The B.C. Great Blue Heron Society commends Campbell River Council for its progress toward a tree bylaw, its hiring of a city arborist, and its decision to incorporate the provincially recommended development guidelines for the protection of heron habitat into its planning process, bringing Campbell River into line with other progressive cities.
We are wondering about the timeline for the implementation of both the heron protection guidelines and the tree bylaw, and how large heron nesting and roosting trees will be protected before these measures come into effect. Four historical heron colonies have been displaced in the Campbell River area, so we urge council to consider a fresh planning perspective for the Twillingate area – where there are now seven nests – before any more development is approved, including ensuring wildlife corridors into Willow Creek Nature Park for all area wildlife.
Cities the world over are embracing critical wildlife habitat as areas to be cherished and conserved through leadership and the use of planning tools such as density credits, partnerships with conservation organizations, purchases and land swaps.
Trees provide critical community services, maintaining property values, cutting heating and cooling costs, alleviating flooding, providing greenhouse gas reduction credits, purifying air and water and providing mental health benefits.
Gillian Anderson, BC Great Blue Heron Society