108 MILE RANCH GREENBELT
The greenbelt lands of the 108 Mile Ranch community are one of our most precious resources. Comprising of more than 1500 acres, these community park lands include 108 and Sepa Lakes, the Walker Valley and many small patches of land scattered around the ranch.
These lands are for our pleasure – but with pleasure comes the responsibility for maintaining the land in its natural state. This means that the mix of forest, grasslands and wetlands has to remain relatively constant. During the summer, horses and cattle can graze in designated pastures to ensure the grass does not get out of hand and become fuel for wildfire. It also means that motorized vehicles (ATV’s, dirt bikes, trucks, etc.) are not allowed.
Each lot owner at the 108 is taxed an additional $10 annually, providing funding to the Greenbelt Commission for general maintenance, including fire protection, fencing, trails and bridges.
The Greenbelt Commission manages the Walker Valley grasslands in accordance with the findings and recommendations of a comprehensive ecological assessment it commissioned. Management of the Walker Valley greenbelt includes a conservation agreement with Ducks Unlimited for the riparian areas and a grazing license with the Blue Goose Cattle Company. Our 10 km of lake trails are also managed and maintained by the Greenbelt Commission.
There is clearly a heightened concern throughout the community about the risk of a serious interface fire. In 2018, the Commission undertook a major fuel management program in the forested areas on the far side of Walker Valley. Over the past decade most of the small pockets of greenbelt within the community were similarly treated by removing dead or dying trees, reducing forest density, eliminating ladder fuels, etc. These areas are now being reassessed to see if further action is appropriate. This will be an ongoing program.
The History of Our Greenbelt Lands
One of the initial selling features of the 108 development in 1970 was the promise by the developer that one third of the land would remain undeveloped as a greenbelt for general community use. In 1982, due to government regulations such as the Agriculture Land freeze, Block Bros. decided that development of the east side of Highway 97 (Phase 2) was not feasible.
In order to settle their development obligations, Block Bros. offered to transfer the 1500 acres of greenbelt on the west side of Highway 97 to the Property Owners Association for the sum of $1.00. Investigation revealed that if the 108 Property Owners took title of this land they would have to pay fairly onerous property taxes. Accordingly, an arrangement was entered into whereby the Cariboo Regional District would hold the land, which would be tax free in their hands, and the 108 Property Owners would manage the lands. Basically, the CRD would be registered owners and a Greenbelt Commission of 108 residents, the CRD, and a representative of the Resort would be created to manage the property. The October 18, 1982 letter agreement as to the arrangement is attached hereto. The understanding being that this was a “trust arrangement” where the land is held for the benefit of the 108 property owners. This arrangement would be protected by way of a restrictive covenant which was registered in the Land Titles Office against all greenbelt land on January 23, 1983 under number V5722. This covenant was registered prior to the transfer of the lands to the CRD, so that the CRD took the land subject to this restrictive covenant. It is of note that this covenant is registered in favour of our community hall property owned by our RCA Community Association.
This covenant is our protection that the 108 residents are always involved in the management and decision making affecting the greenbelt. It is important that this restrictive covenant continues to be acknowledged where ever possible so that in the future it cannot be argued that we have waived these protective rights. There is no doubt that we have been fortunate to have Al Richmond involved from the beginning, but again we must anticipate a future time when the people at the CRD are not as familiar with the background and may consider other interests of greater priority.
108 GREENBELT COMMISSION
- Al Richmond: (250) 395-0841
- Chris Betuzzi
- Herb Carter
- Robbin Edwards
- Dan Jackson
- Liz Jones
- Ingrid Meyer
- Barry Porter
- Mark Redl
- Don White
- Pat Corbett