Protect Juan de Fuca Park
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Clearcut logging at Juan de Fuca Marine Trail Park is not protection

Forest advocates call for a halt to logging above the popular hiking trail

After years of BC Liberal promises and three million dollars in provincial real estate purchases, Juan de Fuca Marine Trail Park is not protected as a wilderness park. Visitors this week report large-scale clearcut logging as little as twenty meters from the park boundary near China Beach.

"When the province purchased the Marine Trail Holdings properties, they stated BC Parks would have an opportunity to negotiate a buffer, protection for the Park; a win-win situation. That win is not apparent,” says Rosemary Jorna. “It’s already too late to save the forest along a six-kilometre section of the trail. We must protect the remainder of the forest that buffers the park.”

While the trees continue to fall, observers are also sounding the alarm over road-building in the logged-over lots. “It looks like the same vacation-home subdivision we defeated six years ago is going ahead without notice or approval,” says Zoe Blunt of Forest Action Network.

Forest advocates are calling for:
- A moratorium on logging along the park boundary until a protection plan is in place and public.
- Open public discussion and development of plans to protect and buffer the park


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Background

The forestland between Highway 14 and the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail Park was formerly owned by Western Forest Products and managed by the province. WFP sold the lots to West Vancouver developer Ender Ilkay, who lost his bid for a large strata-style subdivision along the park boundary. By allowing logging (and possibly a subdivision) to proceed, the province ignores the CRD’s direction to protect the park and the will of thousands who rallied to save Juan de Fuca only a few years ago.

The BC government paid over $3 million for the four lots it now owns. Three others were purchased for over $1 million by Pacheedaht Enterprises, a privately held corporation.

As of May 1, 2017, the province of BC owns land above the narrowest portion of the Juan de Fuca Marine trail from km 8 to km 24, Rosemond Creek (Bear Beach) to Loss Creek. In the past year, the province purchased four parcels from Marine Trail Holdings. These were part of the proposal to build hundreds of strata vacation homes above the trail which triggered a three-year battle to halt the development and maintain zoning.After three days of hearings in September 2011, the CRD concluded that the zoning did not allow such intensive development, and the best use of those lands was purchase and inclusion in the Park. The CRD did not, however, have the funds, as it had just purchased land for park at Jordan River, Sandcut Beach and in the Sooke Hills.

When the purchase of these parcels became public and the Provincial government was asked to follow the recommendation and add them to the park to commemorate Canada’s 150 year the response from the Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation in May 2016 was as follows:

”Purchasing these lands secures public access to an important and popular wilderness trail on southern Vancouver Island and goes a long way to advance treaty negotiations with Pacheedaht First Nation. It’s certainly a win-win when improving our parks system aligns with reconciliation with First Nations.”

The park boundaries should be adjusted to include trail incursions into other parcels and the emergency access routes would be protected and then those parcels would become part of the treaty negotiations.

In 2017 the Government purchased the fourth and last parcel of Marine Trail Holdings Land. The other 3 parcels were purchased by Pacheedaht Enterprises Inc in January 2016, These are situated from kilometre 2 to 8 above the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail.

Once the four parcels are ceded under treaty, the Juan de Fuca Electoral area will have no control over zoning and they will be open for development at the will of the chief and council.

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Outside of these properties, the rest of the park should be buffered from development, Weyerhaeuser controls one parcel close to Botanical Bay, and the remaining properties adjoining the park are Crown Land and Tree Farm Licenses.

This past February, the Juan de Fuca Community Trails Society asked for open consultation between all the groups that created the trail to achieve a stronger understanding of the trail and the protection that is needed.

This time the response came from the Assistant Deputy Minister BC Parks and Conservation Officer Service Division

"Where possible, the Province has protected sections of land between the Juan de Fuca marine trail and Highway 14, as well as other smaller locations where the parks extends across the highway … BC Parks staff will continue to work with all adjacent property owners , to retain and maintain as much natural buffer and landscape protection as possible along the Juan de Fuca Trail." (Emphasis added.)

Fine words, but as of May 1, 2017 these parcels have been severely logged to within approximately 20 meters from the boundary of the park. Falling boundary tape continues for kilometres west of Bear Beach towards Loss Creek. New logging roads are built from kilometre 2 to 8 above the trail and logging boundary tape is appearing along Highway 14 towards Loss Creek. These signs do not inspire confidence that the park will be respected. BC Parks staff and the trail have not fared well in that negotiation. While it is already too late for the land from km 2 to 8, except perhaps to prevent building development, we are concerned about the fate of the remainder of the forest towards Loss Creek.

From kilometre 8 to 24, it appears that BC Parks staff will be negotiating with other BC ministries so it should be possible to work out real protection. The province owns the crown land for all the people of BC and owes a duty to protect the interests of the people in an open and transparent way. The Province needs to call a halt to the logging and let owners of the land the people of BC determine its future.

If the land for treaty was purchased to provide a commercial timber economy for the First Nation, then why choose the land next to the coastal trail when the Crown owns 49,000 hectares of crown land north of Highway 14? If the purchase was to provide land to develop a tourist resort why do this in such a way as to ruin the wilderness experience of the trail, the reason why tourists come in the first place? If it is for historic and cultural purposes, why the logging from kilometre 2 to 8?

Until these questions are answered it seems that BC Parks is powerless and the government has just used $3,000,000 of taxpayers money to further degrade the park and trail.


Juan de Fuca Trail Parcel ownership April 2017

DL 564 size 79.32 hectares - it seems the Province has bought this parcel
Valued at $1,154, 533 in Jan 2016
in 2007 listing estimated gross timber volume in cubic meters 40,686

DL 565 size 66.8 hectares owned by Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of BC
registered December 31, 2015, purchased $1,050,000
2007 estimated gross timber volume in cubic meters 34,323

DL566 size 17.8 hectares is owned by Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of BC as represented by the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
registered December 31, 2015, purchased $200,000
2007 estimated gross timber volume in cubic meters 9,953

DL 567 size 22.06 hectares (Bear Beach parcel) is owned by Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of BC as represented by the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
registered December 31, 2015, purchased $550,000
in 2007 listing estimated gross timber volume in cubic meters 13,060

DL 568 size 25.33 hectares is owned by Pacheedaht Enterprises, Inc (BC0688295) General Delivery, Port Renfrew
registered January 7, 2016
purchased for $471,809
in 2007 listing estimated gross timber volume in cubic meters 13,616
maybe the parcel logged summer 2016

DL 569 size 20.5 hectares is owned by Pacheedaht Enterpises, Inc (BC 0688295) General Delivery, Port Renfrew
registered January 7, 2016, purchased for $486,106
in 2007 listing estimated gross timber volume in cubic meters 13,256
This may be the parcel already logged in photo taken by Google Earth 8/2/2014

DL 570 size 16.5 hectares is owned by Pacheedaht Enterprises, Inc (BC 0688295) General Delivery Port Renfrew
registered January 7, 2016, purchased for $304,327
in 2007 listing estimated gross timber volume in cubic meters 9,765


Pacheedaht First Nation Incremental Treaty Agreement March 2013

The PFN Incremental Treaty Agreement identifies DL 247 A and DL 247 B, which are at Parkinson Creek

DL 251, which is immediately west of the parcel DL 189 with Sombrio River mouth

The fourth parcel identified in the agreement is DL 252, which east of DL 251 and north of DL 189. West Coast Road runs across DL 252.

A CRD document Feb 15 2011 “all of the lands between Highway 14 and the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail Park boundary are crown owned except for seven parcels owned by Marine Trail Holdings Ltd and one owned by Weyerhaeuser near Port Renfrew.”

Now 8 land parcels are held in treaty negotiations

As of April 21 2017 It is clear that logging has/is occurring above Parcels DL 568, DL 569, DL 570 right to the highway

Logging has occurred adjacent to DL567 in the past couple of years

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