Bob Donnelly

Calendar aims to educate, raise funds

Wildlife calendars are being sold to support efforts to prevent industrial development in South Surrey's Hazelmere/Campbell Valley.

Baby raccoons perched atop a moss-covered log, a black-tailed deer standing in the fall leaves and a decidedly curious-looking mink are among a dozen images that have been compiled as part of efforts to see the south Campbell Heights area saved from industrialization.

The photos are to give people an idea of “what would be lost if we push into this area too tightly,” Bob Donnelly, president of the Semiahmoo Fish and Game Club, said of images that fill a ‘South Surrey’s Natural Heritage in Peril’ 2017 calendar.

The photographs were all taken within the past two years in an area for which a Local Area Plan – intended to help guide development – is currently being developed.

Calendar sales, which began Nov. 13, are to raise funds for Friends of Hazelmere Campbell Valley, a group that formed a year ago in the wake of news that a truck-park application was being pushed ahead of the LAP process; eyed for 77 acres adjacent to the fish-rich Little Campbell River.

While the truck-park proponents, GG Metro Ltd., last month announced that they had withdrawn those plans and agreed to be part of the LAP exercise, FHCV members say they remain concerned that industrialization of the green space is still a distinct possibility.

“The truck park may go away, but what’s going to replace it? That’s a concern,” Donnelly said.

“The forest is absolutely essential for all of the wildlife.”

Donnelly described the area in question – the forested stretch along the banks of the Little Campbell River, from the Langley border downstream to SFGC’s 29-acre property and an adjoining five-acre habitat/wildlife corridor owned by the City of Surrey – as “virgin land,” where the effects of industrialization and emissions haven’t been measured because it hasn’t been used for such purposes.

Donnelly said stakeholders at three LAP meetings held since July have discussed principles but not land use. He said a positive step came Oct. 27, with the return of a 30-acre plot of land located south of 12 Avenue and west of 196 Street to the Agricultural Land Reserve.

He emphasized that those concerned aren’t focused on stopping development altogether, but are “pushing to maintain as much of the forested corridor as possible.”

“Our main concern is we want to keep the heavy, polluting industries… right out of this area.”

Calendars have been sent to Surrey’s mayor and council. They are available for a $10 donation ($15 if mailed).

For more information, visit www.fhcv.ca

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