Protecting and enhancing the natural values of Salt Spring Island and its surrounding waters


Blue List

Lyngbye’s Sedge and Herbaceous Vegetation

Estuary Marsh [Red-Listed] This sedge dominated association grows where there are fluctuations in brackish water on tidal flats and channel margins. Lyngbye’s sedge often occurs in dense pure stands, although some sites have Pacific silverweed, seacoast bulrush, and Douglas’ aster. Examples are rare on Salt Spring only occuring


Seashore Saltgrass and Herbaceous Plants

Estuary Marsh [Blue-Listed] This rare estuary marshland is dominated by seashore saltgrass (Distichlis spicata) with few other plants tolerant of the salinity from frequent tidal floodings. It occurs on Salt Spring Island in shallow lagoons and bays enclosed by sand spits behind Jack Foster Beach and along Booth


Douglas-fir, Western Hemlock and Salal

Dry Coniferous Forest [Blue-Listed] This densely forested community usually grows along middle slopes and represents the direction that most ecological succession in our area is moving towards. It occurs at many places on Salt Spring Island but there are few places where it forms large intact stands. At most sites,


Douglas-fir and Sword Fern

Dry Coniferous Forest [Blue-Listed] While salal dominates the understory in most Douglas-fir forests, on sites where there are more nutrients and moisture available, it becomes replaced with sword fern. Along the edges there may also be grand fir, cedar and even bigleaf maple. Although the mix of species is common


Western Redcedar and Slough Sedge

Coniferous Swamp Forest [Blue-Listed] This striking sedge dominated association usually exists somewhere between a true wetland and a wet forest. The dense cover of slough sedge provides excellent habitat for a wide range of insects, snails and even red-legged frogs. While scattered pockets exist on Salt Spring Island,


Western Redcedar and Sword Fern

Moist Coniferous Forest [Blue-Listed] Although neither cedar or sword fern is particularly uncommon on their own, there are only a limited number of sites where the two grow together in any abundance. Notable examples of these moist forests can be found on Salt Spring at Manzanita ridge, Burgoyne Bay


Western Redcedar and Three-leaved Foam Flower

Moist Coniferous forest [Blue-Listed] This valley bottom association forms on soils that are thick and rich, where moisture is abundant. Scattered grand fir occur along with sword fern, western starflower and vanilla leaf. A near closed canopy shades out most of the shrub layer and leads to a diverse


Western Redcedar, Sword Fern and Skunk Cabbage

Wet Coniferous forest [Blue-Listed] Slighty drier and more densely forested that the alder association, skunk cabbage also grows with cedar and sword fern in what is frequently a more mature wet forest community. On Salt Spring this is actually the more uncommon of the two. There are some excellent


Black Cottonwood, Red Alder and Salmonberry

Wetland Forest [Blue-Listed] In wetter sites, the slough sedge and alder association transitions to a community with more cottonwoods and more salmonberry. Found on Salt Spring Island at the McFadden Nature Reserve and at the south end of St. Mary’s lake. These cottonwood stands provide important foraging and nesting


Labrador-tea, Western Bog-laurel and Peat Mosses

Wetland Bog [Blue-Listed] This is probably the most unusual ecological community on Salt Spring Island and is one of only a few bogs that occur on the Southern Gulf Islands. Since being converted to a reservoir, Rosemurgy’s Lake now features floating Sphagnum islands and partially submerged logs that provide