COUNCIL CUT: Conservationists ask for wildlife corridor protection

Residents are urging the District to define and protect wildlife corridors, which would allow animals to move around town without encountering human obstacles.

Three letters regarding the matter were sent to council, which directed staff to talk with the advocates.

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“Wildlife corridors are not currently considered in Squamish when putting in developments, and habitat may be closed off to wildlife through land development,” reads a letter signed by locals Jo-Anna Gorton and Kelly Franz.

“Once lost, regaining wildlife corridors is not likely, so planning stages of developments should be required to maintain some minimum of connected wildlife habitat to retain and if possible improve wildlife corridors in Squamish.”

The pair urged the municipality to define wildlife corridors in Squamish and to put money aside in this year’s budget to fund the cause.

They also asked the municipality to establish bylaws to protect wildlife corridors and offered to help get things moving forward.

The Squamish Environmental Conservation Society, in another letter, endorsed this message.

“In the past, when SES members have come forward to express the importance of action on the above, lack of funding for the necessary research and inevitable priority for human needs have been cited,” wrote Carl Halvorson, chairperson of the society.

General manager Gary Buxton said staff would have a talk with the advocates and see what’s possible, but noted there would be challenges.

“There’s nothing in this year’s budget that even remotely addresses this issue,” he said. “There is no data on animal movements that we’re aware of.”

Council voted unanimously to forward this discussion to staff.

 

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