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LETTER – Lack of community consultation prior to tree felling on school district property

Dear editor,

It turns out that the riskiest place to live in the valley is on School District 71 property – if you’re a tree, that is.

The Operations Department for SD71 is on a mission to clean up all school properties of ‘hazard trees’ without communication with local residents.

A Tree Risk Assessment Report was commissioned by SD71 for Comox Elementary recently but when reviewing, for example, the assessment of an open grove of four trees (at least one being over 160 years old) all four were declared near dead with 80-90 per cent of twigs and branches dead. Pictures of the trees taken prior to felling present a much different story.

It is of particular concern that the arborist who wrote the assessment owns the tree company that got the contract to do the removals (not for the first time on SD71 property).

Why does the SD71 superintendent and board of education set such a low bar for community consultation and environmental stewardship? The City of Courtenay and the Town of Comox do a much better job at assessing risk on public property and communicating with the public.

G Cummins RPF (Ret.)

Comox

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