The E&N Rail Trail is being upgraded, at the expense of mature trees

Crews in Langford cut down an estimated 200 broad leaf maples, douglas firs, and oak trees in order to enhance the E&N Rail Trail cycling pathway network.

Beth Cruise, a member of the Atkins Alliance neighbourhood group in Langford & Chair, Social Environmental Alliance, says this is unacceptable, because it will have negative impacts on the ecosystem.

"It's got the creek and it's got all these trees and all the life that goes with it, and the plants and the vegetation, all of which will change by cutting down the trees"

She adds this will be especially devastating to the Millstream Creek.

"By cutting out the trees, then the soil is going to erode, and there's going to be silt going into the stream, and it's going to disturb the salmon coming up"

She says although new trees will be planted, they won't have the root foundation to help the stream, and won't be able to negate climate change to the same effect as mature trees.

"Climate change is an emergency now, and trees are huge, they reduce climate change by absorbing carbon and storing it.  So when you cut the trees down, not only do you release that carbon, you've done away will all that means of storing the carbon.  So you're really pushing more carbon into the air."

Cruise says her group heard of the plans to cut down the trees and improve the pathway last year, and they made an appealed to save the trees.  She says the plan was changed slightly, dropping the number of trees being cut down from 300 to 200.  She says they asked for a detour route, but it was too expensive.  

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