide information about the ecological nature of Mayne Island’s shorelines. The impetus for the inventory arose out of concern for the increasing number of shoreline modifications constructed near the intertidal boundaries of the study area, combined with a lack of information regarding the location of critical habitats.

Two rating systems were created, one calculating the ecological value of Mayne Island shorelines and the other calculating the level of modification to this shoreline. Data was collected by small boat and field technicians recorded shoreline modifications, backshore ecology, erosion, wildlife habitat features, and presence of important species such as forage fish, eelgrass, and kelp in marine riparian areas.

The data within the GIS database will be available to the Mayne Island Local Trust Committee, Island Trust planners, the Islands Trust Fund and other interested parties; providing a large amount of data for reference, additional query and future comparison. The purpose of this data is to provide planners and members of the public with information for science based decision-making, identification of essential biological habitats, and information and stewardship opportunities for the Mayne Island community.

Read the full report (.pdf) here

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Last modified: July 23 2013 11:05:27.