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LETTER: Leech watershed bylaw will make nature difficult to access — 12 Comments

  1. Sadly, “harmless nature seekers” are at the opposite end of the spectrum to the “irresponsible idiots” that have a tenancy of going into places and wreaking them, and ruining things for everyone. On one hand, these are watersheds and they’re fairly vital parts to both the ecosystem and our water supply. All is not lost though; BC parks as over 14 million hectares worth of parks, with 12 million of those being Category A-C parkland that offer different kinds of nature based activities. I do feel bad that some people may not be able to go to certain parts that will now be off limits but there is, quite literally, a million other places that are still accessible and BEGGING to be used and explored.

    • As someone who has lived on the island for the last 33 years, I have seen the water shed grow and watched as the CRD close and restrict access to many areas that I used to enjoy when I was younger. The current boundaries to the water shed are larger than they need to be and they don’t need any more land. CRD is taking it to far and as for the “million other places” that you can get into the back country, lots of gates and dug outs. It’s getting harder every year in Sooke to explore our own back yard.

    • Ah, the real issue is hidden in your comment: “gates and dug outs”

      This is two different issues. The article specificly talks about nature enthusiasts and school groups. Not being able to take a 5th grade class to Leechtown is inconsequential when there a million other locations that demographic can go.

      Wheelers, motocross, mountain bikers, etc. That demographic is often locked out of places (gates and dug outs) simply because a small group of idiots ruins it for everyone. Those groups definitely need to have their needs addressed, I agree, but bird watchers, hikers, 5th grade classes: they have more than options.

      • the significance of there being so much privately owned/managed land, and that many of the gates to roadways which access this privately held land are controlled by the landowners, can not be understated.

    • As a parent, I am my children’s primary educator. What demographic does that put me in that we should be locked out of the backcountry? Timberwest is the only private landowner of consequence, and we went to a lot of work to establish a permit access agreement with them, although CRD staff insist Timberwest won’t agree to permit access as one of the main reasons to lock up the Leech. We WANT gates. We’re pro-gate. We also want a key and a permit to use designated routes to specified destinations such as the West Leech falls. Where is the harm in that?

    • I agree, there is no harm in that and there should be a permit to use or access system in place. If you’re an avid backwoods hiker than you’ll likely know of the kind of people that damage, dump and destroy things that they’re trying to keep out; and for good reason.

      The issue I have, though, is the claims that by restricting this area it will have a negative impact on the education of children or the availability of nature to nature enthusiasts. Other than the extremely narrow niche of the local history there isn’t anything nature related that you couldn’t teach in any number of accessible/unrestricted areas.

      I am not disagreeing, I believe the lands should be accessible and I would support (financially and through volunteering) an access/permit system in order to make sure areas remain accessible; and I think the corporations who hold the rights to the land, be they public or private, would be receptacle to an access/permit system if we can show how it benefits them directly. Claiming that Ms. Smith’s 5th grade class can’t learn about nature because of a gate going to Leechtown will simply make them, as I have done, point to the endless list of other places that they can go to learn the same thing.

  2. Yes Terrance, you want the key to the gate so you can let your off road biker gang in and rip the place up! No we don’t want you guys in there. You don’t want access for your young kids to hike there, you want to get in there to do your 4×4 thing.

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