Dear Editor:

Merrittonians. Drive out Highway 8 toward Spences Bridge approximately 18 km to Sunshine Valley Road West. Follow the sign past Spius Creek Fish Hatchery.

Continue following Merritt Snowmobile Club signs and those of Canamex Farms, past same, until sign posted for 8 km. A plastic covered “Staking Notice” by Angel’s is affixed to a tree. At that location you will see a spectacular part of the country. Indeed, unobstructed views of the entire Spius Creek Valley dramatically present.

There are sweeping grasslands with natural terraces, good timber and water supporting large groves of aspen trees. The area forms an acoustic bowl. We know this for, on the occasion Kim Robinson is in the region with his hound dogs, the valley knows it.

I know of no parcel of private lands for sale that match the beauty of the parcel applied for.

The application covers land adjacent to developed private lands. There is no need for the animal rescue to be located there, as opposed to a more distant site located well away from established homes. The proposed grant of a 99 year lease will negatively impact the lives of those of us who have invested our capital and labour and made our homes here.

The TNRD map is misleading in that it shows the location applied for at the end of Petit Creek Road. The road continues, past another private parcel and on to the area used by the Merritt Snowmobile Club. Roads continue to recreation areas of Lightening Lake, Cabin Lake and Silver Lake.

I agree with Kim Robinson’s letter to the Merritt Herald. Perhaps a better use of that unique parcel would be a nature preserve.

Animal shelters in an industrial area would make more sense. Private homes would be unaffected. Workers, volunteers and members of the community seeking to adopt a rescued animal would have easy access. At 52 km round trip from Merritt, figuring $0.35 per km, vehicle operating costs equals $17.60 plus an hour travel time.

But if Angel’s Animal Rescue Society seeks an outlying location, there are thousands of hectares of Crown lands to apply for in locations which would not have an adverse impact upon established private homeowners.

A further consideration which I suggest all citizens share is the uses the sought lands may be made of in addition to animal rescue. For example, how many private dwellings will be built? Further, how can the citizens have confidence that a bona fide operational animal rescue can be sustained for 99 years? Why such a large parcel (92 acres) and length of tenure necessary to the operation of an animal rescue facility?

Susan Brandreth-Gibbs

Merritt, B.C.