This is A Rare Opportunity to Protect a Large Waterfront Tract: St. John Point
The property, currently on the open market, is zoned for 6 subdivision lots. With 64 acres of relatively undeveloped land, over 2.1 kilometers (1.3 miles) of mostly south facing shoreline and two pebble beaches this property could be very appealing to a developer. If we do not protect it NOW this chance will not come again.
St. John Point is a Unique and Important Habitat for Endangered Species
Because of the Eddy family’s thoughtful stewardship over the years St. John Point remains relatively undisturbed. The property is a stunning example of the Coastal Douglas Fir biogeoclimatic zone that defines a mix of biological, climatic and geological attributes that occurs nowhere else in the world. In BC this zone comprises less than 1% of the land mass, most of which is in private hands. With the highest level of species richness and abundance of all zones in BC, this zone needs help to survive, NOW. The four largest natural vegetation communities on St. John Point are “Red Listed” – officially Endangered or Threatened. Two other ecosystems on the property are defined as “Sensitive” – ecologically fragile and at risk of extinction.
Protecting St. John Point Will Enrich Our Lives
The many features of this property offer educational and recreational day use opportunities for both residents and visitors. Designated trails winding through these natural areas with spectacular views of the ocean would make for excellent walking, hiking and bird watching. The flat and easily accessed area reaching down to the beach at Kadonaga Bay would be perfect for picnics, educational day camps, community events and day tripping kayakers. Currently, only 4% of Mayne Island is park space, the lowest percentage in the Southern Gulf Islands. With the addition of St. John Point the island’s protected, publicly-accessible space would be increased by 30%.
St. John Point is a Direct Link to Our Past
St. John Point’s beaches, forests and protected harbour in Horton Bay, were undoubtedly well used by the Coast Salish peoples. The point has a Coast Salish name of ŦÁ,WEN, which means “Coho”, and speaks to the historically rich fishing grounds in this area.
In 1890 James Campbell preempted the peninsula and surrounding lands, 317 acres for $317! It was later purchased by Gontaro Kadonaga in 1903 and held by him until 1921 when he divided 192 acres between his oldest son Toru and his brother Kinzo Kadonaga Sasaki’s oldest son Kwanichi Sasaki. In 1943 all Japanese were removed from the island and their properties taken over by the Veterans’ Land Act. After the war Mr. Eddy Sr. acquired the Sasaki land. An old orchard, most likely planted by the Kadonaga/Sasaki families, still stands on the site of the previous Japanese farm and attests to the heritage value of this land.
The proposed transaction would return St. John Point to full Canadian ownership.
Jane Szepesi · September 17, 2017 at 10:44 am
Shouldn’t this land be returned to the descendants of the family who owned it in 1943?
Don Enright · September 18, 2017 at 6:48 pm
Hello Jane- The Sasaki family have publicly given their support to the St. John Point project. Our intention is to ensure that the site tells the stories of the people who lived at the Point through history.
Judith Roche · September 18, 2017 at 9:43 am
I know and love this area; it also meant a great deal to my father who was a long time resident of mayne island. The history is particularly poignant; two major examples of essentially theft; first from the First Nations people and then the travesty of the WW II Japanese assets…….how appropriate to return it to public ownership with a mandate to promote environmental stewardship.