The Burns Bog Conservation Society is appealing a recent court decision dismissing the society's lawsuit against the federal government.
The society initiated legal action last year in a case involving the South Fraser Perimeter Road. It took Ottawa to Federal Court in Vancouver, claiming the government breached an environmental covenant to protect the bog when the highway was allowed to be built in proximity to the wetland.
The group and others opposed to the alignment of the SFPR contend the new highway will have a significant impact, despite the Gateway Program's assurances that mitigation measures will address concerns.
The society also contends the highway's proximity contravenes the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and the federal Species at Risk Act.
Using a grant from West Coast Environmental Law, the society alleged the federal government is an equal, and therefore responsible, partner.
However, a Federal Court judge last month ruled against the society, prompting the group to file an appeal last week.
Society president Eliza Olson maintains the SFPR is an infringement of the government's obligations under a conservation covenant.
"The society doesn't want to stop the road. We want it moved. Every time you scoop a bucket of peat out of the bog, you are putting 10 times more carbon into the atmosphere, than if you were scooping a bucket of sand off the beach," she said.
The society says it believes the construction of the SFPR threatens the bog's survival.
The Corporation of Delta wasn't named in the lawsuit.
A recent engineering department report to Delta council notes that a Burns Bog Mitigation Monitoring Program report indicates the mitigation measures are working well.
The new highway is anticipated to be substantially completed by December 2013.
Burns Bog was recently granted a Ramsar status, an international recognition of the importance of the wetlands.
In 2004, four partners - federal, provincial, regional and municipal governments - jointly purchased 2,042 hectares (5,045 acres) of Burns Bog to be protected as an ecological conservancy area.
© Copyright 2013