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A bow hunter’s perspective

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RMOW hindering wildlife

RE: Black tailed deer migration route through the RMOW sewer treatment plant property

I would like to know what council is doing or plan to do about the aforementioned migration route. I have discussed this with some councillors but for those who might be unaware the situation is that deer follow new vegetation growth along the valley bottom through the STP property in the spring, crossing the Cheakamus Lake Road up onto Whistler to treeline, then in the fall return to lower elevations. Highway 99 has now formed a barrier on one side and with the river on the other side the animals are forced through the STP property. This is something I have observed for 35+ years but if you don't believe me there is a report done by Cascade Environmental commissioned by the RMOW engineering department that confirms the existence of this migration route.

So what is council doing "to enhance the environment," "protect wildlife corridors," "ensure sustainable wildlife populations for residents and visitors to enjoy?" Well quite frankly, they are doing the exact opposite.

There is a huge waste pile of material from the STP upgrade covering the riparian zone, then there are a couple of acres of prime valley bottom land clear cut for an Olympic parking lot, evident by the fact one can see the STP quite well now. This parking lot is now being used by the roads department for a dump site for their ditch cleaning operations.

How about the STP lights? Earth Hour 2010 there were 57 lights on at the plant. This is your idea of conservation and helping the planet?

Then there is the "inspirational Olympic torch" lighting on the new Valley Trail that is now a hideous Olympic leftover. Spewing light 360 degrees and visible for kilometers, these lights would never be allowed in any part of this town as they are pure light pollution. And guess what they cross? The black tailed deer migration route.

The RMOW is not enhancing; no, you are hindering wildlife on your own property - and it is not just deer, there are lynx, bobcat, coyotes, raccoons, cougars, etc. travelling through this narrow little strip of land. All the RMOW staff I have spoken to about this situation have indicated they want direction from council. With a whole lot of people and their dogs about to move into the area it would seem that some "offsetting" or "mitigation" is in order. How about turning the STP lot into a wildlife refuge. Turn off the lights at the STP, plant trees and modify all and selectively turn off some of the Valley Trail lights. Then at least wildlife would be accommodated in some small way.

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