The Islands Trust Fund says it’s hit a key milestone in a program that gives landowners a tax break to help protect important ecosystems.

Larry Appleby is the 10th Salt Spring Island resident to register for the NAPTEP or Natural Area Protection Tax Exemption Program.

Kate Emmings is with Islands Trust Fund. She says NAPTEP is an important tool for conservationists.

With the addition of the 0.8 hectares from Appleby, which includes rare Coastal Douglas-fir forest , there are now around 45 hectares of land covered by NAPTEP covenants on Salt Spring.