Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Public Forum on ALR April 28

Received the following in my inbox:
A plethora of issues will be aired at an ALR Forum in Langley on Wednesday April 28. The Salmon River Enhancement Society and the Farmland Defence Society of BC have joined to sponsor the Forum to shed light on issues such as fill and the spate of recent development and exclusion applications for farmland in Langley .

Doug McFee, Director of both Societies says, "We have seen an unusual number of development applications for land in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) in the Salmon River Watershed over the last year." Some of these applications may create precedents that will weaken farmland preservation in all parts of BC." McFee continues. "Development arising out of these proposals also has the potential to worsen flooding in the Fort Langley floodplain and cause harm to the Hopington aquifer and the Salmon River."

The feature speaker for the evening will be Harold Steves of Richmond. "No one is more qualified to talk about the ALR than Harold Steves" says Mr. McFee.

Harold Steves is a third generation farmer. The Steves farm was one of the first in Richmond with Steveston being named after his family. Harold was instrumental in lobbying for ALR legislation in the 1960's and 1970's. He has continued to lobby relentlessly for farmland preservation as a councilor in Richmond and as Chair of Metro Vancouver's Agriculture Committee. Harold formed the Farmland Defense League which has had a renaissance in recent years as pressures on the ALR have increased. Harold is uniquely positioned to talk about threats to farmland in BC and the need to draw a firm containment boundary around Lower Mainland urban centres.

Sian Krannitz, known to Langley residents for leading the fight against the massive fill proposal for Glen Valley , will speak to that issue and the overall issue of fill in the ALR. Mr. McFee adds, "we are also fortunate that local farmers Dave Davis and Heather Pritchard have agreed to talk about the difficulties they face farming with land speculation and so many other issues in the way." Ms. Pritchard is also executive director of Farm Folk/City Folk Vancouver so she can speak on a number of ALR topics.

The Forum will start at 7 pm at DW Poppy Secondary, 23752 52nd Avenue. There will be plenty of time for questions from the floor.
Contact Doug McFee at 605-534-6727 for more information.

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