Citizens want the ALC out of Northern B.C.

Citizens for Agricultural Land Reform are calling for a five-year moratorium on the Agricultural Land Reserve east of the Rockies.

They say the ALR is an unnecessary restriction.

Instead, they suggest a Delegation Agreement which would give local elected representatives control over agricultural land.

According to representative Anne Clayton, less than 40 per cent of the agricultural land in Northeast B.C. is being farmed.

She claims the ALC is more focussed on preserving agricultural land rather than encouraging farming in collaboration with other communities of interest, like local farmers and ranchers who want to service the oil and gas industry on their own farms.

Instead, she says farmers are treated like "criminals" when they participate in the oil and gas industry.

Tim Caton, Director of Area "E", says the Citizens for Agricultural Land Reform are on the right track.

"I believe that anybody who owns their land, who has bought and paid for their land with blood, sweat and tears has the right to do with their land when it comes to economic development."

If after four years the moratorium is determined to be working, the organization would ask for complete abolition of the ALR in the area.

For now, getting anything to happen is still a slow process.

The organization has met with the ALC as well as taken B.C. Agricultural Minister Don McRae on a helicopter tour of areas both east and west of the Rockies.

They say he's keen to make changes, but for now they are only looking for the support of Peace River Regional District.