Who We Are
The Ecoforestry Institute Society (EIS) is a registered non-profit, charitable society comprised of a volunteer Board and a strong core of community volunteers. Together, we are dedicated to the principles and practices of ecoforestry – that is, demonstrating that we can harvest trees and plants from the forest while maintaining healthy and integrated ecological systems.
We place value on the services provided by nature such as the provision of the air that we breathe, hydrological systems that filter and distribute water, carbon sequestration, the nutrients that feed the forest through natural decaying processes, and wildlife habitat.
We believe it is essential to work within the capacity of nature, and that we can develop a viable economic framework built on the stewardship of an ecologically sound forest. Economic value can be gained through the production of value-added wood goods and services, educational programming, ecotourism and related activities.
EIS are the Trustees of Wildwood Ecoforest and hold the property on behalf of the people of British Columbia.
EIS grew out of a movement in the mid-1990s as a number of academics from the University of Victoria and local environmentalists sought a better way to manage our rapidly depleting ecosystems. Founders include well-known luminaries:
Dr. Alan Drengson (contributor to the deep ecology movement and UVic Emeritus Professor of Philosophy);
Dr. Duncan Taylor (contributor to the deep ecology movement and UVic Professor of Envvironmental Studies);
Dr. Nancy Turner (ethnobotanist and UVic Emeritus Professor); and
Sharon Chow (Sierra Club Director for 20 years).
Merv Wilkinson himself was to become a member and was later awarded for his pioneering work in ecoforestry with the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia.
In 2001, EIS became the official forest managers of Wildwood Ecoforest. The Society managed a number of timber harvests and hosted thousands of visitors every year, from school children to registered forest professionals and academics. It also conducted an extensive inventory of trees and plants at Wildwood and developed a detailed forest management plan for the property.
Protecting old growth forests and their ecosystems is rewarding and you’ll enjoy learning from our knowledgeable team at the many workshops and tours.
Join us at one or several of our work parties to groom trails, remove invasive plants, clear slash after a harvest, or garden in the native plant area around the Homestead. There’s always interesting tasks and you’ll meet a terrific group of people!
Your donation helps us continue to protect Wildwood and provide educational programs to the public. Donate as a one time thing, monthly or as a legacy through wills, estates and shares.