Newsletter June 2002
Annual General Meeting
The 2002 Annual General Meeting was held on May 22
in the "Middleton Hall" on Luxton Fairgrounds. First report given was the
Treasurers. To summarize, the end result is that we now have NO money.
Next report was by the Secretary, Ian McKenzie. This report described the "Riffle" project completed last September and outlined a plan to work with a development project in the Happy Valley, Whireshire, Walfred road area in the "Glen Lake Corners" and covering the upper section of Firehall creek.
The president, Kym Hill gave her report next. Described was the project of the Metchosin Municipal council, the "Bilston Action Team". A great deal of effort was put into this, but in the end it all came to nothing. No consensus could be reached. The creation of a new pamphlet, "How to be a Conservationist by doing Nothing" was explained.
Talk Given by Andy McKinnon, a director of the "Habitat Acquisition Trust" on the function of the "Trust" and how land may be protected. Karen Hurley followed him with a slide show of a project done on Tod Creek in Saanich with an elementary school class.
Following a short break, the election of officers was held. The directors for this year will be Kym Hill, David Houseman, Ian McKenzie, and Bernie Morris.
Conservation Connection Forum
|By: Ian McKenzie
Current and Future Works
With the present financial state we are not
looking to engage in any in stream works for the coming year. However there are some areas
we should focus on. One of the lessons learned over the years is the importance of
securing some form of permanent protection for improvements we have made to the stream. A
glaring example is the project we completed at the corner of Winter road and Happy Valley
road. This was an "Undercut Bank" and streamside plantation project designed to
provide deep pools and shade which are utilized by the fish as a refuge area during the
hot summer months when water levels drop and water temperatures increase. The project took
4 years and many thousands of dollars of public and private funds to complete. This was
done on privately owned land with the blessing and encouragement of the owner. However,
the land was sold to someone else, and these folks have decided to build a horse pasture
and riding area which extends right to the edge of the stream bank. This has removed all
trace of any vegetation here and we even see manure and other material extending over the
bank. Although this has not completely negated the project, it is now very compromised.
Discussion with the new owners is ongoing, and we are hopeful of a mutually beneficial
outcome. Clearly all new projects will have to have some kind of legally binding agreement
in place. The best system is to only work on improvements which are on public land within
protected Parks, or land covered by a legal covenant having binding consequences for
In light of the above we are now looking at the extent of parkland within the Bilston waterway. Presently only a small portion of the area is within any park. We have been informed of several owners of property who have indicated they wish to contribute to creating parkland and protected areas both on their own land and assisting others to contribute. We see this as perhaps the most fruitful direction to pursue at the present time. By working with these landowners and the "Habitat Acquisition Trust" we may be able to effect much better conditions for the stream.