Oct. 10 Letter – Private land under scrutiny by Feds

Westbridge woodlot owner George Delisle shares his concerns about the impact of the Species at Risk Act on private property rights.

A local woodpecker has made the red list for endangered species which means that the Species at Risk Act (SARA) now has power over private land. This can amount to expropriation without compensation to the landowners.

In the pamphlet on species at risk on private land in B.C., it clearly states that one should avoid activities that threaten or destroy critical habitat if you plan changes on your property. I quote “This can include plans to clear, landscape, renovate, build, ranch, log, or farm on your property”.

Much of the concern around SARA can be accommodated but this statement should scare the hell out of anyone with private land holdings or hopes to purchase property in the Boundary.

This will undoubtedly cause a reduction in property values as this is implemented. Will there be land tax concessions for those properties affected? How much impact can we actually expect from this particular species designation? What is the next species on the Federal Ministry of Environment’s scope?

There will be more of this coming our way! Where was our federal MP when this regulation was proposed? Apparently he was not looking out on our behalf or was asleep at the switch!

The Federation of Woodlot Associations has arranged a field trip on Oct. 28 at 9 a.m. at the Conkle Lake Road junction and Highway 3 with federal government representatives so they can explain the avalanche coming at us. All concerned citizens’ are invited to come hear for your self what this may mean to you.

The area affected goes from Greenwood over to just north of Westbridge and then over to the Okanagan Valley as well as forested land in the East Kootenay and Merritt areas. For more information phone me at 250-446-2213.

George Delisle, Westbridge