A big thank you to all who attended the McKee Peak public hearing Monday evening. The Matsqui Cenntennial Auditorium was packed, with an estimated 400 people in attendance, over 4 hours of speakers, and a regular (but short) council meeting. After all of the presentations from the community, council posed questions to staff. If you missed it, you can watch the entirety of the meeting here. Voting by council will take place at the March 27th council meeting.
It was an informative evening with comments and presentations from local First Nations, the Fraser Valley Conservancy, representatives from the land owners and developers, and many community members. Yoshi Burton (President of FVMBA and the Abbotsford Trail Development Society) and Mark Sawatzky (FVMBA Treasurer) presented on behalf of the FVMBA along with Mike Thomas (Vice President, Abbotsford Trail Running Club).
The FVMBA acknowledges that the trails at McKee Peak are on the unceded territories of the Sumas (Sema:th), Leq’a:mel, and Matsqui First Nations of the Sto:lo Peoples. The colonial land titles are privately owned and we are grateful to the private owners who allow the recreational use of their properties.
We strongly believe that preserving and enhancing the existing singletrack trails on McKee Peak is crucial for the community’s outdoor recreation potential and environmental preservation. The FVMBA supports the spirit of creating an outdoor adventure zone and collaborating with the city and developers to maximize the trail and nature preservation. As the development is proposed to take place over the next 20-50 years, we seek to preserve the trails and natural environment for future generations.
The FVMBA recommends the following:
We are grateful to everyone who attended the meeting, either in person or online, and thank all those who spoke to council.
In my conversations with Councilor Tuttle I was informed that there was no consultation with Sumas First Nation. They were simply informed. I also saw that you listed the Sto:lo First Nation in your list of Nations consulted and there was no record of that consultation and no record of this proposal in the People of the Rivers Referral’s Office.
Let me make it very clear tonight, Auguston and Abbotsford Tech District support preserving, maintaining, and enhancing trails. … our mid-90s development agreement included a $1.17 million dollar contribution exclusively for the City to build trails on our lands…for reasons neither party is entirely sure of, the City’s obligation has not yet been met. No trails have been built with that money.
For all information on the McKee Peak plans, including background research reports, project timelines, staff presentations to council, council reports, and more please see Let’s Talk Abbotsford.
To learn more about how the proposed development will affect will affect wildlife, habitats, and wildlife corridors, the Fraser Valley Conservancy provides an overview as well as more details on their website.