Pubdate: Wed, 15 Sep 2010
Source: Langley Advance (CN BC)
Copyright: 2010 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc.
Author: Sandor Gyarmati


Public access to Burns Bog shouldn't be banned completely, says the
president of the Burns Bog Conservation Society.

Eliza Olson was asked to comment on three outdoor marijuana grow-ops
found near the 10400-block of 64th Avenue earlier this month, a
discovery made by a police helicopter.

Officers on the ground seized a total of 1,200 mature plants as well
as related equipment.

According to Delta police, the plants were just a few weeks from
harvest and would have yielded an estimated street value of $450,000.

Olson said the seizure raises the issue of public access to the
conversancy area.

"This is the two-edged sword of no public access. The wrong people
ignore it and go in and the other people honour it. I've not been in
there since 2004 when I was asked not to go in," she said.

"I still support controlled access and I would support the idea of
having volunteer wardens who are trained to go into the bog and do
observations, and even give guided trips. I wouldn't recommend wide
open, let anyone in any place."

Olson said trained wardens would make it difficult for marijuana
growers to attempt the cultivate crops in the area.

"I know the mayor doesn't want to let anyone in but this is the other
side of the coin. I respect her rationale for it, but I still believe
in controlled access," added Olson.

The marijuana grow-op was discussed at Monday's Delta council meeting,
where Mike Brotherston, manager of climate change and environment,
provided an update.

He said police were concerned about potential ecological damage but,
fortunately, the impact to the native vegetation was minimal. He also
encouraged monitoring by staff and pointed out the bog is closed to
public access.

At a later discussion about the bog during Monday's meeting, Mayor
Lois Jackson noted it was made clear when the wetland was purchased by
the four levels of government in 2004 that the area is "not for people
but for preservation."
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt