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Letter to the editor

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Re: Cypress Ski area marketing director Matthew Broadbent's comment that Boyne Resorts’ "investment will be a major plus for the park." ("Cypress Bowl goes to Boyne," Pique, March 9 th ).

In fact, Boyne's $40 million development plan will likely involve felling of 22 hectares of old-growth forest, alteration of wetlands and mountaintop blasting in the central portion of Cypress Provincial Park.

Cypress contains the most easily accessible Mountain Hemlock Zone old-growth within a two-hour drive of Vancouver, with some of the largest and oldest recorded trees for their species in B.C. The larger trees in areas slated for ski expansion are estimated to be in the 600-1,000 year range, and some may be considerably older.

A 1995 report by a senior B.C. Parks ecologist on the old-growth northwest of Strachan Chair stated that the conservation and scientific significance of this forest area is high and recommended that "in a provincial park the preservation of these ancient trees and ecosystems must take precedence over recreational development." Instead, new ski runs and a gondola lift line to a mountaintop restaurant will cut through this old-growth stand.

Boyne Resorts' John Kircher is quoted as saying, "We have great respect for the natural environment." Perhaps he'll be willing to find a way to improve the ski operation without sacrificing ancient trees and other natural heritage features in this Class A provincial park.

Katherine Steig

West Vancouver

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