Protect Cowichan River
Protect Cowichan River
Dedicated to Promoting Conservation of Cowichan River Provincial Park
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protections needed for the cowichan river

and Cowichan River Provincial Park

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lead found on gun range inside Cowichan river provincial park, the only provincial park in BC to grant a permit to a gun range 

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CLICK IMAGE: read U. Victoria media release (2018) recommends closure of gun club in cowichan river provincial park

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BC PARKS IGNORES REGULATIONS, FAILS MANDATE TO PROTECT: READ U. VICTORIA'S LIST

 
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links to stakeholder groups protecting the cowichan river's health, water flow and quality

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cowichan tribes: cultural-environmental protections needed on the cowichan river and in cowichan river provinciAL park

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lead : a TOXIC THREAT TO THE COWICHAN RIVER

 

 

 
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lead found in cowichan river provincial park 

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bald eagles poisoned by lead bullets: videos

 CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGER PICTURE AND QUICK FACTS

CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGER PICTURE AND QUICK FACTS

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read full uNIVERSITY OF victoria law school report 

Report questions legitimacy of BC Park's 31 year lease with Gun Club

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2 PAGE KEY POINTS UNIVERSITY OF VICTORY LAW SCHOOL REPORT

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gun noise levels disturbing hikers, animals and residents

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stray BUllet risk in cowichan river provincial park

 

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BC PARKS IGNORES REGULATIONS (UNIVERSITY VICTORIA REPORT, 2018)

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1

"The activities of the Gun Club are inconsistent with the purposes of the Park Act and permitted uses in a Park. - Secs. 5(3), 8(2) and 9(2)."

2

"The activities of a Gun Club appear inconsistent with the BC -Park, Conservancy and Recreation Area Regulation – Division 5 – Section 28 – relates to the conditions set out for possessing a firearm in a park. (Division 5 of the regulation)."

 
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3

"BC Parks regional leadership appear to interpret  Section 2 of the Park Act as suspending any  bylaws or regulations of a municipality or regional district, or any provision of it. It is notable that the activities of a Gun Club in the provincial park conflicts with relevant sections of CVRD Zoning, Noise and Parks Bylaws. (Park Act Section 2 and CVRD bylaws)."

4

Of the 1029 parks and protected areas in the province, Cowichan River Provincial Park is the ONLY ONE with a private Gun Club in operation under a park use permit. [31 year permit was granted without consultation or impact studies].

 

gun noise at cowichan river provincial park disturbs park users and residents

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why cowichan fish & game gun club is getting louder

 

Gunshot noise is frequently alarming, disturbing and irritating to others in the surrounding area. Noise generated by a gunshot isn’t continuous, but it is often unpredictable to others nearby. The noise is perceived by the human ear as one single, loud impulse or “shot.” The noise is loud and intrusive, with a concussive/impulsive character that increases annoyance. 

 The effects of unpredictable gunfire on people living nearby can be classified into three categories: 

Interference with activities such as speech, sleep, and learning

Physiological effects such as anxiety, fear or hearing loss

Subjective effects of alarm, annoyance, nuisance, and dissatisfaction

Read about why gun noise is so stressful.

Park users and nearby resident of the Cowichan River not  do not like the fact that gun noise is ringing constantly in Cowichan River Provincial Park disturbing and alarming hikers, dog walkers and their right to quiet enjoyment. Read about the right to quiet enjoyment here.   Gun clubs across Canada are getting louder, and that's due to the changing technology of guns and a change in the nature of gun ranges, a direct result of legislation changes during the Harper era making it easier to own a restricted gun.  Read about Read about the Changing Nature of Gun Ranges here. 

 
 
 

STRAY BULLET DANGER POSES SAFETY RISK IN COWICHAN RIVER PROVINCIAL PARK

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bullet holes found in trees IN PARK, OUTSIDE OF GUN CLUB BOUNDARIES

 

 

Hiking off trails in parts of the park near the shooting range is risky. Numerous bullet strikes and slugs embedded in trees have been found and photographed east of the range backstops and up to 60 metres beyond the active range area that is fenced and posted with signs. One tree alone had 3 bullets visibly embedded. Safety areas are very important considerations in outdoor range design, and these findings are clear evidence that all projectiles are not contained within the active range area.

This situation creates risk to anyone who may enter the area and is a risk to occupied residences beyond the park.  Unlike other well run gun clubs, there are no paid safety officers patrolling the grounds when the range is open.

 See map below for proximity of the gun club to the Cowichan River, trails, parks, and residences. Click the map for larger image.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL-CULTURAL PROTECTIONS NEEDED FOR THE COWICHAN RIVER AND COWICHAN RIVER PROVINCIAL PARK

 
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environmental-cultural protection needed

in Cowichan River Provincial Park

 

Cowichan River Provincial Park Users want BC Parks to know Environmental-Cultural Protections are needed in the park in order that the Cowichan Tribe maintain age-old cultural practices. The Cowichan River's designation as a Heritage River is due to the it's rich heritage interelationship with the Cowichan Tribes.

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traditional medicines

BC Parks users support protection, identification, monitoring and restoration of traditional use plants, roots, trees and medicines within the park.

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restoration of traditional fish populations

BC Parks users support the Cowichan Watershed Board in determining Cowichan Dam levels to be kept high enough to increase fish populations for river health and cultural sustainability of Cowichan Tribes as a priority over industry needs.

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WHY IS THE COWICHAN RIVER CLASSIFIED AS A HERITAGE RIVER?

archaeological sites and place names

BC Parks users support protection  and further identification of archaeological sites and cultural- historical sacred places within the park.

 
 
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bc parks questionairre 2018 cowichan provincial park management plan editable answers

email form can be found here: 

1.     Why is Cowichan River Park important to you? What do you value about the park? What makes it special, in your opinion?

  • Cowichan River Provincial Park protects the Cowichan River's designation as a Heritage River, a designation due to the river's unique, rich heritage interelationship with the Cowichan Tribes. I value the protection the park is supposed to bring.
  • Cowichan River Provincial Park protects the Cowichan River's designation as an Endangered River. I value this protection as well.
  • Cowichan River Provincial Park Users and nearby residents want BC Parks to know Environmental-Cultural Protections are valued in the park in order that the Cowichan Tribe maintain age-old cultural practices as a priority over industry. I feel strongly that the park is in a special position to help protect an ecosystem that supported an age-old culture.
  • I value the peace and solitude of nature, and enjoy a quiet, peaceful walk in the woods. This is often not possible due to unexpected gun noise and the racetrack noise in the distance. I would like BC Parks to take a role in

2.       BC Parks has a dual mandate to provide recreational opportunities and to protect the natural environment.  What environmental/ecological values in Cowichan River Park are important to you?

  • Cowichan River Provincial Park users and nearby residents want BC Parks/Parks governing agency post Parks Plan 2018 to take an active role in protecting the natural environment of the park and river first, and once more protections are in place, recreation can be enjoyed.  For example, you travel to a provincial park to enjoy a pristine natural environment of pure, clean water, filled with a lush ecosystem of animals and birds.
  • Cowichan River Provincial Park users and nearby residents want BC Parks/Parks governing agency post Parks Plan 2018 to supporting Cowichan River water quality, flow and aquifer health that in turn create ecosystem and fish population revival as a priority over industry. 
  • Take an active role in identification and elimination  of potential sources of water contamination . 
  • BC Parks/Post 2018 CRPP governing agency should take an active role in  volunteer river clean-ups to monitor human use degradation in the park.

3.      Do you have concerns regarding impacts on those environmental/ecological values?

  • Recreational activities need to be limited in areas of riparian or cultural significance

4.       Do you have suggestions for how environmental/ecological values can be protected?

  • Cowichan River Provincial Park users and nearby residents demand the following environmental protections are needed to protect the fragile river basin ecosystem in the park: (1) Clean-up  of  all lead found in soil at the existing Gun Range which leases BC Parks land as found in Trillium Reports (2018) ; (2)  Implement recommendations from U Victoria Law school study on the closure of the Park's Gun Range; (3) Employ safety officer for all the reduced hours/days of gun range is in operation until  full closure.  (4) Reduced hours will help reduce unexpected and explosive gun noise from increased semi-automatic target fire and eliminate stray bullet risk. At present, no safety officer position exists.

5.    WHAT TYPES OF RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES DO YOU FEEL ARE APPROPRIATE FOR THE PARK> CONSIDER, FOR EXAMPLE, ADDITIONAL CAMPING, MOUNTAIN BIKING, ETC. What types of recreational activities do you feel are appropriate for the park? Consider, for example –additional camping, mountain biking, etc.

  • Hiking, camping, kayaking, canoeing, tubing, all where human impact is not degrading the environment.
  • BC Parks/Post 2018 CRPP governing agency should take an active role in  volunteer river clean-ups to monitor human use degradation in the park.

6.      Are there any activities you feel strongly are NOT appropriate in the park?

  • Cowichan River Park users and nearby residents strongly believe a Gun Range is not suitable in a Provincial Park . This was supported by  BC Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) (responsible for the Conservation officer Service and BC Parks) who  has conceded that the Gun Club in Cowichan River Provincial Park does not benefit the whole community. It is a member funded society for the benefit of the members and their guests. Facilities are not available for public use. The unsuitability of a Provincial Park for a gun range was supported by a  U Victoria Environmental Law School study (2018) made of the gun range at Cowichan River Provincial Park who recommended closure for the Cowichan Fish & Game gun range. The U Vic. Law School supported their arguments against the gun range by the following points:
    • (1)The activities of the Gun Club are inconsistent with the purposes of the Park Act and permitted uses in a Park. - Secs. 5(3), 8(2) and 9(2).
    • (2) The activities of a Gun Club appear inconsistent with the BC -Park, Conservancy and Recreation Area Regulation – Division 5 – Section 28 – relates to the conditions set out for possessing a firearm in a park. (Division 5 of the regulation).
    • (3) BC Parks regional leadership appear to interpret  Section 2 of the Park Act as suspending any  bylaws or regulations of a municipality or regional district, or any provision of it. It is notable that the activities of a Gun Club in the provincial park conflicts with relevant sections of CVRD Zoning, Noise and Parks Bylaws. (Park Act Section 2 and CVRD bylaws).
    • (4) Of the 1029 parks and protected areas in the province, Cowichan River Provincial Park is the ONLY ONE with a private Gun Club in operation under a park use permit. [31 year permit was granted without consultation or impact studies].
  • Additionally, I believe that there is an additional reason the provincial park is not a place for a gun club: noise and safety risk.
  • Gun noise at 140-160 decibels is unacceptable in a Provincial Park. I go to a provincial park to enjoy the sounds of nature and hear the river and listen to the forest and birds. I cannot hear them above semi automatic hand gun fire. Additionally, the gun club excessive noise violates the right to quiet enjoyment that residents of the area are supposed to have.
  • There is a very real risk of being hit by a stray bullet from the gun range as the parking lot and trails are  adjacent to the shooting ranges. Stray Bullets have been found in trees just outside the unmarked boundary for the gun range within the park. Additionally, Cowichan River Provincial Park. Park's shooting ranges not patrolled by safety officers. The gun range is open 365 days per year. Gun noise from semi automatic firearms is noisy and stressful to residents and animals, dog walkers, hikers and campers. This is the most inappropriate, unsafe place for a gun range.

 

7.     Is there any additional information that you feel would assist with this management planning process?

  • Immediate closure and lead clean-up  of the gun range at the Cowichan Fish and Game Club and any other gun ranges adjacent to the park.
  • A Preliminary Site Investigation commissioned by BC PARKS was completed  by Trillium inMarch 2018. Tests results for lead and metals exceeded the  standards set by the Contaminated Site Regulation (CSR). The CSR matrix assumes a prohibition for the land to grow plants for human or livestock consumption or for uses or activities that promote contact with children. Lead levels were so high in some soil samples that, according to the CSR matrix  they threaten ground water, surface water and present a toxic threat to fresh water aquatic life, and  soil invertebrates, plants, and microbial function. The Gun range activity conclusively contaminated the site, and this activity is NOT compatible with protecting the natural environment. 
  CC your email to the following people:

CC your email to the following people:

BC Environmental Land Use Committee Members

BC Premier

 

MINISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT

 

 

regional

 

 

 

 

 
 

STAKEHOLDERS FOR THE COWICHAN RIVER AND COWICHAN RIVER PROVINCIAL PARKS PLANNING PROCESS 2018

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protecting water levels, quality, aquifer health

                                                                                                                                                                       

GOOD WATER QUALITY, FLOW AND AQUIFER HEALTH support ecosystem and fish population revival.  As Park users and nearby residents, we support good water quality, flow, and aquifer health as PRIORITY OVER INDUSTRY.  We feel BC Parks should take an active role in identification and elimination  of potential  sources of water contamination.    BC Parks should take an active role in  volunteer river clean-ups to monitor human use degradation in the park. To fulfill CRPP park mandate:  As a public trust, BC Parks’ mission is to protect representative and special natural places within the province’s Protected Areas System for world-class conservation, outdoor recreation, education and scientific study (BC Parks www).

Read about the Cowichan River Neighbourhood Association About Us

cowichan watershed board  

cowichan stewardship roundtable

COWICHAN TRIBES

cowichan valley regional district

one cowichan

cowichan community land trust society

cowichan valley naturalistic society

somenos marsh wildlife society

cowichan green community

cowichan river neighbourhood association

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

ABOUT US....

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COWICHAN RIVER NEIGHBOURHOOD ASSOCIATION

 

A group of neighbours supporting protection and conservation of the Cowichan River, Cowichan River Provincial Park and Area E Parks

www.protectcowichanriver.com

cowichan river neighbourhood association

We are a registered, non-profit society, created in 2016 with a goal of conservation and advocacy for protection of the Cowichan River, the Cowichan River Provincial Park and Area E Parks that border or are adjacent to the river.  We are fortunate and honoured to be able to live  with the river and the traditional territory of the Cowichan Tribes as our backyard and strive to help protect it.

We came together as a group of neighbours living on either side of Cowichan River, concerned about the protection and conservation of the environmental and river. The Association’s members reside in three rural neighborhoods: Glenora, Sahtlam (CVRD area E) and North Cowichan. The purpose of the Association is to provide opportunity for local residents to maintain and advocate for improvements in the quality of life in the neighborhoods along the river corridor, environmental protection and conservation of the natural environment.

The three neighborhoods are rural residential areas comprised mainly of small acreages north and south of the Cowichan River.  They are neighborhoods where people respect, and value the peace and quiet of country living and being close to nature. We take great pleasure in enjoying the outdoors, whether it be working in our gardens, hiking the many beautiful trails on foot or horseback, swimming, tubing or fishing in the river, or just sitting out on the back deck watching the local wildlife.

 

email us at: info@protectcowichanriver.com