News from the Society

President's Message - Spring 2019

Robert Rothe

Dear fellow members and supporters;

This past year was a busy time at Princess Louisa Marine Park. We are pleased to report that Ranger Ming Neal will be returning this 2019 season and we will shortly be repairing a little winter storm damage from downed trees that occurred over the winter.

We look forward to welcoming another busy summer season and hope that the weather cooperates into wonderful cruising weather. Many thanks for your continued support of the Inlet through your donations and memberships to the Society.

On behalf of my fellow Directors, I welcome you to this most beautiful and sacred place. Our mission is to keep the Inlet in its natural state as our founder and benefactor, James F. (Mac) Macdonald intended.

Rob Rothe,
Princess Louisa International Society

President's Message - Fall 2017

William (Bill) Ireland

Dear members and supporters;

Saturday, Aug.19, I detoured from Pender Harbour to Egmont and there joined a Bryce Christie tour to Chatterbox. Ranger Ming was surprised and pleased to see me.

I had only a couple of hours for inspection. The Ranger cabin is now habitable and appears to be in good shape with the Pellet stove, generator and dehumidifier in place. Parks has supplied some new furniture and Ming’s satellite phone is operating.

She is currently sharing a Ranger boat with a fellow Ranger in Desolation Sound. The boat she had exclusively last year still awaits a replacement motor. The repairs to last winter’s dock damage are fully complete.

Ming and I visited the new hiking trail behind MacDonald Island. The benches and ramp have been installed at the viewpoint. These were barged to Chatterbox earlier this summer. Parks has yet to provide the promised signage and I heard nothing of the dedication of "Ming's Trail". The re-roofing materials for the gazebo will be barged in with voluntary labour to complete the work this fall.

Visitor attendance on the dock is averaging 22 -24 boats per night. More visitors are choosing to anchor either at the falls or on the mooring buoys behind the island than in prior years. Ming does not think that the suggested hiking trial and dingy dock below the falls are feasible, at least cost wise, and she is now focused on staking out a new trail on MacDonald Island.

All in all, I feel that we have achieved good results for our substantial investments this year.


Bill Ireland

President's Message - Fall 2016

William (Bill) Ireland

Dear Friends of the Princess,

Summer has passed pleasantly at Princess Louisa Marine Park. Many visitors, both power and sail, called by. Our guests kindly left donations in support of the Society’s ongoing improvements programme. Their generosity is greatly appreciated.

On the August 19/20 weekend, some of the Society’s directors gathered informally with their wives for a barbecue at Chatterbox. We walked the new trail by Macdonald Island, enjoyed the peace and beauty of the surroundings and took stock of work yet to be done.

The airplane landing dock is functioning well in its new location. The roof of the gazebo is leaking badly and should soon be replaced to preserve its substructure. B.C. Parks will undertake this work with materials now stored in Sechelt.

Unhappily, the ranger cabin remained uninhabitable over the past summer operating season, requiring Ming to be accommodated in a near-by tent. This was due to a build-up of mould (fungal spores) on its interior surfaces while it remains unheated off-season. The Society stands ready to support the continuing clean-up efforts of Parks BC but the situation is obviously unsatisfactory. The cabin is structurally sound but a healthy environment must be restored within it.

These are our challenges going forward. Thank you for your continuing support in meeting them.

With kind regards,

Bill Ireland

President's Message - Spring 2016

William (Bill) Ireland

Dear Friends of the Princess,

I am writing you on a warm, Spring day that feels more like mid-summer, prompting thoughts of a return to our beloved Inlet. You will be pleased to hear that Ming will be there to greet us. Her assignment to the Park commenced May 1 and will continue through next October, thanks to your Society’s renewed subsidy of the entailed costs.

To Parks B.C., Ming is their trusty resident Ranger. To our members and guests, she is our welcoming hostess and guide.

Last October, I wrote to you about our Society’s intended four year collaboration with B.C. Parks to enhance the amenity and attraction of Princess Louisa Marine Park. The 2015 phase brought dock improvements and a new hiking trail and viewpoint reached from a landing behind MacDonald Island. On B.C. Parks’ behalf, Ming undertakes a hands-on role in the planning and construction of these improvements.

The Society’s Directors will be meeting shortly to finalize their proposals to B.C. Parks for 2016. I look forward to sharing with you details of an agreed programme. As always, the Society’s continuing support of the Park is made possible by our kind donors. You are deeply appreciated.

With kind regards,

Bill Ireland

President's Message - Fall 2015

William (Bill) Ireland

Dear Friends of the Princess,

This year has been one of challenges and achievements at Princess Louisa Inlet.

Subject to successful fundraising, your Society has agreed to collaborate with B.C. Parks in a four year programme to enhance the amenity and attraction of Princess Louisa Park. The Society will finance the programme, with B.C. Parks to contribute on-site labour. The 2015 phase of the programme will be completed this fall.

Thanks to our generous donors, a new and enlarged sea plane dock has been relocated for safer taxiing clear of visiting boats. A new hiking trail will lead from a reconstructed landing behind MacDonald Island to a view point overlooking the Inlet from the north. Future phases of the programme will bring further attractive improvements.

By providing a substantial subsidy, your Society was able to negotiate with B.C. Parks an extended 6 months Ranger presence. Ming Neil will be on station until late October to greet our visitors and watch over them. This too was made possible by a generous member donation.

This year prolonged drought reduced the snow pack and melt water flow over Chatterbox Falls. The 19 secondary falls I have counted along the overhanging cliffs in prior years were dry. Smoke from forest fires temporarily blanketed the Inlet in late August. Undeterred, a constant parade of visitors enjoyed the eternal beauty that our Society is committed to safeguard.

Mother Nature reversed course in September. Heavy rains swelled the creeks within the Park, damaging walkways and dislodging a foot bridge from its footings. Your Society has committed to make the necessary repairs this fall.

Meeting such challenges and opportunities makes us only stronger. Our faithful donors make possible our response. My sincere thanks to each of you.

With kind regards,

Bill Ireland

President's Message - Fall 2014

William (Bill) Ireland

Dear Friends of the Princess,

I am writing to you on the last official day of a long golden summer. I hope that many of you took occasion to visit our beloved Inlet. You would have been greeted by Ming Neil as resident Ranger and welcoming hostess.

Our Society's financial support of B.C. Parks made possible her posting through the summer months.

Many of our Directors gathered informally at Chatterbox Falls on the August 22 weekend with representatives of B.C. Parks. We hiked the routes that have been so far chosen for new walking trails. The first of these should be open next year, at the landing behind McDonald Island and on the island itself with others to follow.

Each time I visit Princess Louisa, I see and learn new things. Ranger Ming marked our chart with the sites of petroglyphs created by native artists of the past. These are quite remarkable to see.

The Society's ongoing support of the Inlet is made possible by our faithful donors. My sincere thanks to each of you. You are true friends of the 'Princess'.

My best regards,

William E. Ireland

President's Message - Spring 2014

William (Bill) Ireland

Dear Friends of the Princess,

Spring's arrival revives dreams of our beloved lnlet and the opportunity of another visit.

I have good news to share with you. Budgetary cutbacks had cast doubt over the ability of BC Parks to staff a ranger in the Park for the coming season. The Princess Louisa lnternational Society has just agreed to contribute substantially to the staffing costs, ensuring a full time ranger presence over four months in this and following years, with all the benefits that entails. We understand that BC Parks has chosen for that assignment, Ming Neil, an old friend of the Park well known to many of you from your past visits. Further, the Society will be assisting BC Parks this year in the planning and development of new and exciting trails to explore around and above Chatterbox Falls.

These are but the latest examples of the Society's support of what is surely the crown jewel of the BC Marine Park system - a support that has continued for almost fifty years. When the Society made the first of its donations of park lands to the Province in L965, it was upon the condition that no user fees would be charged to the boating public. With Society support, the Park has expanded and developed over the years, yet remains free of charge to visitors.

The Society is able to do these things because of its good working relationship with BC Parks and the continuing financial donations, large and small, made by people who cherish Princess Louisa lnlet and share our commitment to it- With the continuing generosity of our frlends, the Society's support of the Park will continue over years to come.

With my best wishes,

William E. Ireland

President's Message - 2013

John Painter

This year we continue reaching out to our neighbors new and old alike to establish better communication: Bob Goff owns large parcels in the inlet that he keeps in their natural state; Young Life welcomes young people each year to their encampment near Malibu Rapids, and now we have a new neighbor whose land is behind Macdonald Island. We have met some of the trail builders of the Global Mountain Bike Club and we are grateful that they build and maintain their trails in an invisible and natural way in keeping with Mac's wishes to maintain the pristine quality of the Inlet.

Our longtime park ranger Ming Neil has been posted to Desolation Sound this year and ranger Craig MacLean took her place. We are most grateful for Ming's many years of service to The Princess. Dialog continues with BC Parks to maintain a strong ranger presence in the Inlet.

Your president and secretary-treasurer made a visit to the Inlet in early September 2013 in the hopes of meeting the new ranger and Bob Goff. Though unsuccessful with meeting Craig and Bob, we did have some time with Harold Richert the Malibu Camp manager and stayed for two nights at the Malibu Young Life camp. The trails, boardwalks and facilities at Chatterbox all appear to be in good repair.

Donations in lieu of moorage plus Annual and Life memberships totaled over $ 13,000 in 2013 and this will allow us to continue our stewardship of The Princess and maintain communications with our members and supporters throughout North America.

Our financial position remains very good. However, we invite you to help us maintain and improve the park with your donations, and by encouraging new life members. Tell your friends about Princess Louisa International Society and ask them to view our website at

Our annual general meeting for 2013 will be held October 25th at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, at 5 PM. We remain committed to carry out "Macs" wish, "keep like it is" Please the rest of the cruising year, and keep Princes Louisa Inlet in your hearts for your next visit.

John Painter

President's Message - Winter 2012

John Painter

This year we are reaching out to our neighbors new and old to establish better communication: Bob Goff owns large parcels in the inlet that he keeps in their natural state; Young Life welcomes young people each year to their encampment near Malibu Rapids, and now we have a new neighbor whose land is behind Macdonald Island. We have yet to meet and welcome the new owner to the Inlet. Our intent is, where possible, to join forces to better protect Princess Louisa Inlet.

August and September were fantastic months last summer. Our park was well used with over 10,000 visitors. Our park ranger Ming Neil said she had a great year at the Inlet and is looking forward to next summer.

Dock donations totalled about $5000.00 this past summer and this will allow us to re-fasten the dock and other needed maintenance. We have scheduled a contractor to come in, lift the dock, check all the chains and replace components as necessary. The dock will be in great shape for the 2012 seas.

Our financial position remains very good. However, we invite you to help us maintain and improve the park with your donations, and by encouraging new life members. Tell your friends about Princess Louisa International Society and about this stunning park we all enjoy.

We elected new officers for the coming year. We have had two energetic and effective directors retire, William Botham and William MacDonald. We moved long time director (1972) John Rottler to Emeritus status. On the US side of the border we added as director James Erickson, and on the Canadian side we added as director William Ireland. Peter Chipman who has a long and multi faceted relationship with the inlet has accepted the job of Secretary - Treasurer. Robert (Rob) Rothe will be the new Vice President.

We remain committed to carry out "Macs" wish, "keep like it is" Please enjoy the coming summer, and keep Princes Louisa Inlet in your hearts..

John Painter

President's Message, Summer 2011

Don Simpson

Let's all hope the rain has stopped and we can begin to plan our summer cruising season. We have had a long wet winter and spring.

Princess Louisa Inlet is ready to go and Ming Neil will be returning for another year. Ming does an outstanding job to keep the Inlet in a pristine condition. Please tell her when you see her, what a great job she does.

As we look forward to summer of 2011. B.C. Parks is celebrating their Centennial year and we are planning to work with them to make your visit to the Inlet very special. We hope to have a Park Host program again this year. If you are interested in being a host, let us know.

Our dock and the buoys are all in excellent condition, and this year we are again planning to ask for donations for the dock use. We started this last September and it was well received. The price is $10.00 per night for boats 25 ft. of less and $20.00 per night for boats larger than 25 feet. All donations are appreciated.

I also want to inform you we have changed our U.S. post office box address. We have moved it closer to the person doing the Foundation work. The new address is:

Princess Louisa International Society
Post Office Box 3562
Bellevue, WA, 98004, USA

We hope that this does not create problem.

Have wonderful summer of cruising and I hope to see you at the Inlet.

Don Simpson

President's Message, Winter 2010

Don Simpson

Hopefully you enjoyed a wonderful summer of cruising. We had great weather and calm seas. Princes Louisa Inlet was well used this summer and Ming Neil, our Park Ranger reports she had a very good year with a record number of boats and people.

Although we did not get our Dock donation envelopes to the Inlet until almost the end of summer we received over a thousand dollars in donations. This money will help support maintenance for the coming year. The envelopes are now on site and are ready for next season. As reported this spring we were able to help in the redoing of the buoy anchors at MacDonald Island and also did maintenance on the dock.

As also reported last Spring, we had to let our options on additional property around the Inlet expire. We are still committed to carry out Macs wish, "keep it just like it is". We encourage donations of any size to help maintain Princes Louisa Inlet.

When the economic climate recovers in the U.S and Canada we will work again to find a partner to purchase additional land.

Our Directors meeting and our AGM ( Annual General Meeting) was held on November 19th at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. Financially we are in pretty good shape, but we are always open to new members and donations.. Tell your cruising friends about our crown jewel.

The holidays will be over by the time you read this, but I hope you had a happy celebration and here is wishing you the best in the new year.

Don Simpson

Princess Louisa Inlet
"Hanging Out" at Princess Louisa
Labor Day Weekend 2006

Dear Members,

For the second time in as many years, we had the opportunity to introduce people to Princess Louisa.  This time it was our daughter, son-in-law and grandsons – 12 and 4.  It was a joy – though a bit crowded in our 36’ GB.

Please enrol us in a Life Membership in the hopes that this special place will be ther for Lyle to take his grandchildren to.  As his father said, “there aren’t many places that are as special as people say they are… This is definitely one of them”.

Thank you,
Anacortes, WA

P.S. We will be introducing his aunt, uncle (our son), and his 8 year old cousin to the wonders of Princess Louisa over Labor Day weekend this year.









On October 10, 2003, the Government of British Columbia informed us that it was accepting the generous gift of the approximately 2200 acres surrounding the existing Princess Louisa Marine Park. from the Princess Louisa International Society and The Nature Conservancy of Canada.

Princess Louisa Inlet
Click Image for Larger View

Our goal, a dream less than five years ago, has become reality.

Your Directors have worked hard to realize this goal. They are to be congratulated for bringing it to fruition. You will have read in the President’s Message that our President is stepping down. Bill Botham’s leadership of the Society brought (sometimes pulled) us successfully through this fundraising campaign. It was Bill who lead the negotiations with Weyerhaeuser for the original options to purchase. It was Bill who recognized that we could not achieve our goal without a partner. It was Bill who convinced the Nature Conservancy of Canada to join with us in this project. On behalf of the members, Bill, thank you.

Our goal would not have been realized, however, without you, our members. Patrons, Contributors, Donors, Life Members, Annual Members: twelve hundred people share Mac’s vision, now the Society’s Mission, to protect and preserve this beautiful fjord. To keep it “just like it is”.

Many of you gave money through donations or renewed memberships; others bought our store items; still more introduced others to the Society’s aims; many dropped a line of encouragement by e-mail, fax, letters or phone calls to assure us we were on the right track; that in pursuing this dream of further land acquisition in Princess Louisa Inlet we had your support. Each of these meant a lot.

Your financial support contributed more than just the additional necessary dollars. Your contributions convinced major donors that you believed in this project and helped convince them that they should, too.

Your words of faith and encouragement and stories of what Princess Louisa Inlet meant to you seemed to always come at the right time. When the goal seemed too distant or too difficult; when we had fund raising obstacles, your letters or e-mails would arrive and renew our desire to carry on.

The Park is now 50 times larger than Mac’s original grant. You did it. Thank you.

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Princess Louisa
canadian flag Princess Louisa International Society
P.O. Box 33918, Station D
Vancouver, BC
V6J 4L7, Canada

e-mail :

usa flag Princess Louisa International Foundation
Post Office Box 3562
Bellevue, WA 98004, USA