Programs
Programs and Initiatives of the VNHS help everyone, members and beyond, know nature and keep it worth knowing.

To CRD RE: widening and illuminating the Galloping Goose and Lochside trails.

February 8, 2021
CRD Regional Parks Committee
625 Fisgard Street
Victoria, British Columbia
Canada V8W 1R7

Dear Committee Members

RE: widening and illuminating the Galloping Goose and Lochside trails.

Summary:

1. No net loss of green space.
2. Importance of hedgerows to wildlife.
3. Improve bike lanes on roads first.
4. No major increase in lighting.

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Resolution 2020-001 – Ecological Reserves System of British Columbia

Submitted by Philip Lambert,

President of the Victoria Natural History Society president@vicnhs.bc.ca

Updated Version Prepared by Jenny Feick for the Friends of Ecological Reserves 

WHEREAS in 1971, the British Columbia Legislature gave unanimous approval to the Ecological  Reserve Act, thus becoming the first province in Canada to formalize, acknowledge the benefits  of, and give permanent protected status to ecological reserves; and

WHEREAS the Ecological Reserve Act of 1971 enabled the creation of 148 Ecological Reserves  across B.C. as part of a Protected Area system specifically to protect representative examples of  the ecosystem types in B.C. as well as rare species and special features of biological and  geological importance, for scientific study and educational purposes; and

WHEREAS, the BC Government holds primary stewardship responsibility for the B.C. Protected  Areas system, including Ecological Reserves, and that all British Columbians currently derive  economic, social, cultural, health and environmental benefits from these areas; and

WHEREAS an assessment of the condition of existing reserves in 2005 raised “concerns that the  ecological values of many individual reserves are at significant risk and a more proactive  approach to managing the reserves is required to reverse this trend.”

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Letter to Saanich Council re: Restoration of Panama Flats Wetland

Oct. 23, 2020

Mayor and Council
District of Saanich
770 Vernon Ave.
Victoria, BC, V8X 2W7

Re: Restoration of Panama Flats Wetland

Dear Saanich Mayor and Council,

On behalf of the Victoria Natural History Society, I’m writing to let you know of our Society’s concern regarding the management of Panama Flats. We recognize that Panama Flats are zoned for agricultural use. While we wholeheartedly support the protection of agricultural land, in this location, the ecological importance of this wetland cannot be overstated. Instead of farming it, we encourage you to commit to restoring and protecting it as a nature sanctuary, similar to Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary.

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Preserving King’s Pond and Jenkins Pond

Mayor and Council

District of Saanich

770 Vernon Ave.

Victoria, BC, V8X 2W7

Re: Preserving King’s Pond and Jenkins Pond

Dear Saanich Mayor and Council,

On behalf of the Victoria Natural History Society, I am writing to say how pleased we are that Saanich has acquired, through a generous donation, the area called Jenkins Pond Park, which adjoins King’s Pond. We would like to encourage you to go one step further and declare King’s and Jenkins Ponds as, either a Conservation Area similar to Rithet’s Bog or a Nature Sanctuary similar to Swan Lake.

The Victoria Natural History Society is a completely volunteer community organization with a 75 year history in the region and as many as 750 members currently, many of whom are residents of Saanich. Our goals are:

  • To stimulate an active interest in natural history;
  • To study and protect flora and fauna and their habitats; and
  • To work with other societies and like bodies having interests in common with the Society.

Not surprisingly, we take an active interest in regional land use decisions that could adversely impact wildlife and its habitat. It should also be pointed out that the value of a wetland, like King’s Pond, goes well beyond just providing habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife. As many municipalities are discovering, protecting and restoring wetlands also makes good economic sense, as shown through the Municipal Natural Asset Initiative. It employs tools to put a value on nature’s ability to provide municipal services, such as water purification, flood reduction, water supply and erosion control. Today, eleven municipalities across Canada have signed on to the initiative, including Nanaimo and Courtney, which is leading to more wetlands and other natural ecosystems being restored and protected.

According to Ducks Unlimited, up to 80% of the original wetlands along Vancouver Island’s east coast have been destroyed. Within the Greater Victoria region, as much as 70% of the wetlands have been drained and filled in. Action to protect and restore wetlands within the region is urgently needed. VNHS had requested 50 years ago in 1969 that the riparian area north of Kings Pond in the Cedar Hill Park be purchased by Saanich as a wild-life area.

The District of Saanich has a generally well-deserved reputation as an environmentally sensitive steward of public lands. In particular, we applaud the establishment of the Resilient Saanich Technical Committee with the sweeping mandate to “restore and protect air, land, and water quality, the biodiversity of existing natural areas and ecosystems, the network of natural areas and open spaces, and urban forests.” The addition of Jenkins Pond and further designating it as a  Conservation Area or Nature Sanctuary would be an excellent opportunity to demonstrate a further commitment to this mandate.

Thank you for your attention,

 

Sincerely,

Philip Lambert

President

Victoria Natural History Society

president@vicnhs.bc.ca

 

Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project

3 July 2020

To The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Email: ec.ministre-minister.ec@canada.ca    Telephone: 819-938-3813

Dear Minister Wilkinson:

I am writing on behalf of the Victoria Natural History Society, a community organization that has supported those with an interest in the natural history of our region since 1944 and with approximately 750 members. We encourage you to use your authority to protect the environment in British Columbia. Federal decisions that are made for short-term financial gain often cause serious permanent damage to the environment and ultimately long-term loss to our economy. A few examples of such decisions that have occurred recently include the latest tar sands mine approval, the TMX pipeline project, the continued west coast herring fishery, the Site C dam, and the LNG plant in Kitimat.

The most recent environmental harm that you can help prevent comes in the form of the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project in the Fraser River Delta. This internationally-recognized Important Bird Area is essential for Western Sandpipers and many other shorebirds. It provides a critical staging area that allows the birds to complete their long distance migration. The fatty food in the bio-film of the mudflats delivers the energy they need for their journey.

There are other significant issues associated with the destruction of the mudflats for this project. For example, it will further diminish the development of young salmon populations in the Fraser River system, which will have impacts on the iconic Southern Resident Killer Whales. These whales are in serious decline, and protecting this federally-endangered population falls under your jurisdiction.

Minister Wilkinson: We challenge you to demonstrate leadership on environmental issues that affect our future so drastically. The Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project is an example of just such a decision. It should not go ahead.

Sincerely,

Philip Lambert

President

Victoria Natural History Society

president@vicnhs.bc.ca