Letters: Enough forest is protected

Letter writer thinks B.C.has preserved enough forest land for parks

Some facts to put Sooke parks in geographical perspective.

B.C.’s land base is 95 million hectares, or just a little larger than France and Germany combined. Sixty million hectares is forest. More than half has had little or no human disturbance. There are 25 million hectares of old-growth forest. Sixty-two per cent are over 100 years old, 41 per cent are over 140 years old, and 14 per cent are over 250 years old. Almost four million hectares of old-growth forest is protected, and another 11.5 million hectares will likely never be harvested due to conservation, inaccessibility or other restrictions. B.C. has over 13 million hectares or approximately 13.8 per cent of the province protected in parks and protected areas where no forestry, mining or industrial development is allowed.  This is higher than the United Nations target of 12 per cent of the land base.

(source: Council of Forest Industries)

Sooke has designated over 20 per cent of its land base as park, with an additional five per cent required on sub-division, while Capital Regional District  Regional Parks is 5.4 per cent of the total CRD land area. Sooke contributes nearly $220,000 per year to CRD parks, land acquisitions, and climate action and adaptation. We invested $23 million and pay upwards of $515 per household to exceed the provincial standard for sewage treatment, while Victoria et al dump their raw sewage into the ocean.

Haven’t we contributed more than our fair share for conservation and the environment in the CRD, and isn’t it time that we re-open one road (that we already have) to restore legal recreational access to our lakes and channel it on a designated route where it will do no harm?

Alexandra Martin

Sooke