Forever Farmland: Reshaping the Agricultural Land Reserve for the 21st Century
This 30-page report looks at recent changes that threaten the integrity of British Columbia’s Agricultural Land Reserve. Forever Farmland shows in recent years farmland that is nestled along the edge of British Columbia’s towns and cities has fallen prey to regional development. Between 2001 and 2006, thousands of hectares from Courtenay to Invermere have been eliminated from the ALR and converted into subdivisions. The pressure to remove land from the ALR is greatest near the major population centres where the most productive farmland is predominantly located. Ninety per cent of the land added to the ALR since its inception has been in the north, while 72 per cent of the land lost has been in the more fertile southern part of the province.
The recommendations of Forever Farmland are two-fold: the province must give clear, comprehensive direction to the land commission to remain focused on the long-term; and the land commission must be enabled to carry out its original mandate of agricultural preservation. In addition, the province must develop policies that support the viability of farms and farmlands.