Wednesday, 24 October 2012
INDEPENEDENT ECOLOGICAL REPORT CONFIRMS IMPORTANCE OF MCLELLAN PARK FOREST
The drier forests of Lots 13, 16 and a portion of 12 are the CWHxm1/07 (Western Redcedar/Three-leaved Foamflower) ecological community which is Red-listed (threatened or
endangered) and S2 (provincially imperiled). If the threats to this community are not removed across its range, it will likely become extirpated or extinct within the CWHxm1.
This collective of natural features is the last refuge for animals and plants that occupy and define the ecological communities once common in the area.
The veteran Black Cottonwood at the southeast corner of Lot 12 (Figure 1), with a dbh of approximately 1.75 m (estimated, not measured), is one of the largest in the Township of Langley.
The liverwort Riccardia multifida occurs on rotting logs and mud in some of the same areas as Hookeria lucens. It is typical of humid forests of the lowlands. Neither species has been
observed previously in Langley by the authors. These organisms and the communities that
comprise the remnant natural features are important biological legacies that will eventually be lost from Langley and the lower mainland unless relatively large natural areas are retained.
On September 20 environmental consultant Phil Henderson and naturalist Glenn Ryder visited the Mclellan Park East forest. The observations that they they made became the basis of a report that they presented to Township of Langley and Watchers of Langley Forests by email on Thursday October 18.
In the report Henderson and Ryder detail the varying ecology of the forest.
In the accompanying email Phil Henderson said;
Glenn Ryder, renowned naturalist, and I visited the properties that are subject to sale north of and adjacent to Gray Pit on September 20, 2012. During our visit we recorded information on plants, animals and ecology and we present that information in the attached report. Our intention, as outlined in the Introduction section of the report, is to provide some objective information that will hopefully inform decisions regarding the future of this land. Our primary targets for this report were WOLF and the Township of Langley, but the report can be freely distributed. We hope it proves useful.
The introduction reads
The Township of Langley (TOL) solicited “requests for offers” for the purchase of three
contiguous forested properties adjacent to 252nd St. and 84th Ave. and five contiguous 5 acre
(ac.) properties east of 257A St. and north of Gray Pit in northeast Langley (TOL RFO 12-1). The
deadline for submissions was June 29, 2012. Local residents and concerned citizens who
opposed the sale based on the properties’ ecological and cultural values, banded together
under the acronym WOLF (Watchers of Langley Forests) to protest their sale. In response to
their protestations and those of others, the Township rescinded the sale of the three properties
adjacent to 252th St. but not the five properties adjacent to Gray Pit (Table 1, Figure 1). The five
remaining properties adjacent to Gray Pit are the subject of continued efforts by WOLF to stop
Glenn Ryder provided significant historical wildlife data from 1955 (Ryder 1955) for WOLF that
covered the three western properties and extended eastward to 256th St. While those data
provide important information for the general area and are an excellent account of wildlife
present before extensive development in the area, they do not specifically address the five
parcels that remain for sale. Strix Environmental Consulting’s reports on Gray Pit (Strix 1999
and 2000) provide limited information because they focussed on the Gray Pit extraction area
and small sections of the south forest edge.
In an effort to provide recent information specific to the subject properties, Phil Henderson and
Glenn Ryder conducted a brief survey on September 20, 2012 of the lots referred to in TOL’s
ROF 12-1, namely Lots 12-16, DL 320 GP2 NWD Plan 1560. Henderson and Ryder’s intentions
were to “determine its existing conditions” as outlined under Examination of the Site in TOL’s
RFO 12-1 and provide objective, up to date information on plants, animals and ecology for all
interested parties, notably WOLF and the Township of Langley. This information is intended to
inform decisions regarding the future of the properties.
It is important to stress the Phil Henderson and Glenn Ryder undertook this project at their own initiative at on their own time. WOLF and the Township were not apprised of their activities until the week the report was released. Their combined expertise is truly impressive.Phil Henderson is a well respected environmental consultant who has conducted work for the Township. Glenn Ryder is naturalis who began field research over fifty years ago.
This study backs up WOLF's contention that this forest has important ecological characteristics and values. . Our view has been strengthened that the forest is an important example of biodiversity in the Township.
We remain committed to it's preservation. WOLfF hopes that the Mayor and Council factor the report into their decision making.
If you would like to read the whole report go here