Salish Sea Protectors'
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SAVE THE SOOKE HILLS! Urgent Calls to Action r1 ... Share Tweet Forward

In 1997, a ten-year campaign to Save the Sooke Hills culminated in overwhelming public, political and scientific support for the creation of the Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Park. This park buffers the source of our pristine drinking water supply and preserves a vast area of maturing Douglas-fir forest, spectacular hilltop meadows, wetlands and lush stream valleys. The 4000 hectare Park sustains biodiversity, sequesters carbon and provides critical habitat for many threatened endemic species.  It is a significant component of the Sea to Sea Green Blue Belt, linking Saanich Inlet in the east to Juan de Fuca Strait in the west.

So why on earth would the provincial government plan an 'alternative emergency route' to the existing Malahat highway, straight through the heart of the Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Park?! There has been no public consultation regarding this dubious project nor any dialogue with First Nations publicly reported to date. 

While concerns about delays along the Malahat should be addressed, this should not be used as a pretext for land grabs by developers keen on building a highway to fuel suburban sprawl through publicly-protected lands. In the midst of global climate emergency and loss of biodiversity, building or expanding roadways and opening the Sooke Hills up to developers is totally misguided. 

HERE'S WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP!

We need you to attend and speak at two important meetings
.
The message is simple: 

  • ensure that NO public roads of any sort are permitted in Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Park or in any protected CRD lands that act as critical wildlife habitats or buffer zones for our regional water supply 
  • insist that the BC Government fix the transportation problem with solutions that are aligned with urgent UN calls to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and increase protected areas to safeguard biodiversity.  These do not include building more highways for single occupancy vehicles and destroying the integrity of our region's most progressive parks initiative. 
Wednesday Feb. 20 at 11:30 am
Regional Water Supply Commission
CRD headquarters, 625 Fisgard, 6th floor Boardroom

Wednesday Feb. 27 at 10:00 am
Parks and Environment Committee
CRD headquarters, 625 Fisgard, 6th floor Boardroom

(For some reason, the Water Supply Commission meeting is not identified in the list of meetings, but it shows up in PDF of the schedule of February meetings on the right-hand side of the page).

You must sign up to speak!
The sign-up form for addressing the Commission and Committee is HERE
The CRD hasn't updated the online form since two committees merged - Regional Parks and Environmental Services -- now called the Parks and Environment Committee, so select "Regional Parks Committee" for Feb. 27.  

Write a quick email to CRD and provincial government officials stressing these two points made aboveYou may wish to highlight some of the following points as well:
  • a 2007 Stantec report has already ruled out the currently proposed route due to the destruction of environmentally sensitive areas, threats to rare and endangered species and disturbances to archaeological sites
  • in the midst of climate crisis and in light of the fact that the CRD has declared a climate emergency, we cannot be devouring more wilderness areas for roadways or new developments 
  • these forests are important carbon sinks and help our regional efforts in striving for carbon neutrality
  • we need to agree on and establish a sustainable regional transportation plan with public consultation and full transparency
  • there is already a viable alternate route through to Port Renfrew along the Pacific Marine Road   
  • improve safety on the Malahat by enhancing public transit options and testing an Interval-Based Speed Enforcement System
  • implement more efficient and safer procedures to minimize delays after crashes on the Malahat and expand ferry travel options
The email addresses are located below for easy copying and pasting into your message.

Next, please take one more minute to sign our petition HERE

We have also started a facebook group to further this discussion and provide updated information: CLICK HERE

Regional Water Supply Commission
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CRD Parks and Environment Committee
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Provincial Government
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Remaining CRD Directors
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Hands up in gratitude to everyone who steps up to defend the last remaining tracts of wilderness on the south part of this island!
Hay'sxw'qa!

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