‘Comatose Valley’ not interested in solutions

Dear editor,

There’s another very disturbing cost to our current provincial government having washed its hands of any and all government oversight of the private managed forest lands here above us in the Valley upon election back in 2003. What with having to deal with flood warnings and boil water alerts each and every winter now, it’s not only our guaranteed access to good clean water that’s been flushed down the toilet.

Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with a Professor Emeritus of Environmental Studies who spent most of his career studying ungulates throughout northern B.C. and has retired on Vancouver Island.

I asked what his thoughts were on what had all gone down and especially up along the drainages feeding Comox Lake. Yes, he was apprised of it all, and came across as very disgusted and angry, what with the wholesale slaughter of barely mature second growth timberlands along the river bottoms and sidehills.

But he had more to add on how this blitzing of the forest landscape majorly impacted wildlife. He pointed out, that yes, I was absolutely correct; the deer population have had to migrate into urban areas all along the east coast of the Island since they were no longer able to get through winter by feeding on lichens that only grew in mature forests. But, he also pointed out, then there’s the once numerous blue grouse that have all but disappeared and, for the very same reason: there’s virtually no habitat left to sustain them through the winter.

The professor then put it back to me, had I heard anything about how all the wild blueberry that once thrived in the hills above the Comox Valley might be fast disappearing too? And he was especially curious to know what are our local environmental groups and ecologists have to say about that and are doing? “Well,” I responded, “as far as I can figure, nothing. Basically they just keep their heads down; pulling up invasive species down on the estuary as far as I can figure.”

“That’s disgusting!” he replied.

“Well,” I responded, “you know, this is the Comatose Valley over here; so very conflict adverse.”

Rick James,



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