- History of the Ferguson Lake Nature Reserve
- Proposed Rezoning and Potential Residential Subdivision
- PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
- Join the Peace Region board: Apply by April 16
Club Events and NewsHistory of the Ferguson Lake Nature Reserve
Prince George Naturalists Club has a long history of support for the Ferguson Lake Nature Reserve. The City of Prince George established the Reserve in the summer of 1990 following recommendations from regional biologists Dave King and Dennis Ableson to preserve the only lake in the city able to support a fish population (Shane Lake in Forests for the World had not yet been developed as a fishing lake). In 1991 the Club formally agreed to undertake a four-season survey of the Reserve for the City of Prince George. Past President Sandra Kinsey sent a 10-page letter with supporting maps to the City summarizing the findings of the survey. The letter itemized an extensive list of plant and animal species found in the Reserve. The Park was created with wide community support. The Killy family donated the site to the Nature Trust of British Columbia. Other organizations involved in maintaining and developing the Reserve include the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Spruce City Wildlife, and the Downtown Rotary Club of Prince George.
Club members and many other local residents enjoy the park for activities such as canoeing, kayaking, fishing, photography, nature walks, picnics and general enjoyment. A distinctive feature of the park is the trail that loops around the lake. In September 2020 the City of Prince George rebuilt sections of the boardwalk at the south end of the park. Another 30 metres of boardwalk at the south end will be repaired in 2021. The City has applied for a $848,980 Canada Infrastructure grant to make further improvements to the trail and boardwalk.
Proposed Rezoning and Potential Residential Subdivision
This unique urban nature park will soon be put at risk by a proposed rezoning that would allow a residential subdivision immediately west of the park. The property is in the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George. The property is 32.5 ha (80 acres). The current zoning is “Rural 1” which allows residential use with a minimum lot size of 15 ha (37 acres). The owner could also replant the land and plan to harvest it again when the forest matures. The rezoning to “Rural Residential 2” would allow residential lots with a minimum size of 1.6 ha (4 acres). The recently logged area in the attached image shows the location of the potential subdivision adjacent to the Nature Reserve. It is approximately 25 meters west of the boardwalk along the northwest side of the lake.
A public hearing via conference call is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday April 8. Written comments from the public must be received by 12 noon on Wednesday April 7:
* Public Hearing notice: <https://tinyurl.com/rmzbzvxh>.
* Detailed background reports are on this page: <https://tinyurl.com/56apayjy>.
Residents and park users in both the Regional District and the City should oppose this rezoning.
* The activity associated with a rural subdivision so close to the park is not compatible with a nature park or with the interests of the many people who use this park.
* Two streams flow the entire length of the property. One (Ferguson Creek) is designated as potentially fish bearing. The lower 30 m of the other stream is designated as fisheries sensitive. A rural subdivision, even with a leave strip along each stream, would impact the water quaility of both the streams and the lake. Contaminants could include fertilizers, nutrients leaching from sewage systems, herbicides and pesticides with a potential impact on fish populations and eutrophication due to increases in algae and aquatic plants.
* This rezoning would put the value of the City’s current and future investments in the park at risk.
* The rezoning may offer benefits to the owner of the property but there is no benefit to the residents of this region. The owners of the property are Global Union Investment Group Ltd. and a numbered company both registered in BC. Both owners share a street address in Vancouver.
(Submitted by Anne Hogan and Bob Steventon)
PGNC Memberships: New and Renewals
We are very grateful that Club members are supporting the work of the Prince George Naturalists Club and BC Nature by renewing their Club memberships online or by mail. New members are also joining the Club. This support is much appreciated.
BC Nature has changed how individual Club membership lists are kept so anyone more than three months in arrears will not receive BC Nature magazine or BC Nature’s monthly eNews.
Memberships run from January 1 to December 31 and are available online any time. Cost is $25 per calendar year for individuals, $40 for a family, and $15 for students. Information including payment by PayPal is available at: https://pgnc.wordpress.com/membership/. Payments by cheque can be mailed to Prince George Naturalists Club, PO Box 1092, Prince George BC V2L 4V2.
Benefits of membership: Subscription to BC Nature magazine, liability insurance coverage for Club work parties and field trips, 10% discount on some of the bird seed purchased at Spruce Capital Feeds, and access to popular events limited to Club members only.
Other Events and News
Join the Peace Region board: Apply by April 16The Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program is looking for a new public representative to join their Peace Region board for a three-year term starting in June 2021. As a board member, you will share in decision-making about projects to help conserve and enhance fish and wildlife in watersheds impacted by BC Hydro dams. We’re seeking someone who lives in—or in close to—our Peace Region and is committed to supporting thriving and sustainable watersheds. Candidates should bring a regional perspective to fish, wildlife, and environmental issues, and represent a broad range of public interests—not the interests of a single or specific organization(s). Apply by Friday, April 16, 2021.For more information see: https://fwcp.ca/join-peace-region-board/