Former town councillor stumped at decision

Qualicum Beach may have a policy of pursuing soft-shore solutions to seaside erosion, but one piece of shore got a little too soft for one former town council member.

Scott Tanner shows off the stump of a large maple tree cut down by the municipality at the Brant viewing area.

Scott Tanner shows off the stump of a large maple tree cut down by the municipality at the Brant viewing area.

Qualicum Beach may have a policy of pursuing soft-shore solutions to seaside erosion, but one piece of shore got a little too soft for one former town council member.

Scott Tanner said he was driving past the Brant viewing area near the Shady Rest Monday morning when he noticed a large maple tree and a nearby cedar had been cut down.

“I just drove by to take my dog for a walk and on the way back I stopped in and a couple of guys were pilfering the firewood,” he said. “I was curious, because I didn’t know if it was somebody up top cutting the trees down for the view.”

A call to the municipality showed it was a town arborist who cut the trees, deeming them dangerous because they had rot in their cores.

This was confirmed Friday by town engineer Bob Weir.

“There are picnic tables in the area and both arborists assessed the trees and thought they presented a danger,” Weir said.

However, that doesn’t satisfy Tanner.

“This was a pretty mature maple,” he said. “You can see the core was rotten but the outside edge had a lot of life left to it. It was solid.”

Tanner said people will miss the maple.

“It was a habitat tree,” he said. “I’ve got photos of an eagle sitting in there, devouring a scoter. This parking lot was full of people and they were parked on the other side of the road. There were feathers flying everywhere. It did provide habitat for bald eagles. That is what brings people to this place.”

He said the root system of the tree is now going to rot and with it, the grassy area at the Brant viewing area will likely erode.

“When we get those southeast storms the waves come roaring in here,” he said.

“That whole soft shore policy — it seems this is going in the exact opposite direction. It will take a few years for these roots to die off but when they do, what do they do, spend a lot of money like they did a few yards down the beach?