VICTORIA – The Province of British Columbia, together with the Government of Canada, the GVRD and the Corporation of Delta have reached a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to protect and preserve Burns Bog, Premier Gordon Campbell announced today.
The MOU was reached with MSW Developments, which has a controlling interest in Delta Fraser Properties and Western Delta Lands, owners of the Bog. It involves a purchase price of $73 million for the approximately 5,000 acres deemed necessary to protect the bog in the 2000 Ecosystem Review. The MOU also includes an additional parcel of land in the northeast corner of the bog, which contains valuable bird habitat.
“We committed in our New Era platform to acquire and preserve Burns Bog, and we have worked hard for over two years to achieve that goal,” said Campbell. “The people of Delta and British Columbia have long wanted to see this vital piece of our environmental and cultural landscape preserved for the future. Today we are one step closer to making that happen.”
“I’m encouraged that this non-binding agreement takes us one step closer to securing this vital ecosystem,” said the Honourable David Anderson, Canada's Minister of Environment.
“I am extremely pleased that negotiations towards the purchase of Burns Bog seem to be reaching a positive conclusion,” said Marvin Hunt, chair of the GVRD Board of Directors. “The GVRD has long recognized the importance of preserving the bog, and it is gratifying to know that we, along with our municipal, provincial and federal partners, are that much closer to acquiring this priceless environmental jewel.”
Now that a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed, the parties will continue work over the coming weeks to finalize an agreement, including the precise boundaries of the protected area and each party’s final contribution. A formal announcement will be made once the agreement is finalized.
Burns Bog is the largest raised peat bog on the west coast of North America, and makes a significant contribution to improving air quality in the Lower Mainland. It is an excellent example of a self-sustaining ecosystem that contains an impressive diversity of wildlife and plants.
“We are another step closer to where we want to be, which is the preservation of the Bog,” concluded Delta Mayor Lois Jackson.