Letter: Councillors applauded for recognizing Brookswood trees belong to property owners

Dear Editor,

Thanks to Mayor Jack Froese and Councillors Bev Dornan, Bob Long, Charlie Fox, and Grant Ward for standing strong on property owners’ rights and defeating the dreaded tree bylaws.

It looks like the next hurdle is to overcome Coun. Kim Richter’s notice that she will call for a referendum on a tree bylaw for the Nov. 15 municipal election – a misuse of the purpose of referendums.

Property owners should attend the meeting to voice disapproval of such wasting of our tax dollars.

I’m dismayed at Councilor David Davis making sure it wouldn’t affect him and other farmers before voting to impose punishing tree bylaws on rural Fernridge private property acreages.

Coun. Richter, Michelle Sparrow, and Steve Ferguson also voted for the oppressive tree bylaws.

Langley Township property owners must be aware of certain council members’ willingness to sacrifice private property rights for votes from the relentless tree lobby protesters. It’s Brookswood and Fernridge getting the attention now, but if they get their foot in the door with a punitive tree bylaw, the rest of Langley will be their next target.

There appears a strangling effect in today’s climate, with overzealous activist protesters organizing against every issue involving growth or energy, fiercely determined to take away our rights.

We desperately need politicians with the courage and forethought to see and project beyond the anti-progress contrarians, because if you react to every protest issue by banning things, there will be no rights or freedoms left to defend.

The biggest danger of the big conifers in Brookswood and Fernridge is that of fire spread. Remember the Kelowna fire of 2009 – and don’t think it couldn’t happen here.

Big, dried conifers explode like blowtorch firebombs, and with wind, the fire-ash spreads it very fast. We have just been lucky so far.

Clearing of timber to create additional fire breaks to give firefighters a chance to control spread is good, responsible preparation. You could take another 200 truckloads of timber out of Fernridge, and still have a lot more conifer trees per acre than Brookswood.

It’s astounding watching the tree lobby hyperventilate every time some trees are harvested, out there with their cameras like it’s some kind of a crime.  

Cutting private timber is not unlike a farmer harvesting his crop, and it is under proper permit approvals of the Ministry of Forests, monitored by the BC Wildlife Federation and Ministry of Environment Conservation Field Officer for significant nesting.

Roland Seguin, Fernridge

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