Gabriola Land and Trails Trust (GaLTT) shares the concerns being expressed by many Gabriolans about the Fuel Management Prescription (FMP) for the 707 Community Park that was recently prepared for the RDN by a consultant. We have read the full report and have identified several specific concerns about the negative impacts the FMP would have on the ecological health and diversity of the treated areas were it to be implemented as described. We have submitted our comprehensive review, including recommendations, to RDN staff and to Vanessa Craig (RDN Director, Electoral Area B).
The stated goal in the 707 Community Park 2010-2020 Management Plan is to “allow natural successional change to be the dominant restorative force in the 707 CP”. This strong desire for a ‘minimalist’ approach to park management was clearly expressed during the public input phase of management plan development. In our opinion, it would be inappropriate to deviate significantly from this goal without soliciting further public input.
Finally, it’s important to note that the FMP has not been endorsed by the RDN and will be fully reviewed by staff prior to implementation. They know the 707 CP comprises 62% of the total protected area on Gabriola Island and that preserving the ecological integrity of this precious parkland must be of primary concern when contemplating any actions. However, GaLTT will certainly remind them of this if needed.