Father Charles Brandt on the front porch of his Oyster River hermitage | Grant Callegari photos
Father Charles Brandt honored by Canadian Museum of Nature
When the Canadian Museum of Nature announced the finalists for its
2020 Nature Inspiration Awards, there was only one name in the Lifetime Achievement category: Father Charles Brandt.
A well-known environmentalist in the Comox Valley and Strathcona regional districts, Father Charles was nominated for the award by the Comox Valley Land Trust.
Father Charles has devoted his life to protecting and preserving natural habitats and has inspired generations of volunteers to work together to protect and preserve forests and rivers.
As a spiritual leader and conservationist, Father Charles helped establish the Tsolum River Task Force, which ultimately became
the Tsolum River Restoration Society. At age 97, he continues to act as one of the society’s directors.
Father Charles was also instrumental in creating the Oyster River Enhancement Society, contributing to the return of salmon and trout stocks on that also once-decimated river. He served as an ORES director and remained active in the society until 2014 when he was appointed a director emeritus.
Beginning in the early 1990s, he was also part of the Oyster River Watershed Management Committee, a roundtable of
government, industry and citizen representatives advocating for improved forest management activities. Father Charles remained active with the ORMC until it disbanded in 2012.
Father Charles’ home is along the Oyster River. In 2019 he granted a conservation covenant on his 27-acre property to the Comox Valley Land Trust. This action will protect the mature forest and riparian areas in perpetuity. Father Charles intends to donate the land to the Comox Valley Regional District as parkland.
Reacting to news of the Canadian Nature Museum’s award, Father Charles wrote, “With [cultural historian] Thomas Berry I can only say that the human community and the natural world must go into the future as a single sacred community. This is a step in that direction. Thank you.”
“We are pleased to see Father Charles recognized on the national stage for his work here on Vancouver Island,” said Comox Valley Land Trust Executive Director Tim Ennis. “His decision to leave his property to the CVRD as parkland, with a conservation covenant held by the land trust that will protect it forever, sets a strong example for others.”
Father Charles will receive his award when the winners in the other six categories are announced on November 25. Winners in each category receive $5,000 they can designate to a nature-related program of their choice.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
The Cannabis Innovation Centre in Comox, founded by Vanier grad Jon Page and now called Aurora Coast, has produced its first new strains of cannabis and will release them to consumers later this month
The Campbell River Environmental Committee has kept North Island residents aware of environmental risks and promoted awareness of potential concerns to help government and industry make informed decisions
Millions of people concerned about our planet launched Earth Day 51 years ago when environmentalism was about a cleaner world, not the matter of human survival that it is today. But has anything really changed? For Decafnation, Earth Day 2021 marks the start of a new direction.
Well-known community activist Wayne Bradley suffered a short battle with cancer.
Premier John Horgan should keep his promise to implement the recommendation of the Old-Growth Review Panel and place a moratorium on logging old-growth trees in British Columbia, say participants in the BC Forest March
The woodstove industry has launched a campaign to overturn restrictive bylaws in the Comox Valley, but local government leaders say they are unmoved and a new study suggests woodstove testing is fatally flawed.
Comox Valley Nature is taking nominations for the Tree of the Year until April 1.
The Comox Valley Regional District did the right thing in terminating the CVEDS contract. But they did it for the wrong reasons.
After more than a year of divisive conversations about the future of economic development, the Comox Valley Regional District plans to terminate its contract with the Comox Valley Economic Development Society
Decafnation’s Local Government Performance Review was designed to shed light on why people felt a certain way rather than predict some outcome through statistics.