If right was to win this contest it would be over as would the developments in Ucluelet.
When the forest companies got their Tree Farm Licences part of the package was to include the “so called private land.”
So it would seem that the right thing to do when they take the land out of the TFL, would be to also give up the TFL.
This is the common sense way of doing things.
Now where did these companies initially get their lands? Steal it from the Indians who were living on it? So what is the right of this little bit of thievery.
Preserve the trail
As an active hiker in the Sooke Hills and on the Juan de Fuca trail, a self-professed ‘greenie’, I am in total favour of preserving the trail in its entirety. I think it behooves us to look at the options from a realistic and pragmatic viewpoint rather than from the passionate yet shortsighted fervour opposing the current proposal to build cabins on a fairly small portion of the land.
Obviously the best case scenario would have been for the government to buy this land for parks at the time Western Forest Products made the land available for private purchase. They chose not to do so. No other groups, environmental or otherwise, came forward to purchase this land. The land was thus bought by a private individual who proposes to build summer cottages on the land, none of which would be visible from the trail and, I believe, would be at least 100 metres from the park boundary. If this proposal is rejected what will happen to the land? It is privately owned and I am sure the owner would wish to be recompensed for his investment. Perhaps it would be completely logged, perhaps it would be subdivided into parcels where people could build their mansions immediately adjacent to the park boundary. What of the potential for commercial gravel extraction on these lands? None of these options appeals to me. I understand part of the trail crosses private land. What would happen to that section of the trail?
I understand from friends in Port Renfrew that the residents there are in favour of the proposal as are the Pacheedaht First Nation. The development will bring income to a community where employment opportunities are few and far inbetween. I believe the proposed cabins will be quite small, and will be mostly used for recreational purposes. I am not sure what other options are available. Is TLC or the Dogwood Initiative able to buy these lands?
I am neither strongly in favour or against the current proposal, but I do believe that whatever happens, this land will definitely not be left in its current state.