Sandra Milligan and Ron Burrell, representatives of the Beaver Lodge Land Trust Committee, are asking SD72 to return the MacPhedran School property to the crown so that it can hopefully be returned to the Beaver Lodge Lands. Photo by Jocelyn Doll/Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River’s Beaver Lodge Land Trust Committee asking for the return of the MacPhedran School Property

The Beaver Lodge Land Trust Committee wants School District 72 to return the McPhedran School property to the Crown to restore it to the Beaver Lodge Lands.

The five acre property on MacPhedran Road borders the Beaver Lodge Lands.

“Most people in town I’m sure would have no idea that there is a political boundary of that piece of land but not at all a geographical boundary,” said Sandra Milligan, a member of the committee.

Milligan and Ron Burrell made a presentation to the school board at its most recent public meeting.

“This site does have a lot of ecological value,” Milligan said. “It is very very wet. There are no trails in this area which is really really good in terms of not being encroached upon by humans. It’s got a huge amount of water storage, which ensures that Simms Creek stays wet during the summer and in the early fall when our Coho are coming up and for the Coho young. This piece of land is really important to ensure the salmon in Simms Creek… survive.”

Burrell was working for the ministry of forestry at the time that the property was purchased by the school district, in 1999, and is a past president of the committee.

“I’m afraid that if you keep delaying this, you get new players all the time the sensitivities won’t be there, the file will be lost, you don’t know who will be in power, you don’t know what governments will be in,” he said. “I think you have an opportune time now to return the land to the Beaver Lodge Lands and probably come out of it without any harm.”

The Beaver Lodge Lands were given to the government in 1931 by the Elk River Timber Company. The property was to be used only for experimental reforestation and forest management.

“They started planting trees, two men per tree, one guy carrying the tree the other guy carrying the shovel,” Burrell said. “We will do some of that same stuff, we still plant with shovels.”

The project caved during the depression and the file was archived in Victoria.

“When I came on (to the forestry ministry) in ‘85 I was in charge of releasing little pieces of it because the town was expanding,” Burrell said.

The file documenting the land trust designation was rediscovered and the city’s plans to develop houses on the Beaver Lodge Lands property were put to rest, with some stipulations, Burrell said: Dogwood St. had to be connected to Jubilee, and properties had to be set aside for North Island College as well as a school off of MacPhedran. A school was was never built on MacPhedran, and in the SD72’s recent facility plan they listed disposing of surplus properties, including the MacPhedran site, as one of their priorities.

“At this time in our lives where we hear nothing but habitat loss and ecological degradation, this is an opportunity for the school district to actually add habitat, to increase the size of a protected area in our community, which is arguably the most used recreational area in our community,” Milligan said.

The school board will be discussing the presentation further in a future private meeting.


@CRmirror_JDoll
jocelyn.doll@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

The property, on MacPhedran Rd. is not separated by a physical boundary from Beaver Lodge Lands, merely a political one.

Just Posted

16-year-old Campbell River athlete heading to Cairo for volleyball championship

Emoni Bush of Wei Wai Kum First Nation to compete with Youth National Team

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

Exhibit showcases work of veteran taxidermist on Cortes Island

Dozens of mounted animals on display at Wild Cortes

Stranded hikers rescued by helicopter on Mt. Schoen

Campbell River Search and Rescue used hoist operation to rescue trio

Fire chief urges residents to check smoke detectors following structure fires in Campbell River

Smoke alarms failed in three incidents, including fire that destroyed second storey of home: Doherty

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town hit by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

B.C. music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

$5-million lotto ticket sold in Nanaimo

Someone matched all six numbers in Wednesday’s 6/49 draw

Most Read