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HomeNewsField Naturalists Speakout on Mowing of Causeway at Scout Island

Field Naturalists Speakout on Mowing of Causeway at Scout Island

The Williams Lake Field Naturalists took their concerns of the mowing of the causeway which has currently been suspended at Scout Island to Williams Lake City Council Tuesday night.

Executive Director of Scout Island Nature Centre, Sue Hemphill says she stopped the mower the first time last week and clarified with his boss who told her that although they would stop it, for now, they were asked by the Mayor to cut it.

“It’s worked well. It’s part of the nature centre. Why all of a sudden they would start that; we don’t understand why it happened, what was the precipitous action that started it, and I don’t know if you’ve been down to look at it but it doesn’t look aesthetic to me the way it looks right now.”

Mayor Walt Cobb says because somebody was blocking the road during the mowing, staff returned and asked what to do.

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He says he went to Council, sending an email, and getting enough response to proceed.

“No other solution-it needed to be done. To me, it was a danger and it’s the only access to our beach and to me, it needs to be maintained.”

Hemphill maintains that mowing even a narrow edge reduces a critical buffer of taller vegetation separating the road from the remainder of the riparian habitat.

She says the mowing could result in invasive plants and even further geese problems.

Councillor Sue Zacharias offered an apology and said she wishes there would have been discussion whether it would be long or short between both sides before the City undertakes such actions.

Councillor Jason Ryll meanwhile drew boos from the packed audience, mainly made up of Field Naturalist supporters when he cut off Hemphill from going into explaining once she answered that the Field Naturalists do not have a responsibility in maintaining the causeway and that it is the City’s.

Following the delegation, Hemphill says she was disappointed in the response she received by Cobb.

“He’s still not offering to discuss that issue. I don’t know if they’re going to take another vote on it. We don’t know what’s going to happen and it’s not the best way to go into the future since we had a good working relationship for 38 years. Why start this now?”

No further action by the City will currently be taken to the causeway until Council further considers the matter at a July 12th Committee of the Whole Council meeting.

“I don’t have a problem with that, I mean they’re doing part of their job, but in my opinion, they should not have encroached on the City’s right away,” says Cobb.

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