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Land Conservancy acquires option on Squamish gravel pit

The Land Conservancy of British Columbia has an option to purchase a Squamish gravel pit that last year was proposed as the base area for a sight-seeing gondola.

Whistler’s Peter Alder and Paul Mathews had an option on the land last August and proposed to use it as the base for a sightseeing gondola up the Stawamus Chief or Shannon Falls.

But the Squamish First Nation rejected the gondola plan so Alder and Mathews let their option on the gravel pit expire.

Lower Mainland Manager Tamsin Baker said Land Conservancy B.C. found out about the land from people who climb around Squamish and were interested in buying the land "to protect it."

The property is zoned commercial and is the only private land on the east side of Highway 99 near the Chief, so there is a lot of interest in developing it.

"We thought we’d get the option while we had the chance because it does tie into the bigger picture for that area," said Baker.

The price on the land is $900,000 and the owner’s decision on the Land Conservancy’s option is due on Aug. 31st.

"It’s more than a gravel pit because it’s a piece of property in private hands that should be for park use and not for a gondolas," said Baker.

LCBC is a charity organization founded in 1997 and, according to its website, the group has already acquired and/or protected nearly 40,000 hectares of sensitive and threatened lands around B.C., at a cost of $25 million.