New Forest, Beach, and Waterfront Parks For South Island

CRD, conservation groups buy controversial Jordan River lands

By Judith Lavoie , Times ColonistMarch 5, 2010

The Capital Regional District has negotiated a massive deal with Western Forest Products to buy more than 2,300 hectares of high-profile waterfront and forest land, days before much of the southwest corner of Vancouver Island was set to go up for sale.

The agreement in principle, with a pricetag of $18.8 million, includes more than 3.5 kilometres of shoreline along Sandcut Beach and the Jordan River surfing beach and townsite. It also takes in land beside Sooke Potholes regional park and areas, such as Weeks Lake, that will add to the buffer around the Greater Victoria water supply’s catchment area and complete the Sea-to-Sea Greenbelt.


This is such good news for recreational types on the south island, not to mention all the thousands of visitors that come to enjoy everything the wild west coast has to offer. It is an example of our elected officials doing things that will benefit the people for generations. Thank you to everyone involved in this very positive outcome.

One of my favorite big tree areas alongside the upper Sooke River is one of the parcels involved. A few years back while biking up there I saw flagging outlining boundaries and marking trees. The Galloping Goose Trail, which I was riding on, is a linear park and is therefore very narrow and protects a very small bit of land and trees. Ancient trees hundreds of years old that survived the first, second, third and subsequent waves of logging looked like they might finally be coming down. It depressed me.

Now, with this latest acquisition, it looks like a wider area on both sides of the upper Sooke River will be preserved as a park.

There are individual giant trees in the Sooke River valley that will be saved because of this forward thinking decision-making. I look forward to being able to visit them until they fall down, or until I do. I will be devoting future posts to the tree-hunting possibilities within the new parks systems.

See you in our new parks, and don't forget about Muir Creek, still one of the best possibilities for preserving a nice bit of old growth. It would be a shame to gain all of this, and lose Muir Creek.

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