Monday, 30 July 2012


The Watchers of Langley Forests are seeking volunteers to help with an  event or events on the August long weekend. Let us know what you can help with and we will see what we can do to build around it. For now we are planning a free guided tour at the Gray Pit site and some petition gathering in at least one location in Langley.You can reach us at Include the subject line Volunteer.
UPDATE ;Watchers of Langley Forest will be holding a petition gathering drive in Fort Langley on August 5.The free guided tours will be on the August 12 weekend. Everything above about letting us know how you can help and we will see about how to build something around that still applies
FURTHER UPDATE: For those of you who are not familiar with forest we are trying to save here is a brief outline. The Gray Pit forest is the rather awkward name we have given to the twenty five acres of coniferous and deciduous trees behind the inactive gravel pit known as Gray Pit. The forest divided into five lots has been owned by the Township of Langley for seventy to ninety years. Recently the municipality put it up for sale. Another twenty one acres of conifer forest about three blocks west was also put on the market.After public protest the sale of this property ,sometimes known as Mclellan Park, was cancelled.The Gray Pit forest still remains for sale although the Township for now does not seem to be actively marketing it.A group of Langley citizens have come together to seek the preservation of both forests.We are calling ourselves the Watchers of Langley Forests or WOLF. It is important to keep this story front and center in order to increase public awareness and keep the pressure on Township of Langley. The upcoming events are part of that strategy.To learn more about environmental concerns we have tried to raise and how our campaign has progressed  you can read this blog. If you have any questions send an email to the word Question in the subject.

WOLF Speaks to Mayor and Council

On July 22 weekend a number of Langley residents came together to discuss the conservation of the forested lands in Glen Valley. We reached a consensus to call our group the Watchers of Langley Forests.
The July 23 Evening meeting of Township Council was the first opportunity for our group to make delegations to Council.
The statement in this link was made by Scott Perry on behalf of  Watchers of Langley Forests.
The statement in this link was made by Hilary Ruffini ,also with WOLF
The statement by Kirk Robertson,also with WOLF, was made with the aid of  a rough sketch
You can watch the whole thing here
To access click on the link.Click on the link under Archived Council meeting.A pop up will appear inside your window.Click on July 23 on the calendar in the top right hand corner.Select regular evening meeting at the top of the list and the video should play. The delegations begin about the  21:49 mark

Saturday, 21 July 2012


Andrew Gage from West Coast Environmental Law sent a letter to Mayor and Council on Friday July 20,2012.You can read it here.

Friday, 20 July 2012


Good evening.

 My name is Hilary Ruffini.I have lived in the area for 38 years.

 I’m here to ask council to defer any sale of these lands until all environmental issues for the area have been addressed by some holistic and public plan. The taxpayers of Langley are custodians of some very diverse areas and via the Council of the day, commissioned an expert survey and advice in the form of the Westwater Research Centre Environmental Study, which had major public input, and from the O’Connor Associates Township gravel site survey.
        1. The Fraser River Action Plan, 1999, identifies West Creek and Palmateer Creek – which includes East and Williams Creeks – as “Endangered” with heavy irrigation use and water quality problems defined. It makes recommendations for Municipal management which includes several forms of protection that affect the “Mclellan” aquifer.
         2. The Westwater study identifies this whole area as highly environmentally sensitive. Its recommendations for the conifer forest (#47) are – thankfully – now taken care of but the first one was:       
               a. Maintain existing forested vegetation to protect local aquifer recharge and minimize pollution.

       Recommendations for the aquifer (#48) include:
                            a. Control or minimize residential development using septic disposal systems in order to protect groundwater quality.
                            b. Maintain existing forested vegetation to protect the aquifer.
                            c. Improve farm management practices that would affect the aquifer.
                            d. Prevent water quality deterioration since the aquifer provides local water supply for West and East Creeks.

The Gravel report made these recommendations:

               The conifer site should not be used.
               For the old Gray Pit, used for municipal waste disposal, it suggests that, because of potential environmental liabilities the Township might find it beneficial to cease operations and consider rehabilitation of the site. It borders the non ALR properties still up for sale.
     In every way the sale of these lands seems to flout these commissioned recommendations that, reasonably, we expect to be taken into serious consideration.

All the properties sit squarely atop the aquifer and have been put up for sale with no apparent restrictions as to environmental use. There will be 5 septic systems, 5 domestic wells, every property will have extensive tree removal and ground disturbance simply to access and live there. If, as is likely, there is some form of farming on them, there will be added water and pollution pressure in an environmentally sensitive area four blocks from the Fraser River. There needs to be environmental guidelines in place before any sale.

 It has been a scramble for residents to find the existing documentation to support this request, which would not have been necessary if a proper plan had been disclosed by the Township using a publicly explained planning process and taking into account the recommendations.

 There has been an unfortunate breakdown in communications between the Township and residents impacted by this sale. A newspaper notification was not enough – especially when, at the last council meeting, I heard how many letters were mailed out in connection with other permits, how landscape and tree concerns were addressed in other planning processes. I still fail to understand why residents of the Glen Valley area were not afforded the same courtesy. Much angst could have been avoided with a little more communication.

Regarding whether the conifer forest was every designated as park, I’ll mention this. In the mid 70’s I explored our new area on foot using a map obtained at the municipal hall. It clearly marked this area as Park Reserve. Not seeing a park sign and not wanting to trespass I checked with a senior pioneer family member who told me that it had been deeded to the Township for park use. We understand that was not officially the case.

The conifer forest, which is the most visible concern, is unique and has grown to its vigorous arboreal teenage years as an intact ecosystem, strong enough to repel all invasive species that plague other more managed wetlands and parks. 90 years of wonderful neglect since Mary Steel Crawford bought the westernmost edges in 1922 has produced this. Destroy or disturb it and you will never be able to replace it. It doesn’t need any form of development – it could do with another 90 years of doing what it is obviously doing well just by itself - and nobody has even mentioned its possible historical significance in terms of Langley farming and pioneer era.

I will finish with one quote from the ESA report that is applicable to all areas of Township planning, especially in this highly scenic area. It is referring to scenic values but you could easily substitute environmental.

“It must be realized that the loss of any benefits conferred by vegetation and wetlands represent a real cost to society. If scenic quality in the Township is lost, the long-term economic loss to the Township may not be easily measurable, but it will occur.”

Respectfully submitted: Hilary Ruffini

Thursday, 19 July 2012

I  have not disappeared. I have just been distracted. I know that interest is fading but now more than ever. It is important to keep up the pressure on Coucil and keep this issue front and center in the public's eye . I feel that for the last few days I have failed in that regard and for that I apologize. If you care about this issue you can write a letter to the editor or contact a media outlet and ask them why they haven't  did more to cover this issue.You can still contact the Mayor and Council by phone or email.

Mayor Jack Froese 604-533-6000

Kim Richter -- 604-340-9517
David Davis -- 604-888-1402
Michelle Sparrow -- 604-340-5087
Bev Dornan --  604-340-1554
Bob Long -- 604-671-8948
Charlie Fox -- 604-532-3587
Grant Ward -- 604-532-3584
Steve Ferguson --  604-532-3585

Monday, 16 July 2012


Here's a link to the story Rene Filippone did last Thursday. A hearty if belated welcome to all those who found us by way of that story and Thank you to Early Edition for putting up a link.



Here is a copy of a letter sent by Bob Puls to Mayor and Council on behalf of Langley Field Naturalists dated July 12.

Saturday, 14 July 2012


Anyone who would like to sign the petition to save the  Gray Road Forest behind Gray Pit and to give it and Mclellan Park forest official status as a park can do so outside the Nature's Fare store on 200th street (near Highway 10) tomorow from 1 pm to 5 pm. Live music and outside vendors will also there. If you can't make it then you can always sign the petition on site when the free guided tours are going on Sunday from noon to five.


Here is a link on the Township website to the July 9 evening council meeting.To access clck on the link.Click on the link under Archived Council meeting.A pop up will appear inside your window.Click on July 9 on the calendar in the top right hand corner.Select evening meeting part 1 and the video should play. The delegations begin almost immediately after a quick adoption of the minutes.

Unfortunately the Township does not provide video of the public hearing portion of the evening meeting.It was just before that at seven o'clock that the Mayor read his statement. You can read a statement of the actual decisions made by Council here.
It is a shame that public hearings are not available online  because you cannot see why we were so late at Council. The soil removal application at 52nd and 264th was umm interesting to say the least.If you don't already know the details here is the Langley Times article. And yes that is our Stuart Bucholtz and no he had not intended to speak. He just felt compelled to speak just like the three or four other people who spontaneously spoke up.You had to be there.
Did I mention that there are free guided tours for the public of both Mclellan Park and the Gray Road Forest?  I did . Ok consider this a reminder.


Here it is. A little later than I planned. The portions in blue were dropped because of time constraints. Some parts of her actual speech were ad libed because of the changing circumstances. The text and actual speech differ slightly in a few other places.

Friday, 13 July 2012


This is the statement Hillary Ruffini gave to Council on July 09.
Note the relevance of her remarks not just to the Mclellan Park forest but also to the Gray Road Forest.

Barb Shelly's statement will be published shortly.


This may be our last chance to save the Gray Road Forest. Make sure to tell people about this opportunity to see both it and "Mclellan Park" so they can judge for themselves. Remember neither has official or nature preserve status. YET. We can't rest until they do.

If you want to visit these special places, located at the corner of 252nd Street and 84th Avenue and just blocks away on 257a Street, let me tell you two ways to get there.
1) Exit Fort Langley by way of River Road. Follow River Road past Armstrong Road and over the West Creek Bridge. At the West Creek Bridge the road turns and becomes 88th Avenue. Follow 88th to the next turnoff at 252nd . Turn down 252nd until the next intersection. McLellan Park will be at the northeast corner of that intersection with Aldor Acres kitty corner to it.Gray Road Forest is just 5 blocks east with access to the trailhead on the side street 257a.
2) If your coming from Aldergrove or the freeway come down 264th street until you get to to the flatlands of Glen Valley. Turnoff at 84th Avenue and keep going until you get 257a. The trailhead is up that side street. From 84th Avenue McLellan Park is just blocks away due west.

Please remember that this a residential street and to respect private property and when you get to the forest remember that this is public property and wildlife habitat that we are trying to conserve so please act in a responsible manner towards nature.So all pets should be kept on a leash etc.

Thursday, 12 July 2012


Here is the text of the resolutions that were carried or defeated by Township Council on Monday night.


You may have seen earlier that I posted ten pages of the 1993 Environmental Sensitive Areas Report. Since the five lots that make up the heart and soul of the Gray Road forest located in Area 48 are still for sale and thus  in  immediate danger I want to focus on the management guidelines for that area that were recommended to Township nearly twenty years ago.  How it is possible to develop these parcels and respect these guidelines.
The first paragraph reads :
AQUIFER -improve the management of pesticides, fertilizers and manure use in farming systems on aquifers -maintain existing forested vegetation to protect (local) aquifer recharge and to minimize pollution -control/minimize residential use of septic systems and restrict new residential development that requires septic disposal systems, in order to protect groundwater quality -prevent Water quality deterioration in aquifer, since it provides local water supply for West and East Creek.    


Members ot the public will have a chance to take guided tours from  noon to five Sunday July 15.No appointment necessary. See for yourself what could be lost if we do not act now. Tours will be available at both Mclellan Park and the Gray Pit Forest.
If you have any questions send them to or call 604 888 1236.
No appointment is necessary but we would like to have a rough idea what to expect so let us know by using the above contacts or leave a comment on this post. Any questions left in the comments will also be answered. Watch this space for more information.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012


The fact are in  a state of confusion. A news release from the Township issued Tuesday morning quoted the Mayor as saying that ;
“Those bids have been rejected and staff will negotiate with the highest bidders to try to obtain a price in accordance with Council Policy and appraised values,” says Mayor Froese.
This gave an ominous clarity to the what the Mayor said Monday night;
"Those bids have been rejected and staff has been directed by Council to market the eastern propertiesand obtain the maximum value in accordance with Council Policy and appraised values. Township staffwill also evaluate and prepare other appropriate Township properties for disposition and look at alternative funding arrangements to purchase the Aldergrove School site and construct the recreation centre."
I had hoped that this meant the sale process would have to begin all over again and we woud have time to convince council that the Gray Pit Forest should also be preserved along with Mclellan Park Forest. That hope was premature. I was deeply concerned about the prospect of the five parcels being sold in a matter of weeks and months. I made inquiries. A blog post was written but left unpublished  Based on a conversation I had with Stuart Bucholtz about ten o'clock the information he received from a councillor is that  Council has not instructed the staff to negotiate with the highest bidders but rather a decision was made to list the five lots constituting the Gray Pit Forest on MLS. Like I said the facts are in a state of confusion.

This much seems clear though. Contrary to my initial naive hopes the Gray Pit Forest could potentially be sold sooner rather than later. Those of us who believe that it should be preserved need to express our opposition to the sale now. We cannot wait for the story out of Township Hall to become ungarbled.
  I urge everyone  to contact Mayor and Council and respectfully tell them that these lands should be preserved for future generations. If Council  feels unable to do that at this time then at the very least the sale should be deferred so that public consultation and  proper environmental assessments can occur.

Mayor Jack Froese 604-533-6000

Kim Richter -- 604-340-9517
David Davis -- 604-888-1402
Michelle Sparrow -- 604-340-5087
Bev Dornan --  604-340-1554
Bob Long -- 604-671-8948
Charlie Fox -- 604-532-3587
Grant Ward -- 604-532-3584
Steve Ferguson --  604-532-3585

Please do it soon.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012


Here is the Mayor' Statement in full from last night. There is a lot to digest though of course the most important thing is that the properties that were for sale seem to be out of immediate danger


Joe Foy ,National Campaign Director of the Wildernesss Committe sent the following letter to Mayor and Council on Monday July 9,2012.


July 9,2012
To: Township of Langley Mayor and Councillors
Re: proposed sale of township lands located at NE corner 252nd Street and 84th Avenue approximately 21 acres in 3 titles

To: Mayor and Council, Langley Township

I am the National Campaign Director for the Wilderness Committee. We are a Canadian nature conservation organization, headquartered in Vancouver BC. We have about 60,000 members and supporters from coast to coast to coast.
I was born in 1954 in the township, and spent my youth in Langley and in Surrey along the border between the two municipalities. My parents and several of my siblings still live in the area.
Last week I received a phone call from concerned citizens, followed by several information packages about a proposed sale of township lands located at the North East corner of 252nd Street and 84th Avenue, approximately 21 acres in 3 titles. I am informed that many local people have only recently become informed of the Township’s intention, as there was no signage of the notice of intention to sell on any of these lands – and that people are generally opposed to the sale of these lands. People believe that the lands have a very high natural area value and they put a high value on the fact that these are publically-owned lands. There is some information that suggests people thought that these lands had been set aside as parkland.
I am informed that this site is covered in 80 to 100 year old conifer trees, but that because there are some deciduous trees as well, and that the forest has been designated as a mixed forest by the Township. I am told that the Township has had owned these lands since acquiring them for almost nothing in the 1930s and 40s. It may very well be that some of the facts that I have are wrong or inaccurate in some way. But, because the sale of these lands appears to be moving so fast, it is very hard to gather properly all the relevant information in such a short time. That’s why our organization asks that Mayor and Council cancel or at least defer the sale of these lands until a reasonable period of time is provided to seek greater public input and information from the residents of Langley regarding these old forested lands. I know that older forests such as this are rare in Langley and that further investigation may reveal that this is the only one remaining on lands that the Langley Township actually owns. I ask that Council take the time to review the unique value of this old forested property and the possible preservation of this property for all residents of Langley.
In closing I would say that the logging of old growth forest in Langley and Surrey did not start until the 1880s. Less than fifty years later, in 1929 there was a public debate about what to do with the last remaining significant stand of old growth forest, located at Surrey’s Green Timbers. Sadly it was cut down. Perhaps, if the right decisions are made, in another 100 or 150 years this Langley stand of old forest will once again approach it’s former old growth forest grandeur.


Joe Foy
Wilderness Committee National Campaign Director
 Obviously things have changed a little since but I think it is fair to say that the Township has only really acted on the first sentence that is boldfaced.


As many of you may already know last night we won a stay of execution but not a full pardon. At the start of council meeting the Mayor read a statement announcing that the the three lots for sale at the corner of 252nd and 84th ,otherwise known as Mclellan Park or Area 47, were being taken off the market and that the five lots behind Gray Pit were still for sale but that the bids for them had been rejected
 I would like join others in thanking the Mayor and Council for this decision. I am sure that they have not had an easy time in the  last two weeks. Public office can be a difficult job and this story is proof of that. Council has made a good decision here and that deserves recognition. The difficult  job that elected officials have also deserves recognition. I am sure that many others join me in saying Thank you.
Those who helped bring us to this moment also deserve many thanks. Whether you  signed the petition, helped collect signatures, gave advise, did research, made speeches ,gave interviews ,assumed a leadership role or merely helped to spread the word each of you played a part.As someone who has been involved in my own small way in this fight I know I know only a fraction of those who contributed and only a fraction of what each did. Our group,our "organiztion " has had  too many parts and  too many demands in too short a time for anyone to really know the countless people who have helped us get to this point. Thank you to one and all from one of your companions in arms.
But now is not the time for laying down. We cannot stop until we have secured official park status for not only Mclellan Park but for the Gray Pit properties. The few short weeks this has been going on has shown the ecological importance of both places. Time will doubtless reveal more. But we know enough to say that for a host of reason these places should be conserved for future generation. Park or nature preserve status would do that and prevent this issue from needlessly being revisited in a few years time. In the case of Gray Pit this is the 2nd time that people have fought to preserve it in thirteen years. We need to achieve certainty.
We can do that.The last few weeks have shown what citizens can do in a democracy. Those who fought the logging of Gray Pit. at the start of the century also showed that it possible  contrary to the saying "to fight City Hall" What was was once regarded as a sure thing is now stillborn. If this sale is revived it will be in large part because those who fought it in the first place walked away from the fight.
We need to regard the fact that we are the main thing that will make this happen not as a scary thing but as a source of strength.We need to finish not just what we have started but what was started when people rallied to save Gray Pit  over ten years ago.Let's do it again only better.In the words of Stuart Bucholtz "Don't assume someone else will do it"
Blogging will resume sometime in the afternoon.

Monday, 9 July 2012

In Case You Didn't Know Langley Township Council is Meeting Tonight

20338 65th Ave on the
4th floor of the Township Building in the
Fraser River Presentation Theatre

Hope to see you there as we fight together to save these precious woodlands. Please be courteous and respectful to Mayor and Council as we invite them to do the right thing.Don't forget to wear green.

ESA Report

Here are  ten pages from the 1993 Environmental Sensitive Areas report.They deal with the Glen valley area in general including Area 47 better known as Mclellan Park and Area 48 of which the Gray Pit Woods are a part of.

Monday Evening Meeting

Just  a friendly reminder that Township Council is meeting at 7:00 pm in the Fraser River Presentation Theatre located on the 4th floor of the Township Building at 20338 65th Ave.

If you are Langley resident who cares about saving these forests  then  I would ask that you be there to show where you stand on this question.
Thank you.

Monday Night

council agenda
I thought I would take a few minutes and lay out as best I could what to expect tonight  at the council meeting mostly in terms of procedure.Since this is only the  second council meeting that I have attended I can hardly claim expert status so everyone should consider themselves forewarned. The council agenda consists of twenty items of business each given a letter running in alphabetical order from the first in time to the last.Thus A is the first thing to be considered and T the last.There are three items to be considered by council that are relevant to the fight to keep the Mclellan park and Gray pit forests.

Item D is the delegations. Five people will speak .Scott Perry,Stuart Bucholtz,Barbara Shelly,Albert Anderson,and Hillary Ruffini. Each will have five minutes to speak. All are friends of Mclellan Park.

 I've copied and pasted the other two items from the agenda They are the fifteenth item:
 O. ITEMS BROUGHT FORWARD FOR PUBLIC INFORMATION FROM SPECIAL CLOSED MEETINGS The following item is brought forward from the June 25, 2012 Special Closed Council meeting: 1. Glen Valley Lots Offered for Sale That the following memorandums from the Manager, Property Services be released to the public:  memorandum (Item H.3) dated June 19, 2012 from the Manager, Property Services, regarding Glen Valley lots offered for sale; and  memo dated June 25, 2012 (Item H.6) from the Manager, Property Services, regarding Township-owned properties in Glen Valley. Section 90(1) (e) Property; (k) Negotiations CARRIED

I'm not gotng to speculate as to what is in these memorandums excepts to say that since they are dated before the close of bidding so  they can't be expected to contain any final bids.

The eighteenth item is;
 R. OTHER BUSINESS At the June 25, 2012 Regular Evening Meeting of Council, Councillor Richter provided the following Notices of Motion: 1. Land Disposition Policy Be it resolved that staff amend the land disposition policy to ensure maximum public notification/exposure of sale properties and maximum financial return on property sales as well as final Council approval of all sale prices. 2. Disposition of Surplus Township-Owned Lands Be it resolved that Council and senior staff adopt a policy of touring surplus Township-owned lands prior to deciding to sell lands.

Note that this speaks directly to what Stuart Bucholtz said at the last monday evening meeting June 25.

Well that's your general overview I hope it helps

You really dont have anything to say???

Anyone  who is interested in the previous post should email <>, or as soon as possible.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Trail Map

If you are looking to find your way or just to get lost for a few hours here is something that might help.

Larri Woodrow Continues to Speak Out

The following was written by Larri Woodrow of the BCWF as an open letter to Mayor and Council

Your Worship Mayor Froese and Councillors,

Re: The sale of Township properties, including vacant roadways.

I invite you to read Pete McMartin's column in today's Saturday Sun.
In late April, Katherine and I travelled Europe's Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers aboard Viking's Odin, a new ship on her maiden voyage, from Amsterdam to Budapest, a 15 day cruise with numerous lengthy stops along the way. Often I chose Europe's woodsy trail walks over streets and shops. Trees held numerous bird nesting boxes, but there was an obvious lack of birds compared to my walks along our Langley and Metro trails. 

For those who choose to rise with the sun to walk our wetlands trails in springtime, our male blackbirds especially can be heard singing their hearts out in chorused competition for mates along our marshlands. Europe's birds have mostly been silenced by mankind's overwhelming supremacy. We're now the dominant occupants and most raucous noisemakers. For those who choose to walk tuned to Nature (without earphones or Ipads) our noisemakings are not songs of budding spring love, but of industry in constant progress.

McMartin has it right. Do you?

I ask that you demonstrate reason and balance by voting for the birds---for fish and wildlife habitat conservation. Keep these properties in pubic trust. Voting to retain Township properties is important, especially for future generations. It's important right now for fish & wildlife. As scientists recently pointed out to world leaders gathered in Brazil at the Rio+20 Summit Conference, conserving fish & wildlife habitat will help ensure our survival. 

"A LAND FIT FOR FISH AND WILDLIFE IS A LAND FIT FOR PEOPLE" ---was the slogan at our annual April BC Wildlife Federation Convention and AGM held in Courtenay. Our 40,000 plus members in BC need the help of every mayor and council. Right now, I have you "in my sights".

I look forward to Monday evening's meeting and the Greens turn-out. I regret to report that I didn't get back home in time to register to present directly to you.

FOR SALE:    "NO TREES OF INTEREST" --as advertised on

Larri Woodrow
21501 85A Court
Director, Lower Mainland Region, BC Wildlife Federation
Director, Trails Society of BC

Larri Woodrow Speaks Out

Larri Woodrow at the British Columbia Wilderness Federation sent the following letter to the editor printed in the Langley Times.

Editor: There has been plenty of evidence that fish and wildlife habitat destruction leads to increased human suffering and our eventual extinction. This point was made clear to world leaders from 169 nations at the Rio+20 Conference.
I suggest that readers look at reports from that conference.
Given our obvious circumstances, it makes no sense to sell off Langley Township-owned forested properties, including vacant road allowances.
To do so for short-term tax relief reasons ignores the greater need to protect our fish and wildlife habitat to ensure their survival and ours as well.
While I was not able to attend Monday’s council meeting about the sale of forested lands in Glen Valley, count me with the Greens.
Larri Woodrow, director,
Lower Mainland Region,
BC Wildlife Federation,

Stuart Bucholtz Like You've Never Read Him Before

For those of you who could not read the previous post showing the statement that Stuart Bucholtz made to Council June 25 or merely craved the opening words here it is in a new and improved format. Now might be a good time to mention that if you have any trouble reading or viewing anything just tell us in the comments. Since nobody is commenting we will notice. If that is not satisfactory just send us email at and include the phrase unreadable blog in the subject line. Our apologies if you have been having trouble. We will do our best to fix it as soon as possible.

Fort Langley Resident Speaks Out

Bays Blackhall , a Fort Langley resident long active with heritage conservation has written the following letter to  to the Mayor and Council.It was subsequently published in the paper.


At the July 9 council meeting five delegations will speak before council against the sale of McLlellan Park and Gray Pit forests and for their conversion to park status. If you missed your chance to apply to speak as a delegation at the July 09 council and if you believe they should be preserved for future generations one of the delegations may be able to read a statement on your behalf. Preference will be given to those who can speak in plain and easy to understand language to the ecological issues involved from a scientific background and/or represents  a conservation group.  Any statement would have to  be clear concise polite and five minutes or less. If you are interested send and email to . Include the word delegation in the subject line. Or you can contact Barb Shelly  <>,
Time is of the essence!!!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Langley Field Naturalists

The following letter was sent to Mayor and Council on May 29 on behalf of Langley Field Naturalists

Friday, 6 July 2012

Langley Citizen Speaks Out

This is copy of the open letter that Petrina Arnason has sent to Mayor and Council.

Making our voice heard part 2

On the evening of June 25 delegations regarding the sale of the Mclellan Park area were heard by Council. Three people spoke.Stuart Bucholtz ,Solon Bucholtz, and Albert Anderson. All spoke against the sale. This is what Stuart had to say. Unfortunately the top part is cut off. I hope to get the document in it's original format.
Click here  for a video of the coucil meeting.  Go to June 2012 on the calender  on the page that opens.Select June 25 on the calender and then select Regular Evening Meeting. The delegations begin to speak at the 36:20 mark

Council Meeting Meeting July 9

Langley Residents, mark your calenders.Council meets in public Monday evening at 7:00 pm. Delegations from the immediate neighbourhood will be heard but they need to see that this matters to more than just Glen Valley people. It should be standing room only. Remember we will be theere there to ask Council to do the right thing and make the Mclellan Park Forest and the Grey  Pit  Woods into a nature park. We will not be there to be obnoxious or get mired in ugly disputes with Councilors. Be polite but firm.

Monday night council meeting

Langley Residents, Mark your calenders. Township council meets in public Monday evening at 7:00 pm. We need to see standing room only. Remember we will be going there to ask Council to do the right thing and save  the Mclellan Park and Gray Pit Forest  and consider making them into nature parks. We should not be going there to be obnoxious or abuse individuals.
The meeting will be on the 4th floor of  Township Hall 20338 65th Avenue in the Fraser River Presentation Theatre. Don't assume someone will go.

We"re on Facebook too

If you are on facebook please join the facebook page There you can receive updates and checkout the links we have posted.The phone numbers and emails of Mayor and Council are also there. When contacting them it is important to be polite and courteous.Invite them to do the right thing. Kim Richter and David Davis are on side so call them to say thank you.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

More than Vacant Lots

 This morning Mayor Jack Froese  was interviewed on CBC Radio Early Edition  Host Rick Cluff  asked the Mayor whether the properties for sale be  described as forested lands or vacant lots.The Mayor chose to describe them as vacant lots and used that phrase more than once. He told us once more that a decision had not been made but seemed to indicate that it could be made at the July 9 in camera meeting, This contradicts the web article Matthew Claxton had for the Langley Advance two days ago. Inquiries with Township administration were not as clear as might have been hoped but answers from staff seemed to confirm this.

 The Mayor is no doubt aware of the concerns of  local enviromental and conservation groups. More than one letter of protest has been sent to Mayor and Council regarding this proposed sale. The Mayor also ought to be aware of the Enviromental Sensitive Areas report done for the Township in 1993 that classifies both sets of properties as being ESA 1 -the highest sensitivity rating assigned in the report. In addition more than one environmental assessment has been done concerning the Gray Pit Forest

 We are talking about issues regarding the local aquifer,wildlife habitat and biodiversity. For the Mayor to fail to acknowledge these ecological issues is dissapointing. To characterize the properties as having some trees that happen  to be beautiful is to miss the point. A forest to survive as such must be left intact as it's very own little ecosystem. To frame the issue as one of balancing recreational needs versus financial considerations is also to miss the point. Yes local residents walk and ride horse on the property and would like to continue to do so but they believe that such a rare gem ought to be preserved not just for recreation but because something of the wilderness that once dominated the Fraser Valley should continue to exist untrammeled by the caprice of humans.

 At this time it is unclear whether any conservation groups will speak at the public  Council meeting next Monday. Since the Township  has ignored the written words of conservation groups it would be well if Council would indeed defer any decision until July 23 so that they might  hear the voices of conservation group representatives in a public setting.
 Here is the link  It is about 2hrs 1 minute in.

Making our voice heard.

It is difficult to say who was the first to voice their opposition. In cases like this people find out more or less simultaneously. They take various actions to voice their concerns and to reach out to others. Phone calls are made, emails are written,letters of protest are written, conversations, serious and casual are had. Perhaps meetings are called.
Other people with different perspectives than mine would tell the tale differently.For me the story of publie opposition began when Stuart Bucholtz came to my parents and mine  home June 20. Stuart himself does not get paper delivery and had only heard of the proposed sale about a week before. Until then the neigbourhood had been either ignorant of what going on or quietly unhappy. My parents knew but I didn't.
Stuart and his family have enjoyed the property that we will call Mclellan Park for decades and he chose to take action.Together with Albert Anderson ,owner of Aldor Acres, and a few other neighbours a petition was written and signatures began to be collected. Faced with the  prospect of execution within a fortnight they chose to concentrate their energies on saving the Mclellan Park property.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Unhappy News

In May 2012 the following notice appeared in the local papers of Langley Township. Their had been clues before but for most people this was the first they would hear of it. Many would not know for a while longer.

Many who read or glanced at it doubtless would not have realized the significance of what they were seeing, The technical descriptions detailing lot numbers and addresses told nothing of what was actually there but for those familiar with the land it was clear what was going on. The Township of Langley without public consultation or input was selling off two sets of properties of significant ecological value and rare beauty. Though the lots on the northeast corner of 252nd and 84th had left alone by it's owner the Township of Langley for over 70 yrs. that benign neglect had allowed a rare conifer forest once typical of the Fraser Valley to survive into the 2lst century. The other land located behind an long unused gravel pit on 84th now used  by the municipality for green waste and ditch cleanings is a  wooded areas giving shelter to wildlife increasingly hemmed in by development. People had a history of fighting for its conservation. Over the years both properties have been identified to the Township as being among the most environmentally sensitive areas in its own ownership and both have great potential to be nature parks.
This blog has been established to argue for their conservation and explain why many think they should be preserved. I hope to have information to help the citizens of Langley understand this important issue.