LETTER: As the trees disappear, so do the fish

How I identify with the theme of Murray Chantler’s poem An ode to towns vanishing Trees (The NEWS, Letters, Feb. 6). Not only are the trees being destroyed in Parksville but they are also disappearing at the same rate all over Vancouver Island.

Unseen by many, the pristine watersheds of most Island rivers have been systematically logged for the last 50 years and the destruction continues unabated today. A case in point is the beautiful Englishman River, once home to the iconic steelhead trout and rated 20 years ago as one of the best rivers in B.C. Now almost completely devoid of life, and logging in the upper watershed is the most significant negative contributing factor.

Mirror that scenario on at least another dozen or so east coast streams and you have a recipe for a modern day tragedy that is still playing out. I hear a myriad of stories telling me of yet another river valley decimated by the loggers in pursuit of their god, the almighty dollar.

The old guys who have lived here most of their lives and fished tell me of how it once was. A pristine environment which resembled as close to one’s definition of paradise as possible. Many of them no longer fish because the steelhead are no longer there.

Bob Hooton, in his new book Days of Rivers Past, says, ‘Surely, in the vastness of this great province there is a steelhead stream or two where fish, fishing and the environment are worth prioritising ahead of timber extraction, mining, water storage, power production, etc.’

If the provincial government fails to address the management of these issues it will preside over the demise of a legacy available nowhere on the planet.

No doubt about it, we are close to the end game in respect of the survival of steelhead on Vancouver Island. It’s not too late to save what is left, but now is the time for government to step up and show brave leadership.

Keith Hyett


Just Posted

Youths cultivate employment in agricultural sector

Career Centre debuts GoodSeeds training program pilot with class of 10 students

VIDEO: Family builds eight-foot igloo in front of Parksville home

Sunday snowfall leads to all-day family activity

Duncan family says care home switched mom’s cat with robot cat

Staff alleged to have said they were taking cat for bath, then replaced her with robotic stuffed toy

Qualicum Beach age bylaw vote deferred again

Four people got up to speak during public hearing

Bucs sink Generals with late goal in Game 1

Oceanside battles hard and keeps game close versus Nanaimo

VIDEO: B.C. superfans soak in 2018 PyeongChang Olympics

Trio, including two from the Okanagan, have been cheering on Summerland Olympian Kripps among others in Korea

Tofino Bus will cover Victoria–Nanaimo route after Greyhound announces cut

Although its name says ‘Tofino’, this bus company serves all of Vancouver Island

Northern B.C. short 121 registered nurses: report

Auditor General says officials need to improve internal management, track effect of new policies

B.C. businesses say new health tax will raise prices for consumers

Province announced that MSP will be gone by 2020

Barnful of ducks die in early morning blaze

The cause of the fire is unknown

B.C. speculation tax applies to out-of-province homeowners

Albertans with Okanagan, Island properties hit, Kootenays could come later

Indigenous elders share history with Ladysmith students

‘Our kids learning their history through elders is nothing that we can find in our textbooks’

It’s quietly business as usual for the E&N

Waiting game continues in quest for direction on service ceased since 2011

Three new judges appointed to B.C. Supreme Court

Two spots filled in Vancouver, one in New Westminster

Most Read