Friends of Strathcona clarify sea cucumber stance

Dear editor,

I'm clarifying the position of the Friends of Strathcona Park (FOSP) in relation to applications for sea cucumber tenures.

Dear editor,

I’m writing to clarify the position of the Friends of Strathcona Park (FOSP) in relation to the existing applications for sea cucumber tenures in Baynes Sound.

We have been approached by environmental friends and colleagues asking us why we are supporting these tenure applications. The question has taken us by surprise as our group has not taken a position on the matter one way or another.

We are “supporting members” of the Comox Valley Conservation Strategy (CVCS) based on our overlapping and mutual interest in seeing more significant protection for the Comox Lake watershed and its surrounding area, leading (hopefully) to the enlargement of Strathcona Park. Our working relationship with the CVCS on this issue is excellent.

Our mandate, however – the preservation and protection of Strathcona Park – does not extend into the areas of interest of all the other 20 members of the coalition that is the Comox Valley Conservation Strategy.

We have seen and read the public statement made by the CVCS regarding the sea cucumber tenure applications and want to clarify that the statement does not represent the position of the Friends of Strathcona Park.

This clarification would likely be unnecessary were it not for comments being made publicly that we are, in fact, supportive of the CVCS position. The chair of the Project Watershed Society board of directors is quoted as saying publicly that the CVCS position “represents the 20 different groups” that make up the group.

We appreciate that after our initial contact with CVCS on this matter, that CVCS developed a new policy to bring potentially controversial matters, such as this one, to the attention of all member groups, before making public statements.

We want to reaffirm our support for the CVCS and our continued interest to work together to secure permanent protection for the Comox Lake watershed.

Kel Kelly,

Comox Valley

Editor’s note: In this letter, Kel Kelly writes for the Friends of Strathcona Park.