Editor: I am a resident of Langley, and have been for 20 years. I would like to thank and commend Township council for having acted wisely, in the recent decision not to sell a significant portion of McLellan Forest East (the Gray Pit lands).
I am grateful for the decision, as I am most concerned for the biodiversity and ecological value of the wetlands properties with regard to the importance of rare and endangered species and habitat protection within the larger regional and global context.
It is heartening that the Township has taken more than half of the forest off the market in response to the public outcry. This issue has garnered a high political profile for the Township and has a high public relations component, which will very likely influence many voters in the next election.
Further to the decision, now is the time to capitalize on this momentum in order to ensure the permanent protection of both McLellan Forest and Gray Pit lands for future generations. In my opinion, the next rational step is for council to formalize its intentions and protect the integrity of this priceless ecosystem by setting the lands aside as a park or heritage conservation area.
There are a number of mechanisms through which this can be achieved. This should be immediately explored by the Township in concert with the community, to ensure that these lands will be protected in perpetuity.