Retain the critical habitat

Every possible option should be used to avoid damage

Editor, The Record:

Re: Wren Creek proposal gets environmental green light, Feb. 23 edition.

Mission is blessed with a superior natural environment, so pristine in some areas, that they are the last remaining refuges of several endangered species.

The proponent of a large commercial and residential development slotted for the highly sensitive Wren Creek ravine ecosystem directly adjacent to the Silvercreek wetlands, claims to have received an environmental green light for his development, but admits that authorization required for harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat has not yet been received.

The habitat slotted to be lost forever is one of the last remaining refuges of 10 endangered species and is heavily relied upon by other local wildlife. The forests of the ravines are considered to be vital to the health of the Silvercreek wetlands — home to five species of wild salmon and visited daily by hundreds of migrating birds.

Environment Canada has already stated that the developer’s plan to relocate the endangered species to another site will not work as habitat restoration techniques have not been tested or evaluated and best management practices do not recommend salvages for these species.

Instead, an avoidance approach was recommended, involving scaling down the size of the development to a higher density 10-acre footprint thereby allowing the more pristine areas to be protected. While the larger footprint may provide economic advantages to some, we must employ every option possible to avoid destruction of critical habitat. We must act to ensure our children and grandchild can experience the exquisite biodiversity of this beautiful and important area.

Tracy Lyster

CAUSS