Saturday, 8 March 2014

WOLF AGM TODAY

The day has arrived. I hope you can make it.


Annual General Meeting
                                   FOR WOLF(WATCHERS OF LANGLEY FORESTS)
Date:     March 08, 2014.
Time:     2 pm
Place:    Fort Langley Community Hall
9167 Glover Road ,
           Fort Langley, B.C.                                
For directions or more information                                                     
Phone WOLF Chair Kirk Robertson at 604-856-6849
or email: savemclellanpark@gmail.com  
Speaker: Dr. David R. Clements
Coordinator of Environmental Studies
Department of Biology
Trinity Western University
Dr. Clements will be talking about the research that the University is doing at the  Thomas Blaauw Forest (formerly known as Gray Pit or Mclellan Park Forest East)
 New members are welcome. There is a ten dollar membership fee. Membership is open to all ages with members 12 years and up able to vote.
We will be electing a Board of Directors. If you are interested in serving on the Board please contact Kirk Robertson(contact info above)

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

BROOKSWOOD PUBLIC HEARINGS TO GO FOR THIRD NIGHT

This notice on the Town ship of  Langley website will give some idea of how the public hearings went Tuesday night.  See this earlier post for background. More to follow.


The Public Hearing for the Brookswood/Fernridge Community Plan will reconvene on:



DATE: Wednesday, March 5, 2014

TIME: 7:00pm

LOCATION: George Preston Recreation Centre 20699 – 42 Avenue, Langley, BC



Item F.1  Brookswood/Fernridge Community Plan                                

Bylaw No. 5057                                

Bylaw No. 5058                                

Report 14-09                                

File CD LRP00001                                  



“Langley Official Community Plan Bylaw 1979 No. 1842 Amendment (Brookswood/Fernridge) 2014 No. 5057”; and “Brookswood/Fernridge Community Plan Bylaw 2014 No. 5058”

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

BROOKSWOOD

Those of you who live in Langley Township are doubtless aware of recent proposals that the Brookswood-Fernridge  area of South Langley be redeveloped . This was something that I know  would have an impact on wooded areas but I didn't really have a good handle on the issue.I am still working to educate myself. Then over the weekend a concerned Brookswood resident showed me and another member of WOLF around the neighbourhood. This Google aerial is overlayed over  the development plan area.  and shows how extensive the loss of forest could be.
The area outlined in red is slated for development under a plan currently making it's way through Township Council.
There are two significant areas. The area around 32nd Avenue near 200th St and the area around 208th
Street roughly between 32nd Avenue and  36th Avenue. But there are stands of trees throughout the neighbourhood.

It is very difficult to see how this kind of urban forest can survive under the proposed development. It is  particularly troubling that some owners have begun preemptive clearcuts.

This is all of great concern to the people who live in the neighbourhood and those who own property there as well. Certainly it will affect the future of all of Langley Township and ought to concern Langley residents throughout the municipality. But WOLF is a forest advocacy group and  why might we be concerned.

Some might think of WOLF as a bunch of people who just like trees and forest for aesthetic reasons. Although this is undoubtedly true as far as it goes it is not the whole truth. Forests play a vital role in our ecology here in the Lower Mainland. The loss of forest will significantly affect the human environment. Not the least of these impacts would be on our aquifers. Simply put trees play an immense role in conserving and filtering our groundwater. I have seen no evidence that Township has thought through the consequences for the Brookswood Aquifer if there is a singificant loss of trees in the Brookswood area. This aquifer is one of the most vulnerable aquifers in the region. Two other vulnerable aquifers are also in Langley Township.

How these wooded areas in private hands  can be conserved is a genuinely vexing problem but the current plan doesn't even confront the problem. Planting trees as replacements especially on this scale is a weak gesture.

Last night (Monday March 3) was the public hearings for the the bylaws changing the Official Community Plan. I would like to be able to give you a first-hand account of how it went but I can't. I stepped out of the Council chambers shortly before the hearings started and was unable to get back in due to the large overflow crowd. This picture gives you an idea of what the scene was like but does not do it full justice because it was taken after many people had already given up and left.
This is looking into the Council chambers just outside the main doors. There are more people in the lobby outside who are not visible in this picture.
 Apparently the crowd was in fact in excess of the fire regulations. The meeting became more and more raucous sounding from the vantage post outside. The people outside contributed to that noise as they murmured and sometimes shouted that they could not hear what was going on inside. A TV screen was turned on in the lobby but the volume only worked for about a minute.

After four speakers and a brief recess Council decided to adjourn the hearings until tonight at a new venue the George Preston Recreation Centre. Address 20699 – 42 Avenue, Langley, BC

The hearings start at 7pm. Tonight Tuesday March 4. I am told that the George Preston Centre seats 400 people.
I will try to let you know what happens if I can get in.
-Kirk Robertson






Wednesday, 26 February 2014

WOLF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

On Saturday March 08,2014 Watchers of Langley Forests will be holding our first Annual General Meeting at the Fort Langley Community Hall. This will be an opportunity for the founding  Board of Directors to report on what WOLF has accomplished in the last fifteen months to our membership. Our very first elections for the Board of Directors will also be held. If you are a member you should have received an official notice already but if you are not a member you can become one by paying a membership fee of ten dollars at the door. Address and contact info below.
Kirk Robertson
Chair
Watchers of Langley Forests


  


Annual General Meeting
                                   FOR WOLF(WATCHERS OF LANGLEY FORESTS)
Date:     March 08, 2014.

Time:     2 pm


Place:    Fort Langley Community Hall
9167 Glover Road ,
           Fort Langley, B.C.                                
For directions or more information                                                     
Phone WOLF Chair Kirk Robertson at 604-856-6849
or email: savemclellanpark@gmail.com  



Speaker: Dr. David R. Clements
Coordinator of Environmental Studies
Department of Biology
Trinity Western University

Dr. Clements will be talking about the research that the University is doing at the  Thomas Blaauw Forest (formerly known as Gray Pit or Mclellan Park Forest East)

 New members are welcome. There is a ten dollar membership fee. Membership is open to all ages with members 12 years and up able to vote.

We will be electing a Board of Directors. If you are interested in serving on the Board please contact Kirk Robertson(contact info above)

Monday, 20 January 2014

ACTION ALERT

  I hope that all of you will find the time  to help the  residents of Aldergrove who fighting to save this neighbourhood forest.
Please spread the word about this
Public hearings will be held at the Monday evening council this January 20 regarding the Township's development proposal for the former sewage treatment site between Bertrand Creek and the Abbotsford border. The address is 27540 28th Avenue. The site is now used as a water treatment site and is also the location of the Aldergrove weather station..Township has deemed most of the property to be surplus and has applied through an agent for the land to be subdivided into sixty-one single-family  lots. The southern portion of the development would mean cutting down a large part of the forest on the property. Local residents have organized a petition asking Council to scrap the twenty lots that would impact on the forest. We need people to come out to the hearings to show their support for the local neighbourhood. Aldergrove and Langley at large should not be loosing any of our rare urban forests. Although setbacks from the ecologically sensitive Bertrand Creek have been provided for under the plan building near the Creek should be approached with caution. I hope you will attend the hearings. This will be the last chance for the public to weigh in on this issue.  As in days past please wear green to show your support for the cause. Just so there is no confusion this is not about the Glen Valley forests which were for sale by Township and have since been spared.
If you are unable to attend in person please consider signing the electronic petition at
http://www.change.org/petitions/township-of-langley-protect-the-forested-southerly-portion-of-lot-27540-28th-avenue-aldergrove-bc
or more importantly writing a letter to the Township.
If you are unsure about what you could write or how to word what you’d like to express, e-mail ecological-footprint@outlook.com with subject heading: Request Letter, and you’ll receive an e-mail with a letter you
can sign and forward to legservicesinfo@tol.ca.)
You can find contact information for Mayor and Councillors here

Langley Township Council will be meeting at 7pm in the Fraser River Presentation Theatre Civic Facility, located at the 4th Floor, 20338 – 65 Avenue, Langley
Wear Green to show your support for keeping this forest intact.
This is not the only forest that is could be threatened by Township's decisions this year so stay tuned for further news.



WHILE THIS BLOGSPOT WAS SLEEPING

This blog has been silent for many months now. This was not intended and I hope to rectify that by catching people up in this post.Over the course of the Autumn of 2013 a long year and a half campaign to save the Mclellan forests in Glen Valley  wound to a close.What has once seemed impossible became reality. However there seemed less urgency to report good news than there had been to report the bad news. I think I felt compelled to write something profound that would sum up the the inspirational conclusion to so many months of hard work by so many people. Details that I wanted to nail down gave me excuses for neglecting my blogging duties.  November came and went. The holidays passed. Life interfered. My bad habit of procrastination reasserted itself. As a result many people may have missed some important facts or heard about them only by happenstance. Here is my attempt to rectify that.

In September 2013 Trinity Western University announced that thanks to the generosity of a local family it was purchasing the Mclellan Forest East. On September 24 a Dedication Ceremony was held to the memory of the late Thomas Blaauw.

Then in late October the Mayor announced that Mclellan Forest West or just Mclellan Park had been designated a Natural Park by Township Council. The ongoing concern that this parcel was not adequately protected had been unexpectedly resolved. The petition campaign that we had been conducting since the Spring in an low key manner came to an unexpected ending.

I will have more to say about what has been going on with TWU and the forest that they are now custodians. . A place with too many names already has a new name. Mclellan Park needs an official name from the Township. WOLF is looking forward to working with TWU and TOL with regard to the lands they have assumed responsibility for. 

Watchers of Langley Forests intends to continue as a going concern. We will continue to speak up for the conservation of forests throughout Langley. I hope to have an announcement shortly about our first Annual General Meeting. Mclellan Park Blogspot is now a misnomer but until further notice it and the facebook page will continue to be the place to find information about WOLF and our activities. I hope this will not be confusing for people.

Because in fact there are issues  that WOLF is involved with right now. But see the next post.

If anybody has questions or would like to get involved with WOLF please write to savemclellanpark@gmail.com.

Kirk Robertson
Chair
Watchers of Langley Forests

Monday, 16 September 2013

WOLF PRESS RELEASE SEPTEMBER 16

Watchers of Langley Forests
~ FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ~
Langley, BC. Monday, September 16, 2013.
The group Watchers of Langley Forests (WOLF) would like to thank the Blaauw family for their very generous gift of about $2.5 million that has enabled Trinity Western University to purchase ecologically valuable forest land in Glen Valley, Langley. “It is incredibly uplifting that the Blaauw family would be so generous to enable this key part of Langley’s natural heritage to be preserved forever,” said Petrina Arnason, WOLF board member.
WOLF had been working hard to raise public awareness of the regional significance of this forest over the last year, which had been offered for sale by the Township of Langley. WOLF previously held an option to purchase the land but was unable to raise the funds required by December 2012. In response to an outpouring of public concern, in January the Township decided to withdraw three of the five lots from the market, but left two for sale.
“That’s when Mrs. Ann Blaauw came to the rescue,” said Arnason. “She called one of our members and expressed interest in purchasing the forest so it could be protected for future generations.”
WOLF understands that the property will be owned by Trinity Western University, but protected by a conservation covenant that precludes development and allows for public access. “WOLF will thoroughly review the documents pertaining to this agreement between TOL and TWU as they become available to us” said Kirk Robertson,Chair of WOLF.
“We look forward to working with the Environmental Studies Department of TWU, which has invited us to help develop a conservation plan for this ecological treasure” added Robertson. “The significance of this property is well documented, and having faculty and students carry out further research will only increase our understanding and appreciation of this and other Langley forests.”
WOLF is grateful for the extensive support received from Langley residents, artists and writers across Canada, and will continue to advocate for the preservation of other ecologically significant forests in Langley.
Contact
savemclellanpark@gmail.com