For 15 years The Land Conservancy(TLC) has preserved green space and heritage lands through out British Columbia at a time when the provincial government is not interested. This young volunteer organization over extended its capacity. In the last four months a new board of director has been hard at work to reorganize on a sound financial base.
Here on south Vancouver Island the CRD Park’s land acquisition policy rendered it unable to make an outlay of the amount required to purchase major properties. It needed the partnership with TLC to provide financing. Sooke residents are major beneficiaries from this partnership gaining Ayum Creek, Harbour View, Sooke Potholes, and a further 932 hectares of land from TimberWest above the potholes.
In March 2010 a partnership of TLC, CRD and the Juan De Fuca Electoral Area secured 2,347 hectares; from Western Forest Products including; Jordon River Sandcut Beach, Potholes property and lands in the Sooke Hills.
How “Wild by Nature“ would Sooke be with out these lands?
TLC volunteers worked to reduce the cost of these lands to CRD taxpayers obtaining grants and donations from nature trusts, federal and provincial agencies, corporate donors and thousands of private individuals. Shaw Communications alone contributed $600,000 towards the development of the 55 hectare Sooke Potholes Regional Park; hundreds of thousands more came from families including major sums from Talaricos and Campbells.
The video of the discussion of agenda item B-5 at the meeting of District of Sooke council Oct. 9, 2012 indicates that the decision to withhold charitable status from TLC was largely based on the impression that there is a lack of public access to the TLC property at Sooke Potholes.
I will be happy to meet Sooke councillors and any interested residents of Sooke at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10 in the upper parking lot of the Sooke Potholes to explore the reality of public access to those lands.