A spotted owl breeding program remains in operation at the former Mountain View conservation centre.

Mountain View morphs into new group

Land conservation is the goal of a new planned society.

Mountain View Conservation Society has slid into extinction, but a new society may take over conserving some of its land.

The society, which once housed and bred endangered animals from around the world on its site near Fort Lagnley, has been quietly winding down for years. In October, it officially lost its tax exempt status with Langley Township.

Currently, there are a handful of birds on the property, but the last remaining major program is the Northern Spotted Owl Breeding Centre.

That program is now being run by a contractor with the B.C. Conservation Foundation, for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resources.

The ministry leases 25 acres of the site, while the rest is used as farmland.

“The owl program is doing very well,” said Malcolm Weatherstone, who previously acted as a spokesperson for Mountain View.

Now Weatherstone and Mountain View founder Gordon Blankstein are looking into creating a much smaller-scale conservation project, to protect some B.C. Crown lands.

Mountain View leased about 150 acres of Crown land adjacent to its main site.

The lands are still leased under the name of the old society. Weatherstone said they hope to create a new society, EarthWorld.ca, that can take over the lease and look after the lands.

“There’s an old mill there that burned down and has been absorbed by nature,” Weatherstone said.

A few people have visited the site, mostly from local conservation groups, and a study found endangered plant species.

Weatherstone said the hope is that the land will be left alone, and used for research.

Mountain View was founded in 1986 by Blankstein.

The society was dedicated to breeding and conserving rare animals, and for many years had a special focus on small, wild cat species from around the world.

However, it also held animals including lemurs, giraffes, antelope, buffalo, African wild dogs, and deer.

The society did not initially encourage public visits, but starting in the early 2000s, it began offering tours, including to school groups.

In 2009 and 2010, Mountain View went through a tumultuous and highly public incident that included an SPCA investigation following the death of a giraffe, and a labour dispute involving then-current and former employees.

The SPCA investigation did not lead to any charges.

However, Mountain View announced shortly after that it would relocate its exotic animals to other zoos and conservation centres. Its frog and Vancouver Island marmot breeding programs also finished.

 

Just Posted

Langley Thunder stop Shamrocks

The local lacrosse season is close to wrapping up.

Throwback Thursday: July 19, 2018

Can you help us caption a photo from Langley’s past?

Have you seen this missing Langley man?

Peter Webb hasn’t been seen by his family in more than 10 days.

Langley to host Korean War memorial

A new monument will mark the involvement of Canadian soldiers.

Elvis sighted in Aldergrove

Live concerts set for Langley Cruise-In on Sept. 8

Through your lens: Okanagan wildfires

Check out some of the captivating images and video from social media of the wildfires

BC Games: Opening Ceremony from Laketown Ranch

Hundreds of athletes and thousands of volunteers, coaches, parents and officials

World’s translators push back on forcing Trump interpreter to testify

Democrats had asked translator to testify about Trump’s lengthy conversation with Putin in Helsinki

No decision on B.C. school stabbing suspect’s mental fitness for trial

The BC Review Board could not determine whether Gabriel Klein, 21, is fit to stand trial

Canadian government threatens to retaliate if Trump imposes auto tariffs

U.S president had suggested that auto imports pose a national security risk to the U.S.

Abbotsford’s Besse sisters: Vaulting to greatness at Summer Games

Local siblings heading to Cowichan to compete in equestrian

Wildfire evacuation order forces bride to search for new wedding venue

Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards is under an order due to the Mount Eneas wildfire south of Peachland

Recent online kitten abuse video raises serious social media questions

UBC and UFV profs weigh in on the subject of online sharing, shaming, and our digital landscape

UPDATED: ICBC fights back against claims that it’s ‘ripping off’ B.C. RV drivers

Canadian Taxpayers Federation is urging the provincial government to open up ICBC to competition

Most Read