Letters: Protect the wildlife first

Access to Leech watershed will impact wildlife populations

I was raised in small communities that had close ties to the wilderness because we depended on it for our survival. This fact taught us a great respect for the wilderness and its many wonders. I do not and will not paint all recreational land users with the same negative brush but I reserve the right to acknowledge negative behavior when I see it.

Responsible behavior begets responsible access. Perhaps recreational land users could petition with the help of our various political leaders for access to local Crown Land that isn’t protected for watershed issues much like the Victoria Motorcycle Club has done up old Tansky Main. If people want to see what’s going on in our watershed maybe the CRD could organize regular tours if they aren’t already doing so.

Our watershed is a special place. The area that is fenced off and patrolled to keep out the general public is probably the only true natural wilderness area left on Southern Vancouver Island. Many wildlife species including elk, deer, cougar, wolves and bear exist together in a forested eco-system that these people are trying to keep protected and undisturbed. Anywhere outside of the fence most animals are on a dead run from humans and their various activities.

All the adjoining lands to the watershed are privately owned. I was talking to one of the land owners recently and he stated to me, “seems as though everyone owns all the property up there.”

Should a person be able to go anywhere at anytime on these lands regardless of the issues of safety, property and negative consequences? I wonder if the good people of Sherwood Forest would be willing to share their private land holdings for recreational activities and some of the hooliganism that goes along with it? There seems to be a developing culture of “on demand access.”

Some areas around here are best left alone with recreational access restricted, not for selfish reasons but for the protection of the wilderness in general and for the integrity of our water supply to be specific.

Rod Nyberg

Sooke