As you are no doubt aware, local developer Diamond Head Land Company plans to build an expansive subdivision along Plateau Drive in Valleycliffe. The proposed 110-lot development, Crumpit Woods, will destroy some of the best remaining wildlife habitat in the neighborhood. Cougars and bears have been spotted in the area.
Because the land is very steep, the developer has proposed creating storm water retention ponds and erecting nine-foot high rock walls.
Such extensive development will adversely impact Valleycliffe residents by degrading the area's natural beauty, increasing local traffic and flood and erosion risks, and displacing wildlife, including cougars and bears.
Rampant growth in Squamish is contributing to a recent spike in encounters with cougars. Researchers have found urban sprawl increases conflicts with the big cats.
According to a National Wildlife Federation study, "Sprawling suburbs and outdoor recreation activities increasingly bring people into cougar habitat, both degrading these areas and heightening the chances for cougar-human encounters, which can result in harm to humans or the eventual destruction of cougars.
"Many suburban activities, like watering lawns or leaving pet food outdoors, attract deer or cougars and ultimately habituate cougars to human presence, increasing the risk that these typically reclusive cats will come into contact with people."
It is time to put a halt to development in sensitive wildlife areas. The Crumpit Woods subdivision should be stopped.