Group of residents to foot the bill for park in Cherry Creek Falls
Fifty people attended a public information meeting recently regarding a park proposal for the Cherry Creek Falls area.
The RDEK hosted the meeting and Electoral Area E Director Jane Walter said the goal was to provide the community with information on the steps that would be required to move forward with the creation of a park.
“The RDEK recognizes the community’s desire to see this area protected and we’ve been working with the owner of the Mineral Claim, the Ministries of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Energy and Mines, and the community to determine possibilities for the long term preservation of the area,” explained Walter. “Having said that, the RDEK does not have funding to buy the claim. Following the meeting last night, the community has indicated they want to proceed with fundraising efforts to purchase the Claim.”
A total of $51,000 will need to be raised by September 30th to purchase the 188 hectare Mineral Claim, with a formal purchase agreement in place by October 4th. “There was a strong desire expressed last night by the community to see this area protected. As soon as those in attendance agreed that the community will raise the funds, seven people put up their hands and donated $1,000 each, so I am optimistic they will achieve their goal,” adds Walter. Anyone wishing to make a donation can contact Bob Johnstone at 250-427-3277.
If they do reach their fundraising target, a member of the community must register as a Free Miner and apply to have the Mineral Claim transferred from the current tenure holder to the Free Miner. The next step would be to register a Quit Claim on the parcel, which would relinquish the mining rights back to the Province.
At that point, the RDEK would apply for a “No Staking Reserve” from the Ministry of Energy and Mines, which would ensure no further claims are registered on the parcel. Once the parcel was designated as a Regional Park, it would no longer be eligible for mineral claims and would become an Area E amenity.
The Cherry Creek Falls area is currently within a permitted mineral claim tenure which allows for a rock quarry. Concern about the potential impact of mining activity has prompted the community to pursue the long term protection of the area through the creation of an Electoral Area E park.
For more information, contact RDEK Planner Michele Bates at 1-888-478-7335 or 250-489-2791.