Beaver Lodge Forest Lands


                  Establishment of the
            Beaver Lodge Forest Lands

In 1931, 415 hectares (1028 acres) of land was gifted to the Province of British Columbia by the Elk River Timber Company.  Given in trust; the land was to be used in experimental work in reforestation and forest management.  In recognition of the binding obligation of the gift for forestry purposes, Bill 52, Beaver Lodge Forest Trust Renewal Act (1993) was passed, making the Beaver Lodge Forest Lands (BLFL) the first B.C. experimental forest protected under its own Provincial legislation. 

The Beaver Lodge Forest Lands issue was the center of much public controversy in Campbell River in 1992 and 1993. The Municipality of Campbell River believed it had the right to develop the Crown lands as facilitated by government agencies. However, many citizens believed these lands were gifted to the Province for forestry purposes and that a trust was formed and should be honoured. The issue was brought to the provincial government's attention. On May 7, 1993, Environment, Lands and Parks' Minister, John Cashore and Comox Valley MLA, Margaret Lord, announced in Campbell River that the Province would act to resolve the Beaver Lodge Lands' issue.

They announced that the Province was committed to negotiate a land exchange to restore and expand the size of the Beaver Lodge Lands trust in Campbell River to 502 hectares. Legislation would be introduced to accomplish this and to provide for limited development in an area proposed to be excluded from the trust lands (77 hectares).

"This decision recognizes the importance of the trust to local residents. We have reviewed all legal, financial and environmental implications and have acted to maintain community stability and a respect for the environmental sensitivity of these lands. The new trust area will be managed as the province's first experimental forest protected under legislation. I strongly encourage the public to get involved in the development of a local resource use plan for the Beaver Lodge Lands" said Cashore. (1993 Provincial News Release) Appendix I

The Beaver Lodge Lands were given to the province in 1931 for experimental work in reforestation and forest management. Since then, the land has been administered by the Ministry of Forests and has been available for hiking and other recreational activities. As there was no reference to the gift on the title for these lands, some of the property was set aside by the province for the District of Campbell River's expansion without knowledge of the gifting. The district had been pursuing plans to develop community housing, a new high school, an elementary school, commercial development and an expanded North Island College within the lands.

In August 1992, a search of Ministry of Forests archival files revealed the existence of the trust. The Ministry of the Attorney General reviewed the issue and advised that a trust obligation was established and remains.

North Island MLA, Colin Gabelmann, was present at the announcement and confirmed that as Attorney General, he would continue to monitor the resolution of the various issues and public interest concerning the Beaver Lodge Lands.

The Legislation was passed at the Second Session, Thirty-fifth, Parliament 42 Elizabeth II, 1993 in the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. The Legislation is titled Bill 52, Beaver Lodge Trust Lands Renewal Act. (see Appendix II)

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The Planning Process

Section 4(5) of the Act under Trust Lands stipulated that "The Minister of Forests must, before July 1, 1994, establish a resource use plan for the trust lands and in establishing the plan must consult with the public."

The task of preparing a public involvement resource use plan was assigned to the Campbell River Forest District.

The first public meeting was held on September 30, 1993, attended by 60 people. A brief history of the Campbell River Experimental Forest, Bill 52, tentative Terms of Reference, a proposed Planning Process, a proposed Structure of the Committee and a generous invitation for public participants to formulate the plan made up the meeting agenda. The general mood and tone of the meeting was one of reconciliation and a desire to accept the compromise, and create the best plan possible for Campbell River. The meeting concluded with positive public statements on environmental land use, opportunities for forestry education and active participation in land use planning.

The planning process would be inclusive, open to anyone interested in participating. It would be based on mutual respect and consideration. The negotiations or discussions were encouraged to be interest based rather than position centered. All issues would be tabled and interests addressed. The Committee would make recommendations based on agreements. 

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Terms of Reference

The tentative Terms of Reference were modified by the Committee at the October 17, 1993, meeting to fully encompass the requirements of Bill 52 and to consider the impacts of adjacent land development on the Beaver Lodge Forest Lands.

Terms Of Reference
BEAVER LODGE FOREST LANDS
Local Resource Use Planning Committee

  • To prepare and recommend to the Ministry of Forests, before June 1, 1994, a resource use plan for the Beaver Lodge Forest Lands.

  • The Plan will encompass all the core lands and the land designated as trust lands. · The Plan will be designed to use the lands only for experimental work in reforestation and forest management.  The Plan must be developed in consultation with the Public.

  • To interface with adjoining plans.

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Meetings

The meetings of the Beaver Lodge Trust Committee are open to the public and are held at:

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
370 South Dogwood Street
Campbell River, British Columbia

Meetings are 7:15 p.m. on the 3rd Tuesday of January, March, May, September and November. 

For more information contact:

Greg.Goldstone@gov.bc.ca  Phone: (250) 286-9300 Ext. 9326

M
inutes

BLTC Minutes 2016-01-19
BLTC Minutes 2015-11-17
BLTC Minutes 2015-09-15

 

 

For copies of previous minutes please contact:   Lynda.Ostashek@gov.bc.ca

 

Greenways Land Trust 

Website:  http://www.greenwaystrust.ca

Phone:  (250) 287-3785

 

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