JUDITH LAVOIE ON JUAN DE FUCA FOREST LANDS: Western Forest Products ‘spokesman Gary Ley said the company is “in discussion” with the’ Capital Regional District

Secret negiciations are underway between the Capital Regional District and Western Forest Products as the region looks at buying high-profile waterfront and recreational land on the Island’s southwest corner.

More than 2,300 hectares of property between Sooke and Jordan River is set to go on the market Monday, but hopes are high that a deal between WFP and the CRD will be announced by the end of the week.

The CRD, which held a two-hour closed meeting yesterday, has already said it is interested in Sandcut Beach, at least one Jordan River waterfront parcel and the land beside Sooke Potholes Regional Park, if other levels of government and The Land Conservancy come on board.

But speculation is growing that the negociations include a larger area.

WFP spokesman Gary Ley said the company is “in discussions” with the CRD, but nothing more can be said for now.

The waterfront areas are seen as the bare minimum that should be acquired to protect public access and prevent sprawl.

But many community groups believe the entire 12,000 hectares of private land formerly governed by a tree-farm licence should be protected.

At a meeting in Victoria last evening attended by about 400 people, the government was urged to get behind a University of B. C. proposal to buy all the land as a model forest, with areas set aside for park and First Nations land claims.

CCC BLOG reprint”

Victoria Times Colonist: timescolonist.com

Juan de Fuca land deal in works

Judith Lavoie: jlavoie@tc.canwest.com

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Page A5



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