Monday, October 29, 2012

Forest on chopping – er, auction – block

This past June saw news that a forest near Fort Langley was set to be auctioned off. An area described by a real estate agent as 'heavily treed' and a 'blank canvas' has begun attracting the attention of more than environmentalists.

It felt almost miraculous the way the heavy rains of the past few days relented yesterday, as that was the afternoon when artists, musicians, writers, and even a dancer performed in the forest of McLellan Park.

The goal of the event was to raise awareness of both the beauty and the plight of the area. Twenty-five acres of forest that has been deemed one-of-a-kind biologically in British Columbia is set to be sold off to raise funds for a new Recreation Centre in Aldergrove.

A rec centre is a good thing -- certainly a cause with the public in mind. However, there has to be a better way to find the money to finance construction of a building.

Face it, in 40 years (or maybe less), the rec centre will need to be replaced. Isn't that about the lifespan of most of our public facilities? Then, where will the money for that construction be found?

If McLellan Park is left undisturbed, in 40 years the forest will only be grander. And at the rate trees are being chopped these days, think of how much more valuable such a preserve will be.

If you'd like to express your thoughts on this to those who can change the outcome of the current plan, write a message to Mayor and Council Members of the Township of Langley.

If you'd like to ask the provincial government to get in on protecting this site, contact Langley MLA, Rich Coleman (

And if you believe this is a matter the Feds should be concerned about -- after all, they claim to be all about heritage preservation -- contact the area's Member of Parliament, Mark Warawa (

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