The natural environment in Pinawa is one of our greatest assets. Public parks, greenspaces, and reserves enhance the town environment, and improve the people’s well-being. They provide space for recreation and physical activity, improve our mood and mental health, and increase land value. Of course, not to mention provide habitat to birds and animals. However, without proper management, these vital areas are being threatened.
If you have ever gone for a walk in one of Pinawa’s natural reserve areas you may have noticed strange lack of diverse vegetation, coincidentally at about the height of a deer’s head. We have gotten to the point that in Pinawa there are essentially two types of trees: old ones, and dead ones. New saplings, whether they be poplar, pine, or cedar, are quickly devoured before they can become established. This destruction of the forest understory not only damages biodiversity, but threatens the sustainability of these areas. We don’t want to get rid of the deer, so we’re going to have to work with them!
Steps have been taken on the Ironwood trail to mitigate this issue, fencing off some areas from deer to allow for natural regrowth. That’s a good start, but is far from a complete solution. As a council, we must officially recognize the importance of public greenspace access and sustainability now, so that these areas will be available for future generations of Pinawaneans.
As councillor I will work hard to protect Pinawa’s natural beauty for the future by:
- Officially recognizing the principles of sustainable management as part of Pinawa’s urban planning.
- Ensuring that future developments include natural areas and public access paths, parks, and green belts for all people to enjoy.
- Creating a comprehensive forest rehabilitation strategy, that includes community group involvement in revitalizing and improving our existing reserves and green spaces.
- People need to stop feeding the deer! It hurts the animals, it interferes with the natural instincts of the young and teaches them that humans are a food source, it damages the ecosystem by supporting an unnaturally high population for a small area, attracts other animals such as bears which are dangerous (several had to be killed last year). Feeding wildlife is considered animal harassment and it is illegal for a reason. For the wellbeing of the deer and the natural ecosystem, do not feed the deer!.
Pinawa is a forest town, and that is something that makes this place special. But we can’t take it for granted. The natural reserves are under a different ecological pressure than the wilderness of the Whiteshell, and so it is incumbent upon us to take care of these unique environments within our town, to ensure that the will remain healthy and viable for our children, and future generations of Pinawanians.
This photo is my son and my little cousin out for a walk in North Vancouver. When I see this I can practically smell the life the old cedar trees. How do you enjoy the natural areas in Pinawa?