The yellow coloured parcels of land with diagonal lines at the top and bottom left are to be transfered from Western Forest Products to the Capital Regional District on Aug. 15.

Western Forest Products to turn over land to CRD

The Capital Regional District to receive 250 hectares of land adjacent to the Sooke Potholes on Aug. 15

Western Forest Products will be handing over 250 hectares of land adjacent from the Sooke Potholes to the Capital Regional District on Aug. 15.

The land is valued at $1.3 million, and will remain part of the Sea to Sea Regional Park Reserve, according to Lloyd Rushton, CRD general manager for parks and community services.

The transfer is phase three of an agreement the CRD made with WFP in 2010 to transfer 2,350 hectares of park and watershed lands for $18.8 million. The amount was to be paid over three year instalments.

The lands include: 187 hectares in Jordan River, 1,323 in the Sooke Potholes / Sea to Sea — both for regional parks — and 840 hectares in Weeks Lake for integrated water services.

The final transfer of land, 60.5 hectares in Jordan River, is expected to be done in December 2012, following clean up of environmental contamination.

Rushton said environmental monitoring deemed further work needed to be done in order to clear the province’s Certificate of Compliance for the transfer.

“There’s still some work Western Forest Products has to do,” he said.

Although the CRD recognized some of the properties purchased in Jordan River did not have park value, they were required to buy all parcels — resulting in surplus lands.

The CRD held a public consultation in Sooke on Feb. 22 regarding the park boundary in Jordan River.

“We had a public consultation already earlier this year… and there will be a staff report going to the Regional Parks Committee and Board that will identify the proposed boundary,” Rushton said.

“What we’re saying at this point in time is that those decisions have to be made yet,  but the CRD board will be considering public and First Nation input.”

He said money from the sale of surplus lands in Jordan River will be reinvested into the Regional Park Land Acquisition Fund.