CRD Regional Parks Committee To Work on Acquisition of JDF Lands

Feb 17, 2010

Victoria, BC - The Capital Regional District Parks Committee met today to discuss the potential acquisition of some of the lands being sold by Western Forest Products in the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area. The lands were formerly part of the Provincial Tree Farm License (TFL), and are located in the Shirley/Jordan River Official Community Plan (OCP) planning area.

The Committee has asked staff to approach Western Forest Products with a request for additional time before the lands are put up for sale. “We need time to put together a funding partnership and conduct due diligence of land parcels in the JDF area,” said CRD Parks Committee Chair Christopher Causton. “These parcels include, but are not limited to, Sandcut Beach and the Jordan River Surfer’s Beach areas. Additional time will give us the opportunity to assess the most important areas for potential acquisition.” A 90 day time period is being requested.

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. Discussions will take place with local conservation groups such as The Land Conservancy of BC and the Provincial and Federal governments. Partnerships with these groups would aid in the purchase of the most significant areas for preservation and public use.

A CRD special Parks Committee meeting and a special Board Meeting will be called to continue to discuss the JDF lands and their regional significance. The CRD is also currently working to identify and inventory environmental, recreational and wilderness areas through ongoing planning.

For further information, please visit the CRD website at: www.crd.bc.ca.

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