Clearcutting to blame for urban deer problem

Dear editor,

Many of us who are long time Island residents always wondered why is it deer have invaded urban areas all along the east coast of Vancouver Island in the past 10 to 15 years? So I put that question to both the guys down at our local sporting goods store, which caters to local hunters, Tyee Marine and Briony Penn, adjunct professor of environmental studies at the University of Victoria. And they both basically came up with the same answer.

To quote Ms. Penn: “Our coastal blacktails are very dependent in the winter on arboreal lichens which accumulate on older trees and most particularly on the old growth of south facing slopes where the sun hits the slope, and the combination of sun and old growth canopy reduces snow cover. It is places like McLaughlin Ridge (over by Port Alberni and recently mowed down by TimberWest) that provide critical winter habitat, especially when bad weather hits. When you lose this habitat the deer die or move to the cities to munch on tulips in the winter. And, of course, cougars follow the deer. And…It is the fundamental reason we have cougar problems…”

So there you have it, more on the environmental disaster we are currently dealing with here in the Valley; all thanks to the creation of the Private Managed Forests Land Act back in 2003 by a newly elected Liberal government. In essence, the bill served as one colossal giveaway to the two timber corporations, TimberWest and Island Timberlands, since there’s been virtually no government oversight of their operations here along the east coast of the Island since that day.

As one old logger so aptly stated, “The fox was left in charge of the chicken house” and, as a result, not only has all our incredible first growth virtually disappeared but now any mature second growth, (70 to 120 year old timber) is going, going…gone!! All which would have provided ideal habitat to blacktail deer and their close associates: the cougar.

Rick James



Just Posted

Transit service expansion rolling into the Comox Valley

4,000 service hours added to CV Transit System

Motorcycle stolen from Courtenay residence

Comox Valley RCMP report, week ending Aug. 20

Sisters swimming to protect B.C. coastal ecosystems

Jennifer and Alyssa Madill are preparing to swim from Denman Island to Hornby Island

Foul play not suspected in man’s death in Chemainus

Long attempt made to revive unidentified person on the dock

Social media, digital photography allow millennials to flock to birdwatching

More young people are flocking to birdwatching than ever, aided by social media, digital photography

Prime minister greeted by B.C. premier as cabinet retreat begins

PM Justin Trudeau and Premier John Horgan meet in advance of federal cabinet meetings in Nanaimo

Are your kids anxious about going back to school?

BC Children’s Hospital offers tips to help your children be mindful and reduce stress

New trial ordered for James Oler in B.C. child bride case

Meanwhile, appeal court dismisses Emily Blackmore’s appeal of guilty verdict

This trash heap in Vancouver could be yours for $3.9 million

Sitting atop 6,000 square feet, the home was built in 1912, later destroyed by fire

Team Canada’s next game postponed at Little League World Series

They’re back in action on Wednesday against Peurto Rico

Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen pleads guilty in hush-money scheme

Said he and Trump arranged payment to porn star Stormy Daniels and a former Playboy model to influence the election

Former Trump aide Paul Manafort found guilty of eight charges

A mistrial has been declared for the other 10 charges against him

Canada’s team chasing elusive gold medal at women’s baseball World Cup

Canada, ranked No. 2 behind Japan, opens play Wednesday against No. 10 Hong Kong

Most Read