CRD Director Makes Progress in Purchase of Former Tree Farm License Lands in JDFEA

Feb 15, 2010

Victoria, BC – Mike Hicks, Capital Regional District Director of the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area, announced today he is making progress in attempts to secure the purchase of both Sandcut Beach and the Jordan River surfing beach for use by the general public. The areas are part of a parcel of lands recently placed back on the market by Western Forest Products. The lands were formerly part of the Provincial Tree Farm License (TFL), and are located in the Shirley/Jordan River OCP planning area.

Hicks has been in discussions with Western Forest Products CEO Steve Frasher in an attempt to give the public an opportunity to purchase the lands. After speaking with the Land Conservancy of BC, the Province and the CRD, Hicks is cautiously optimistic about the future of both parcels. 

“Between these three organizations and the Federal Government, we have an excellent chance of forming a partnership to provide the necessary funding for purchase,” said Hicks. “While I applaud the fact that UBC and the Province are contemplating potential involvement, the fact is that on March 5, Sandcut Beach and Jordan River surfing beaches will be available for sale. I am hopeful and enthusiastic that we will have an offer in place and accepted by this deadline.”

The former TFL lands West of Sooke are mainly a combination of crown forest land and private tree farm license land, with small portions of privately held parcels. On February 11, 2010 the CRD passed third reading of bylaws pertaining to the planning and protection of the JDF rural resource lands, which will serve to prevent development that would negatively impact the rural resource nature of the area. The bylaws, however, do not cover the Shirley/Jordon River communities.

The CRD recognizes the value of the former Tree Farm License lands, their importance to local communities and to the Region for their ecological, recreational and scenic values. Any purchase of the lands will likely involve a collaboration between several levels of government, with a number of community partners providing additional funding. The CRD is currently working to identify and inventory environmental, recreational and wilderness areas through ongoing planning.

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For further information please contact:
Andy Orr, Senior Manager
Corporate Communications, CRD
Tel: 250.360.3229
Cell: 250.216.5492