In the 1990s, our members were among the many voices calling for protection of this local treasure. When a plan emerged for commercial logging in the watershed by the Victoria Water Board, Sierra Club BC’s Victoria Local Group stepped in. Members including Brian Pinch, Ray Zimmerman, and Mehdi Najari were instrumental in turning the tide through legal research and a hiking trip arranged for the water commissioner to visit the area.
Together with the Wilderness Committee and concerned local residents, Sierra Club BC’s Victoria Local Group engaged in a four-year legal battle to protect the Sooke Hills. In 1994, logging in Victoria’s watershed was ruled illegal by the BC Supreme Court.
Today, the Sooke Hills are part of a regional vision for a Sea to Sea Green Blue Belt. This vision involves over 8,000 hectares of connected land held in various forms of protection between Saanich Inlet, the Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Park Reserve, the Sooke Basin and the Sooke River. The mountainous area features important wetlands, old-growth forest, rocky bluff ecosystems and several lakes and streams. It is a popular area for swimming, bird watching, fishing, camping and walking or cycling the spectacular Sooke Hills Wilderness Trail.