Victoria, BC– The Capital Regional District (CRD) Board is pleased to announce the acquisition of land for the Sea to Sea Regional Park Reserve. Two lots totaling 39 hectares (97 acres) of land near Ayum Creek in Sooke have been purchased for $475,000.
The lots, at the southeastern boundary of the Sea to Sea Regional Park Reserve, are identified as priority acquisitions in the Board-approved CRD Regional Parks Land Acquisition Strategy 2015-2017. “These properties have been on the Regional Parks Acquisition list since 2003,” said CRD Regional Parks Committee Chair Mike Hicks. “They are valuable additions to the Mount Manuel Quimper portion of the Sea to Sea Regional Park Reserve.”
This is the first portion of the park reserve where trails and facilities are being developed for wilderness recreation. These lands protect the environment and increase the size of the park reserve from 3869 ha to almost 4000 ha, making it the largest park in the CRD Regional Park system. It completes the southeastern boundary of the Sea to Sea Regional Park Reserve, and will help maintain the wilderness character of the Sooke Hills.
The properties contain mature second growth forest in the Coastal Western Hemlock ecosystem and contain potential habitat for a species at risk, the sharp-tailed snake, which is red-listed (extirpated, endangered or threatened) provincially. These lands also contribute to carbon sequestration. The purchase is funded through the Regional Parks Land Acquisition Fund. The funds are generated through a levy set at a rate of $20 per average residential household. The fund is projected to generate approximately $3.7 million each year to 2019.
The Sea to Sea Regional Park Reserve is a large wilderness area within the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area. The area is both within T’Sou-ke and Scia’new (Beecher Bay) First Nation Traditional Territories. The large expanse of wilderness provides habitat for bears, wolves and cougars. It forms part of the Sea to Sea Green Blue Belt, a corridor of protected green space linking Saanich Inlet in the east to Juan de Fuca Strait in the west.
Celebrating 50 years! The CRD delivers regional, sub-regional and local services to 13 municipalities and three electoral areas on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24 member Board of Directors, the CRD works collaboratively with First Nations and all levels of government to enable sustainable growth, enhance community well-being, and develop cost-effective infrastructure while continuing to provide core services to residents throughout the region.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Laurie Sthamann, Communications Coordinator
CRD Regional Parks