Environmental and Agricultural Preservation
Updated: Aug 20, 2021
This reply is from the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
Dear Sarah Dennis:
On behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and
Climate Change, I am responding to your email message of March 23, 2021,
regarding the preservation of a federal land in Surrey, British Columbia. I regret
the delay in replying.
The mandate of Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Canadian Wildlife
Service focuses on species at risk and migratory birds. The Canadian Wildlife
Service has done an analysis of the property mentioned in your correspondence,
and found that this property does not overlap with posted critical habitat for
species at risk. In addition, it does not meet any of the criteria for the
establishment of a national wildlife area. Therefore, it is not a property that the
Canadian Wildlife Service will be in a position to pursue for protection.
The analysis does not imply that the land is not ecologically valuable to wildlife;
rather, it only indicates that this matter does not fall within the mandate of the
Canadian Wildlife Service. Environment and Climate Change Canada therefore
encourages you to explore other options for protecting the property, including
community and conservation groups.
The Department appreciates being made aware of your concerns regarding this
matter. Please accept my best regards.
The following reply is from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.
Dear Sarah Dennis,
Thank you for your email to the BC Government of March 22, 2021. As Senior Planning Analyst, Planning and Land Use Management Branch, Ministry of Municipal Affairs (MUNI), I am pleased to respond to your message. I apologise for the delay. Note that I have copied the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries.
As I understand from your message, you are concerned about the future of lands within the City of Surrey municipal boundaries, adjacent to the Township of Langley, bounded by 36th Avenue, 192nd St, 44th Ave, and 196th St. You indicated this is federal crown land and that Canada is in the process of disposing of it. You also described agricultural operations, natural features, and habitat that make the condition and future of this land of interest to yourself and others in your community.
The process for disposing of federal crown land is coordinated by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) in accordance with federal Treasury Board directives on the disposal of crown real property. The future use of this parcel and the zoning and regulations that apply to it will be influenced by the outcome of the property disposal process and the ultimate ownership arrangements.
I understand you have already been in contact with the regional Real Estate Services office of PSPC. Their staff are best able to provide more detailed information on the property disposal process and the status of this site. I suggest keeping in touch with PSPC Real Estate Services as the process continues. The project manager for this disposal is Billy Ng (Billy.Ng@pwgsc-tpsgc.gc.ca).
I also recommend connecting with the City of Surrey’s planning department regarding the current and potential future land use plans for this land. The planner assigned to the local area plan is Markus Kischnick (firstname.lastname@example.org / 604-591-4485).
Thank you again for writing.
Mark Sadoway | Senior Planning Analyst | Planning and Land Use Management | Ministry of Municipal Affairs
Ph: (236) 478 2584
The following is a letter from Sarah sent on or about March 23rd 2021to a number of key agencies, primarily BC MLAs and Ministries for Agriculture and the Environment.
I am a resident of Brookswood, a neighborhood in the Township of Langley, British Columbia. I am writing to you in regards to a piece of land, currently owned by the federal government, that is located on the border of the City of Surrey and the Township of Langley. The approximate area of this land is along 196th & 192nd St, and between 36th & 44th ave. The property is on the Surrey side and is part of a long-term plan for the Campbell Heights industrial development.
A portion of the federal land is agriculture and the land is actively farmed by Heppells. In a previous email to a neighbour, one of the farmers writes: “The soil is some of the best and limited amount of class 1 soils we have in the province, and ideally situated as far as our traditional weather patterns go for early to market AG products”.
The other part of the land is old and new growth forest. The forest is full of wildlife, wildflowers, a river, and lush trees. On any given day, you will see woodpeckers, blue jays, owls, squirrels, and in the past deer. Deeper into the forest is Anderson Creek, which appears to be an active salmon run. Along the creek are eagle nests. Several residents (including myself) have seen up to 20 eagles hunting the river and forest for food. This forest is not only home to an abundance of wildlife, and it's also one of the few forests left in the area.
The federal land is surrounded by the Campbell Heights Industrial Park (in Surrey). Hectares of forests have been clear cut to make space for the industrial park. The only land that has not been developed, is the federal property. Our neighborhood group has been in communication with the real estate advisor for the Federal Government. We were told that the land is surplus and the Government no longer acquires it. The divestiture of this property will occur at some point later this year. It will be circulated to all other federal departments/agencies/Crown corporations, provincial ministries, and municipal governments. This news has brought our group some concern as we know there is a plan for development by the City of Surrey.
I have included all of you in this email in hopes that the Provincial Government can offer some support or assistance to our neighbourhood group. If you are familiar with this property, you would understand how valuable this piece of land is for both agriculture and environmental preservation.
Please see our website for more information: https://www.beautifulbrookswood.com/
Thank you for your support