Land Conservancy woes concern Horsefly River Roundtable

Maureen LeBourdais, says the Land Conservancy of BC has been an active supporter of the roundtable since it first began.

Maureen LeBourdais, chair of the Horsefly River Roundtable, says the Land Conservancy of BC has been an active supporter of the roundtable since it first began.

While she’s not sure how the news that the Canada Revenue Agency has seized the conservancy’s accounts will affect the properties it’s acquired in the Horsefly area, LeBourdais says the news is very unfortunate.

“When the roundtable came into Horsefly, they started purchasing pieces of the old Black Creek Ranch in the upper Horsefly [River], probably some of the most critical sockeye salmon spawning sections of water in British Columbia.”

On its website, the conservancy describes the Horsefly River Riparian Conservation Area as one of its largest properties.

Between 1999 and 2006, the conservancy purchased almost 400 hectares along the mid-section of the Horsefly River Valley and around 320 hectares of the Black Creek Ranch in 1999.

Two additional parcels were added between 2004 and 2006.

Today the property covers 12 kilometres of shore line along the river.

The Horsefly River system is really important, LeBourdais says.

“Sometimes it’s challenged by various things throughout the Horsefly system, including past agricultural practices, maybe clearing land right to the river and not leaving any willows, so there’s erosion.”

LeBourdais notes the conservancy has purchased property all over the province for different values.

“Sometimes it’s habitat, sometimes it’s heritage, sometimes it’s other species or environmental properties that need to be conserved.

“They’ve been a wonderful partner on the round table and supported our salmon festival.

“They’ve sat on our technical committees when we’re looking at doing actual restoration projects, and have been great advisors and supporters.”

It’s a real loss and concern for the roundtable. Staff from Prince George have often travelled to Horsefly to give the roundtable many hours of time, LeBourdais adds.

A note on the conservancy website indicates the AGM has been rescheduled from September 15 to November 3, to give the organization more time to finalize steps to address short term financial challenges.

 

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