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Posted October 28, 2011

Conservationists fearful of DND land sale

Environmental protection should be the first consideration if the military decides to sell surplus land around Greater Victoria, conservation groups say.

Times Colonist, October 28, 2011

Conservationists fearful of DND land sale
Click for larger image

AFA's Ken Wu stands beside a giant Arbutus tree on unused DND lands along Ocean Boulevard near Fort Rodd National Historic Park
Photo by TJ Watt

Environmental protection should be the first consideration if the military decides to sell surplus land around Greater Victoria, conservation groups say.

Some of Canada's most endangered ecosystems are found on Department of National Defence land in the capital region, the groups say.

DND, which controls more than 4,000 hectares of land around Greater Victoria, is looking at selling surplus land. The Ancient Forest Alliance has called on the federal government to create protected areas or turn parcels over to agencies which can protect ecosystems.

"It might be surprising to most Canadians, but, in many cases, ecosystems in the best condition in Canada are on DND lands," said Ken Wu of the AFA.

"The occasional bullets and bombs still often have lower impacts than the large-scale industrial resource extraction, clearcutting, strip-mining, oil drilling, agriculture and suburban sprawl that impact other lands."

Old-growth coastal Douglas fir forests and Garry oak meadows are among ecosystems represented in DND-owned areas such as Rocky Point and Mary Hill in Metchosin, the area next to Fort Rodd National Historic Park and Royal Roads University, which leases land from DND. 

Times Colonist article:  http://www.timescolonist.com/technology/Conservationists+fearful+land+sale/5625759/story.html


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