Community Papers

Eight acres donated to Fraser Valley Conservancy

Fraser Valley Conservancy summer student Jessica Hemphill holds a rare Oregon forestsnail found on the recently acquired property on McKee Road. - Submitted photo
Fraser Valley Conservancy summer student Jessica Hemphill holds a rare Oregon forestsnail found on the recently acquired property on McKee Road.
— image credit: Submitted photo

A section of land on McKee Road will now provide a number of at-risk animal and plant species relief from the threat of development.

The Fraser Valley Conservancy (FVC) was recently given an eight-acre parcel of land across from Ledgeview Golf and Country Club, making it the second-largest piece of property the conservancy has received, said Joanne Neilson, FVC executive director.

A developer had purchased the land many years earlier, she said, but three creeks running through the property rendered it unusable for development.

Neilson said a minimum of work – some tree planting and elimination of invasive plants such as blackberries – will be required to bring it back to its full potential as a suitable habitat for several species of flora and fauna.

Previously, many donations received have been of “degraded habitat,” said Neilson. The conservancy then had to deal with invasive species, drainage and other issues.

While this area will be maintained for wildlife, it is not a public place, said Neilson.

“The area isn’t suitable for human recreation,” she said, noting the area is boggy for about eight months each year, and is replete with stinging nettles and devil’s club.

Even though humans aren’t encouraged to traipse across the land, it is a home for some notable species at risk.

The mountain beaver is one of the more rare animals that lives on the site, said Neilson. This rodent isn’t truly a beaver, and doesn’t build dams. Rather it crafts burrows near creeks, and primarily eats sword ferns. It is on the federal species at-risk list, which notes species as being either extirpated, endangered, threatened, or a special concern.

The Oregon forest snail is abundant on the property, said Neilson, and the Fraser Valley is one of the few areas where the mollusk can be found. The FVC also believes the Pacific water shrew could occupy the McKee Road property, given Sumas Mountain is at the very northern tip of its range. It has not yet been spotted.

The FVC was established in 1998 as a non-governmental organization and charitable society that seeks to protect land and water for future generations.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Referendum poll shows slip in transit tax support
Foreign doctors settling in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows
Elk thriving in Upper Pitt Lake
Garbage back on Maple Ridge council agenda
Wolf kill last hope for BC caribou herds
School builder to cover district costs
Coming in from the cold
Restrict election donations: Mayor
Moody Park corner going to the dogs