24 April 2012

civic pride: saws of glory

Today's cut - in prime nesting season - leaves us a little confused about the point of Port Coquitlam's significant tree bylaw. Perhaps, as a city worker quipped, its because trees don't pay taxes. 

We thought this group of conifers adjacent to Donald ElksPark was covered by Port Coquitlam's 'significant trees' bylaw, keeping it safe for nesting birds at least until August, when nesting season ends.

The contractors arrived this morning, however, armed with a City permit allowing the cut, including a Western Red Cedar over a meter in diameter and more than 100 years old (and in which a pileated woodpecker had been foraging an hour before).

Property at 2220/2212 Kelly St., Port Coquitlam, BC, under development by Kerkhoff Construction.


^^pileated woodpecker foraging on the 100 year old Western Red Cedar
shortly before the cutting crews arrived. (photo credit for pileated photo: CJW Vos)


Port Coquitlam Tree bylaw
Migratory Birds Convention Act

update 1: before and after 

The row of remaining trees, on the Donald Elks Park side of the fence, no longer forms a grouping. There are now wide gaps between the trees, and their north sides are largely bare, making them poor nesting trees for smaller bird species. They are seriously vulnerable to wind and that threat will only increase when the interlocking roots are severed from the stumps of the cut trees. Within ten years, it's likely that additional development and wind damage will further reduce the number of mature trees in the park, changing it's private, intimate nature.

The loss of these trees will affect bird life in the area - larger owls and pileated woodpeckers, among others, need mature trees. A planting of ornamental maple saplings isn't habitat and doesn't come close to 'replacing' the cut trees.
Local birds have lost a viable pocket habitat, and us humans have lost another chance to observe the natural world in our downtown core.

update 2:

Three houses remain along the northeast boundary of Elks Park. When the lots are ultimately developed, the trees growing there will face summery removal. But, consider: twelve trees (one maple and eleven conifers) grow along the shared boundary. All but one are outside the Park, on private property.

If you're a Port Coquitlam resident and you care about this, consider signing the petition below, or write (Please, be respectful)
the Mayor:
Mayor Greg Moore
3rd Floor, City Hall, 2580 Shaughnessy Street
Port Coquitlam, BC   V3C 2A8
Tel 604.927.5410/Fax 604.927.5331

Email mooreg@portcoquitlam.ca

or (Please, be respectful)
the Councillors:
City of Port Coquitlam
2580 Shaughnessy Street
Port Coquitlam BC  V3C 2A8

Tel  604.927.5410/Fax  604.927.5331 Check out this page for names and email addresses.

-note: the on-line petition is now closed

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Isn't this the beauty of living in a free county that someone has the same freedom to cut down a tree and build a house on private property, as you did in order to build your house, on your private property? Who cares about some birds...they can find other trees