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Mission interpretive forest open houses coming up

The Stave West task force has set up a series of open houses to hear local residents' vision for Mission's interpretive forest.

The 5,000-hectare area, situated in northern Mission around the west side of Stave Lake, is already a well-used site for outdoor enthusiasts. Hiking, horseback riding, 4x4ing and other activities are common-place.

"We need to harness that and build upon it. We are in the early days of our planning process for the recreational master plan for Stave West," said task force chair Bill Brooks. The goal is to make the area an outdoor recreational hub for the District of Mission.

In addition, the Zajac Ranch for Children is located in the area. There is also a proposal to build B.C.'s first Tim Horton Foundation Camp on Pine Lake for economically disadvantaged children.

"We're in the process of changing the area to where it's going to be accommodating and friendly for everyone," said Brooks, acknowledging the challenges the area currently faces in regards to illegal shooting, and littering.

The open houses will explain municipal tree farm activities, and attendees will be able to fill out a questionnaire and share their thoughts.

Mission has one of two municipally run tree farms in B.C., which it has operated since 1958. Logs harvested from the area have been a municipal revenue source for decades. In 2011, the province of B.C. granted a portion of the tree farm licence with "interpretive forest" status. This allows the district to develop the area for organized outdoor recreation and tourism opportunities while operating a working forest.

The Stave West task force is made up of representatives from several community organizations and aims to have the final master plan to council by March 2015.

 

Open houses:

 

Mission Leisure Centre (7650 Grand St.)

• June 5, 7 to 9 p.m. Presentations at 7:30 and 8:30 p.m.

• June 7, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Presentations at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

 

Fire station two (30514 Dewdney Trunk Rd.)

• June 11, 7 to 9 p.m. Presentation at 8 p.m.

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