Tuesday, 25 November 2014



                                           FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Langley, BC. Tuesday November 25, 2014

This week members and supporters of Watchers of Langley Forests(WOLF) expressed their
extreme disappointment at the decision of the Township of Langley to proceed with the sale of
the Creekside forest property in Aldergrove just days after the municipal election. WOLF also
called upon the public to attend the next afternoon Council meeting on Monday December

Creekside forest is the southern portion of a 19­ acre Township owned property located at
28th Ave and 276th street. The northern unforested portion was once the Township sewage
treatment facility. In the spring of 2014 the land was rezoned to allow for sixty-one detached
lots. Twenty lots are located in the heart of the forest following a “keyhole” design. The edges
of the forest have been set aside by Township for green space. The other forty lots are in the
northern unforested portion. Two water treatment facilities on the northeast and northwest
corners of the parcel are to be retained by the municipality. Bertrand Creek runs along the
west side of the property and Creekside Park is located on the other side of Bertrand Creek.

The Township page printed in local Langley newspapers featured an advertisement for the
sale of all sixty­one lots on Thursday November 20. This is a statutory requirement. Once a
second advertisement is printed this week the sale can proceed. Township staff will have
authority to conclude a sale from the morning of December 1,2014. Council meets later that
day at 3pm.

“It pains me that that the Township has chosen to continue on this path” said advocate for the
forest and Aldergrove resident Jessica Horst. She added “The Township never considered the
recreational and educational advantages of conserving this last publicly owned urban forest in
Aldergrove. Langley kids,especially those at nearby Shortreed Elementary, are losing out on a
great resource. This irreplaceable community asset shouldn’t be cast aside for money. This is
our last chance to get this right.”

Kirk Robertson, Chair of WOLF agreed. “The decision to rezone and sell is ripe for review by
the newly elected Council. I hope that they will get an opportunity to do so “

The fight to save Creekside Forest began in January 2014 when Township Council held
public hearings into a bylaw to subdivide and rezone its own property. The Bylaw received
final approval in the spring. Until now Township has retained ownership of the land.
“Up to now the new lots have just been lines on a map. Once they are sold to a developer the
new reality on the ground is going to significantly change things” said WOLF member Ron

WOLF member C. Walther agreed “The forest won’t continue as an intact ecosystem when
the middle of it is taken out. Habitat fragmentation is one of the most detrimental and
irreversible impacts upon a system's integrity and capacity for ecological resilience. Sources
of invasive species quickly out­compete the seedlings of indigenous species once
disturbance occurs causing all future maintenance costs to soar and healthy habitat to be

She continued "Forests can't be defined by the 'living' trees alone. In fact, a forest without
'dead' and decaying wood wouldn't be a healthy forest at all. None of that is taken into
account in single point surveys or bylaw sized tree inventories. Once you start dissecting a
forest into smaller wooded areas the whole stops being more than the sum of its parts.”
Robertson emphasized that the issue of Creekside Forest had a larger context.

“This is part of an ongoing process of land sales by the municipality that has seen Township
consistently fail to consider ecological issues when they decide to sell.They also neglect to
consult with the public or community groups before going ahead. Bertrand Creek
Enhancement Society was not even consulted about this proposed development.”

“Langley residents who care about the forest or these larger issues need to come out to the
Afternoon Meeting next Monday to let Council know that Langley cares about this.”

He added “This is an opportunity to do things differently in Langley Township.”

In June 2012 a group of concerned residents launched a successful campaign to save a
Township owned forest in Glen Valley that is now known as McLellan Forest Natural Park.
Many of the people involved in that earlier campaign formed Watchers of Langley Forests in
July 2012 to fight for the conservation of another nearby Glen Valley forest that had also been
put up for sale by the Township. That forest ,which is now known as the Blaauw Eco Forest,
was purchased by Trinity Western University after a generous donation by the Blaauw family.
The Blaauw forest has been set aside as an educational,research, and conservation area.
WOLF has continued to advocate and fight for the conservation of ecologically significant
forests in Langley Township since then.

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