4916 Island Highway N.
Courtenay BC
V9N 1Z5
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H/O - 250.338.4934
Cell – 250.897.4670
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O – 250.339.0431
October 27, 2007
Locally the Mt. Washington Minesite reclamation plan is moving forward, next step – Provincial and Federal Treasury Boards. Estimated $4-5m will be required to implement.
The Comox Valley Land Trust’s “Comox Valley Conservation Strategy – Nature without Borders” is moving forward. A Working Group (WG) is in place with their mandate is to achieve “buy-in” in the community. Interestingly, the WG is dropping “urban containment” boundaries as a recommendation. It is felt that to really affect long-term conservation of sensitive ecosystems (including all riparian zones) the area earmarked for conservation is establish first development then proceeds outside these areas. It is felt that if Urban Containment is established development, and most likely low density development, will rapidly reach infill. The effort than will be to “push” the UC boundary into ag land and sensitive ecosystems. It is also felt that by creating a UC small, extremely important sensitive systems will be lost by infill development.
The Strategy is gaining buy-in and has become a template for conservation in Growth Management locally.
TimberWest has made a commitment to leave 15 m riparian strips on all their private forest land. This would include a 5 m “no touch” zone along all wetlands, creeks and rivers with 10 m only being harvested away from the southern exposure and only the most merchantable of trees. Basically this is entrenched in the new private forest regulations but TW has made a commitment to go somewhat further.
Pinks low except for Quinsam, all groups got their eggs this year. Chum coming in and coho starting no indication of numbers yet.
Enforcement remains a top issue with volunteer groups asking about the status of the EPMP recommendations and follow up from the DFO/ENGO process.
Another question, asked in many different ways, that volunteers express is “How can we get Pacific Fisheries higher on the Federal agenda?”
Seal predation remains a problem in the Courtenay River, and with fishers generally. There is a mix of opinion with many calling for a cull and a deterrent fence with many others only interested in these measures as a part of an overall plan to improve fish stocks by restorative action and informed fisheries decision making. There is a call generally for more resources to restore habitat.
A great deal of interest is being expressed about development/approvals/notifications being subject in some manner to local stewardship and conservation group’s unique knowledge of their area. Many groups are asking for a formal way of participating in development and other approvals both Federal and Provincial.
Much concern about Coho and Climate Change.
Volunteerism continues to be reducing. Some of the reason is many more people are working and working later in life as well but, what I hear often is comments about not wanting to do the Government’s job if the Government doesn’t respect what we do or protect what we accomplish vigorously
There appears to be some improving relationship with Province with some groups receiving positive feedback around trout enhancement.
A Water symposium is in planning stage for Central VI. Will take place in Courtenay, spring 2008.
-Respectfully Submitted Oct 27, 2007
Jack Minard