This dead fir tree is one of many in Mount Douglas Park. Nine dead trees will be removed from the Douglas Creek site starting March 8 to make way for the construction of a new pedestrian bridge. (Photo courtesy Jason Clarke)

This dead fir tree is one of many in Mount Douglas Park. Nine dead trees will be removed from the Douglas Creek site starting March 8 to make way for the construction of a new pedestrian bridge. (Photo courtesy Jason Clarke)

Nine hazardous dead trees to be removed from Saanich park ahead of bridge construction

Felling begins March 8, minor trail interruptions expected in Mount Douglas Park

Hikers, explorers and nature lovers may notice crews cutting down trees in Mount Douglas Park this month as part of a planned dead tree removal effort in preparation for the construction of a new pedestrian bridge in the park.

Starting on March 8, Saanich parks staff will begin the process of removing nine dead dead grand fir trees near Douglas Creek – the site of the 36-foot-long bridge set to be installed. Each of the trees was identified as hazardous during a tree assessment the district conducted in May 2020, explained Megan Catalano, communications manager for the district.

“The dead trees need to be removed prior to the bridge work in order to meet WorkSafeBC regulations as they are located within striking distance of the proposed bridge location,” she said.

The district’s policy for managing hazardous trees stipulates that staff don’t regularly inspect municipal trees – instead, problematic trees are reported by residents or evaluated ahead of construction, said Jason Clarke, parks supervisor of urban forestry and natural areas for Saanich.

In this case, the assessment was spurred by the upcoming construction of the new Douglas Creek bridge, he explained. A certified arborist assessed the site and identified nine trees that posed a safety risk for construction workers. Then, staff developed a mitigation plan and consulted environmental experts about the most appropriate time to remove the trees

READ ALSO: Wood snatchers illegally chop, smuggle logs out of Saanich park

While construction of the new bridge won’t begin until the summer, parks staff chose to begin removing the trees on March 8 because the felling needs to occur before bird nesting season, Clarke explained.

The task will likely take about four days and there may be some minor trail interruptions, he said, noting that staff will be present to direct park-users and keep the work site clear.

He added that most of the trees to be removed are grand firs – a species that has been notably on decline on the Island. Finding dead firs will likely become “the new norm” in the region, he said.

Clarke noted that once the dead trees are felled, they’ll be left in the park because, as they decompose, logs become a valuable part of the forest floor ecosystem. Come the fall, parks staff will replace the trees three to one with Douglas firs and western red cedars.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

District of Saanichparks

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This stretch of Highway 14 on Parkinson Hill near Port Renfrew is undergoing reconstruction following a road washout in 2018. (Ministry of Transportation photo)
22-hour Highway 14 road closure planned for Wednesday

Closure needed to install a temporary bridge structure near Port Renfrew

An Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island (XRVI) climate change event in 2019 saw a large crowd occupy the Johnson Street bridge. Black Press File Photo
Extinction Rebellion activists march from Vancouver to Victoria this weekend

The four-day trek ends at the B.C. legislature Monday, protest province’s environmental policy

At Tuesday’s Sooke council meeting, RCMP submitted a record showing the types of calls and incidents that were investigated within the district, which included a comparison from February 2021 to February 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Crime and calls to Sooke RCMP on the decline in February compared to 2020

Sooke RCMP share February investigation statistics

The hiring of out-of-province workers by the Canadian Red Cross to staff the vaccination centre in Langford has raised eyebrows. (Black Press Media file photo)
Red Cross hires out-of-province workers to staff Langford vaccination centre

Staffer worries local jobs weren’t offered to local people

A rider crosses a “skinny” on the newly opened trail known as 90s Jank, built within the Hartland system by volunteers with the South Island Mountain Bike Society. (Youtube/MTB Matt)
Mountain bikers celebrate first new trail in years on Saanich’s Mount Work

90s Jank trail a product of licence agreement between CRD and mountain bike society

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: Lookout Lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

For Leela Harrop, the recent death of her brother Raju Tiwari pushed her to sign up for the vaccine. Photo supplied
Island woman on fence about vaccine prompted by brother’s death

Leela Harrop of Comox says she did have issues with signing up online this past week

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

John Furlong, Own The Podium board chairman and former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, addresses a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday November 25, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
John Furlong presents 2030 Winter Games vision to Vancouver Board of Trade

Vancouver and Whistler would remain among host sites because of 2010 sport venues still operational

Photo by Metro Creative Connection
New campgrounds coming to B.C. parks as part of $83M provincial boost

This season alone, 185 campsites are being added to provincial parks, says Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Most Read