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

Land & Sea Brewing Company opens its doors in Comox

Managing director says the brewery will be a compliment to the Valley’s craft beer scene

Two Courtenay Habitat for Humanity families receive keys to new homes

Lake Trail Road project officially has residents

Preparations ongoing for Courtenay’s annual Earl Naswell Community Christmas Dinner

The doors of the Florence Filberg Centre, downtown Courtenay, will open again… Continue reading

Valley woman found guilty on three charges following 2016 collision in Courtenay

The woman involved in a trial for a multi-vehicle collision in which… Continue reading

Swiss juniors train in Comox Valley

The Swiss national junior hockey team is training at the Comox Valley… Continue reading

GoFundMe helps Vancouver Island teen battle a rare cancer

Nanaimo’s Michelle Reilly, 16, battling spinal cord cancer, seeking possible treatment in U.S.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

5 tips for self-care, mental wellness this holiday season

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions urging British Columbians to prioritize self care through festive season

Rescued B.C. cat with misshapen legs in need of forever home – with carpet

Mirielle was born with misshapen back legs and after a tough life on the streets, is looking for a forever home.

VIDEO: Craft growers will add to recreational market, cannabis producer says

Two B.C. men say their expertise in running small legal medical grow-ops a benefit to recreational market

World Sikh Organization demands Canada prove Sikh extremism is a threat

Sikh community says this is first time such extremism has been mentioned in federal terror-threat assessment

Most Read