Wednesday, 30 January 2013


Watchers of Langley Forests Society (WOLF)


Township of Langley Council announced their intention on Monday to sell 10 acres of McLellan Park Forest plus an additional 10 acres of the adjoining Grey Pit. The Township of Langley did not discuss their final plans with any members of WOLF prior to making this decision and announcement.

The 10 acres of the McLellan Park Forest that you have been working hard to protect is the most easterly section located off of 260th Street. This section of the forest is more wetland and bog habitat. It is the intersection of these wetlands and the drier, more trail friendly conifer sections to the west that has been identified as potential habitat to species at risk such as the Pacific Water Shrew, Oregon Spotted Frog and even possible nesting sites for the Great Blue Heron.

This 10 acres is currently configured as two - 5 acre lots and COULD BE SOLD AT ANY TIME! 

If the Township of Langley Council is at all serious about PROTECTING habitat for SPECIES AT RISK then they must place RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS  prior to the sale of these properties. These restrictive covenants are the bare minimum that is required to ensure that this valuable remnant of a once abundant ecosystem is preserved.

Several Council members and even one local builder/developer have tried to assure members of WOLF that all care will be taken to protect the forest even while development of these lots and the construction of new homes takes place. If that is truly the case then Council, potential developers and future buyers of these properties will also want to ensure that the critical habitat for species at risk has not been destroyed and they will also want to guarantee that these habitats are protected in the future by placing an appropriate restrictive covenant on them prior to their sale.

Please contact the Mayor and Council today! Let them know that you demand that HABITAT FOR SPECIES AT RISK MUST BE PROTECTED. Insist that, if they are determined to sell these properties, RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS must first be added to the properties.

Thank you for your continued assistance and support!

Watchers of Langley Forests

Copyright © 2013 Watchers of Langley Forests Society (WOLF), All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013


As you can read below the Township Council voted Monday to sell two of the lots of the forest that were already for sale as well as two lots that were not for sale. This would be all the lots along 260th. All the lots along 257A are to be preserved. The Township is presenting this as an acceptable compromise. It is not. The forest is a whole ecosystem and must be preserved as such. When you loose half a forest in size you get something less than half a forest. This land has been identified by the provincial Ministry of Environment as having regional ecological significance and as being an important candidate for an ecological reserve. The Council is aware that Minister of Environment has been asked to get involved in order to save this property. Rather than adding their voice  to ours  they have chosen to ignore these issues. This is not any kind of balance that respects the environment. This is lip service.

Let the Mayor know what you think.

Please continue to write to the Minister of the Environment. Barring Township Council changing their mind only timely intervention from the provincial government can save this forest now.

More soon.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Press Release from Township of Langley

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Monday, January 28, 2013


I am pleased to announce that Council made a decision during tonight’s in-camera meeting regarding the sale of the east Glen Valley properties commonly known as Gray Pit.
After much deliberation, Council decided that the Township will keep all of the parcels to the west along 257A Street – totaling 25 acres, more than half of the total property – while authorizing the sale of the four lots to the east along 260 Street.
This decision comes after hearing much input from the community, from people passionate about preserving these lands. Council agreed that this forested land is an important and valuable environmental area and is significant to our community.
The area being retained is the treed portion of the former gravel pit site and remediation work will be done to the property where necessary and Council may consider designating as parkland in the future.
Of the four eastern lots to be sold, the sale of the two lots to the north will proceed immediately. Improvements to and remediation of the two lots of the south will be made before those can be sold.
In the meantime, Council has also authorized the use of borrowing from other Township surplus and reserves, including short term borrowing of less than five years, to fund the Aldergrove Community Centre until the land sales occur.
Staff has been directed to allocate $1.5 million per year from the Township’s annual surplus to the Land Reserve Fund for five years.
This follows Council’s decision in July not to sell 21 acres along 84 Avenue, between 252 and 254 Street, commonly known as McLellan Forest.
Now, in total, nearly 50 acres of Glen Valley land will be retained, and approximately 20 will be marketed.
This was an issue that truly mobilized the community and Council was grateful for your contributions and input. With this decision, we feel we have struck a balance between retaining environmentally significant land that residents have shown is a much valued resource and the need to raise funds for a new recreation centre for the community.

Friday, 25 January 2013


A documentary prepared by LFAS students about the Mclellan Forest East should be released to the public very soon. We will let you know.

Thursday, 24 January 2013


Check out this story that has been showing  on Joytv10 for over a week.

Please keep writing those letters to the Minister of the Environment. Hope to start publishing some of them soon.  Also write to the Mayor and Council. before their decision on Monday.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013


Township Council has once again deferred making any decision regarding the proposed sale of the Mclellan Park East(aka the Gray Pit Lands) until at least Monday January 28. This has been confirmed by Legislative Services at the Township. A note to that effect should be found in the minutes of from Monday's meetings. Those minutes should be available for public viewing on the Township website by Friday.

We don't know why the Mayor and  Council has put off the decision but it surely has something to do with the public interest in saving this threatened forest and the ecological issues that WOLF has identified. Please continue to express your support for saving this ecological gem. As always please do so in a courteous and polite manner. WOLF thanks you for your support.

Please continue to write to the Minister of the Environment to ask him to get involved in finding a solution to this problem. When you do so cc your message to the Mayor and Council and your MLA. Already peole from acroos the Province have already written. The forest is of reginoal ecological significance and saving it should be a provincial issue and not just a local issue.

-Kirk Robertson

Wednesday, 16 January 2013


Accomplished Langley artist Susan Falk visited endangered McLellan Forest East in Glen Valley east of Fort Langley during an arts and activism event in the forest on Oct. 28, 2012. Afterwards, she was inspired to create this piece, “McLellan Forest,” which she later generously donated to the local conservationist group WOLF (Watchers of Langley Forests) to help further their efforts to see this rare ecosystem protected for future generations.
Langley artist Susan Falk with her work "McLellan Forest" at the Fort  Gallery
WOLF is selling the painting by silent auction  at The Fort Gallery. Bids begin at $400.00 and the bidding goes till the end of February Bidding is in increments of fifty dollars. People can bid either at the Fort Gallery personally or by emailing Susan Falk at  

WOLF would like to express their gratitude to Susan Falk for her generosity in this matter.

Check out  these newspaper  stories.

Langley Times- For the Forest


Tuesday, 8 January 2013


Yesterday Watchers of Langley Forests sent a letter to the Minister of Environment for the Province of British Columbia. In the letter WOLF asks the Minister for aid  in conserving the the Mclellan Park East Forest(also known as the Gray Pit Lands). You can read the letter here.

This forest is of regional ecological significance and would be an great candidate for provincial Ecological Reserve. The Lower Mainland Region of the Ministry of the Environment has already identified it as priority for acquisition. The conservation of the this land in it's natural state is matter of importance for all of British Columbia. What is needed is political will. Which brings us to how all of you can help.

WOLF has started the process. Now for this issue to capture the attention of the Minister and the Provincial Government  others will have to raise their voices. In the nest few days please take the time to write a short letter or email to the Minister of Environment asking him to get involved. As always is it is important to be polite and courteous. The Province has not done anything wrong here. They did not cause this problem but they can be part of the solution.

The Minster of Environment is Terry Lake. His email address is :

His  mailing address is:                                                   
Hon. Dr. Terry Lake
Minister of Environment
Room 112
Parliament Buildings

Victoria, BC

V8V 1X4

Address him as Minister Lake. Given the short time frame emails are better than letters. Consider cc'ing any email to your local MLA.

Another thing that can be done is to write a letter to the editor for the Vancouver Sun or The Province.

-Kirk Robertson

Wednesday, 2 January 2013


Happy New Year everyone. Our Christmas blogging hiatus is now over. I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays. Some of you may even still be on holiday. The break is over for  Watchers of Langley Forests though. January is going to be a busy month. As you can read here Township Council has put off any decision about the sale of the Mclellan Forest East parcel(also known as the Gray Pit lands)  until January 21. We believe that we have a strong case for the conservation of this  ecologically valuable forest but Council has not yet made up their minds.

In the days to come we will have information on this site about how you can help including an important message about reaching out to the provincial government. Hint it involves writing letters.The general public's assistance in this matter is  not only greatly appreciated but it is also essential. This is not just a matter for the people of Langley Township but also the entire Lower Mainland Region and indeed the whole province. This forest is of regional ecological significance and it will not be saved without people from outside as well as inside Langley speaking up. As always when you do so it is important to be polite and courteous.

As you may know the Langley Advance named the campaign to save the forests in Glen Valley the News Story of 2012. In the spring and early summer we were just a small group of neighbours and concerned citizens.The name Watchers of Langley Forest had not even been thought of. We  would not have become newsmakers without the support of members of the  public beyond Glen Valley. I want to thank everyone for their support. Not only did it make us an impact on the media more importantly it made an impact at the political level.The point of getting media attention  in the end is to change public policy for the better. We are not done yet and I hope that the  that the work of WOLF and all of you on affecting public policy makes everyone realize that they can make a difference. Making your voice  heard on something that matters in your community is not a futile exercise. It can and does create change. Halfway there is no time to stop.

Just before Christmas Watchers of Langley Forests received official status as a registered society. You can become a member of WOLF by following the directions at this blog post. At the moment the process is limited to  snail mail but if we can figure out a way to do it electonically that is secure,efficient and economical we will do so.

I would like to remind everyone that you can follow us on twitter or  like us on facebook. You can subscribe to our newsletter by going here.

That all for now. There will be more to come soon.In the meantime here is a link that will take you some videos on youtube. You can also view this photo album.

-Kirk Robertson
Vice Chair
Watchers of Langley Forests