One of B.C.’s largest fish and game clubs that also runs as a training centre for Metro Vancouver law enforcement agencies can stay at the top of Burke Mountain for another three years.
But with so many homes being built in the northeastern neighbourhood, Coquitlam city officials say time is ticking for the Port Coquitlam and District Hunting and Fishing Club (PCDHFC) to find somewhere else to go.
On Monday (Dec. 5), club president Les Staff spoke to the city’s council-in-committee about its 30-year Crown land lease with the provincial government, signed in 2009.
A decade later, the city renewed its approval of the agreement, which is now reviewed every three years; the next scan is in 2025.
“As the houses march up the hill, they are getting closer and we know that Hazel–Coy will ultimately provide a finality to the club,” he said.
“We understand that and we accept that.”
Staff said the club has tucked away funds for its eventual move and has committed to cleaning up the Crown land before it leaves.
The 3,200 club members would like to stay local, he said, and even move outside of Metro Vancouver’s Urban Containment Boundary, north of the Hay–Coy neighbourhood; however, it’s also looking at sites in Mission, Abbotsford and Chilliwack.
Moving out to the Fraser Valley, though, may prove to be difficult for law enforcement agencies that currently train their employees on the 10 ranges at 5000 Harper Rd., Staff said. They include:
- Coquitlam, North Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, Langley and Ridge–Meadows RCMP
- Port Moody, New Westminster, Vancouver, West Vancouver and Delta police departments
- Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team
- B.C. Sheriff Service
- BC Conservation Officer Service
- Justice Institute of BC
- Wildlife & Environmental Enforcement Branch
“It will be a challenge for these first responders to get the kind of training that they want,” said Staff, adding that membership is on the rise each year.
The Coquitlam resident also pointed to the community benefits provided by the professional club: Besides its gun and archery programs, it also:
- maintains the Grist Goesen Memorial Hatchery along the Coquitlam River
- grants scholarships and donations to charities such as SHARE and Coquitlam Search and Rescue
- sponsors the Como Lake Fishing Derby
- offers facility space — free of charge — to the Scouts, cadets and other youth groups
Staff said the club is working with the city and province to find a long-term solution for remote land.
But if it looks north, the club may run into issues with the province, which is currently at the master planning stage for the future of the Pinecone Burke Provincial Park, warned Coun. Brent Asmundson.
Mayor Richard Stewart said council’s support for PCDHFC’s Crown lease is a “stop gap” measure.
It’s a topic that came up during the election campaign this fall, said Coun. Teri Towner, while thanking Staff for “planting the seed” to find alternate property in Coquitlam.
“I think that’s definitely worthy of dialogue and would encourage us to have that conversation,” Coun. Dennis Marsden told Staff.
City officials are set to give an update on the Hazel–Coy neighbourhood plan in the new year.