Letter: What is a riparian area?

Monday, April 8 2013

When I first heard about this, I thought, well won’t be much of that on Gabriola as there isn’t much to support fish habitat, which is what I thought a riparian area was. Perhaps I was wrong so I looked up the official B.C. website on riparian areas and yes, an area which supports a fish population. 

Now I am confused as I have this drainage ditch which runs through my property. If it rains, it drains, which is usually four to five months of the year. This is a dry year and on Feb. 14, it was dry. Right now it is down to a trickle, less than what comes out of your faucet. So, how can this support a fish population? I think this initiative is ridiculous and must be stopped. 

If enacted I will lose the use of 2.5 acres of my property. This 2.5 acres includes my workshop and tractor sheds, five apple trees, a plum tree, two strawberry patches, a rhubarb patch, a raspberry patch, a blueberry patch, a gooseberry patch and 100 grape vines. This involves my supply of fruit and vegetables, fresh and preserved, for the year. 

If enacted, I will have to have an engineer come and do an assessment when I want to till my garden, when I want to cut my grass, when I want to drive my tractor through this area, when I want to cut back encroaching brush, clear the ditch to prevent flooding, bolster the ditch bed and sides with rocks to prevent erosion – it goes on; I lose the use of 2.5 acres of my property and my food supply. 

There are no fish, there never will be any fish because there is not a continuous water supply to support them. There was one evaluation done and assumptions made from that. How about an evaluation in April or May and again in August or September? This is like having my property rezoned without my permission. I protest this initiative, it must be stopped.

~ John King