Maltby Lake is at the headwaters of the Tod Creek Watershed. The 21-acre near pristine water body is surrounded by 172 acres of relatively undisturbed forest and wetland. The property is an example of unspoiled lake and land ecosystems. It is on the front line of human-nature conflict.
In 2009, The Land Conservancy of BC (TLC) received a conservancy bequest – a 35% undivided interest in the Maltby Lake lands. TLC accepted the property based on its high ecological values.
In October, 2013, TLC sought and was granted protection under the Court monitored Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act as a means to resolve its debts, and the Conservancy began exploring options to pay creditors. TLC’s precarious financial situation led it to consider selling its ownership in Maltby Lake to the highest bidder.
In November, 2013, a grassroots community movement (made up of family of the original donor, friends, neighbours, and complete strangers) developed. Calling themselves “Friends of Maltby Lake”, the fledgling organization, supported by 10 conservation organizations and representatives from all three levels of government lobbied to protect Maltby Lake and support the purchase of TLC’s interest by the original donor’s family. .
On September 11, 2014, with support of the Peninsula Streams Society (an umbrella organization protecting local watersheds), Friends of Maltby Lake Watershed Society (FMLWS) incorporated.
On October 21, 2014, Saanich South MLA Lana Popham hosted an “Open House & Discussion forum for the Public”. Guest speakers were experts in the fields of science and conservation. The event was well attended.
On November 8, 2014, the FMLWS held its first fundraiser – “Keep Maltby Lake Wild!” The event was sponsored by the Peninsula Streams Society and Friends of Tod Creek Watershed, and supported by the Habitat Acquisition Trust and Prospect Lake District Community Association. The event sold out.
On February 23, 2015, the BC Supreme Court sanctioned the sale of a portion (29%) of TLC’s 35% interest in Maltby Lake to family of the original donor. The sale would see the original donor’s intentions upheld and the environmentally sensitive lake and land protected. A 6% interest remained with TLC.
On April 2, 2015, the Supreme Court of B.C. approved the Plan of Compromise and Arrangement as agreed upon by TLC and its Creditors. Included within the Plan was provision for sale of TLC’s remaining undivided 6% interest in Maltby Lake to the FMLWS.
On August 29, 2015, the FMLWS Board entered a Strategic Planning Process to formalize its mission and vision and to develop a plan for achievement of its overall long-term goals. Application to the Charities Directorate, Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), for charitable status was successful.
Effective January 1, 2016, the FMLWS began to realize pledges, and to accept donations and issue tax receipts.
On November 14, 2016, the BC Supreme Court sanctioned the sale of TLC’s remaining 6% interest in Maltby Lake – 3% to the family of the original donor and 3% to the FMLWS.
In May, 2017, the FMLWS entered mediation. The process will help property owners communicate their values and aspirations, and move towards achieving fee simple interests. Together owners are moving forward.