Editor, The News:
Re: ARMS rattled about Hydro clearing (The News, Feb. 2).
ARMS and myself find B.C. Hydro’s response to our concerns about the clear-cut for the transmission right-of-way expansion through Maple Ridge and surrounding regions somewhat shocking, and we reference here Donna McGeachie’s response: “The practice is standard and is being done with care,” and that “it’s normal to bring right-of-way clearing to the edge of streams and rivers,”
Certainly ARMS understands the need for vegetation control under transmission lines, and we certainly understand, in the expansion of this, right-of-way trees would have to be felled.
But our biggest concern, that we raised earlier with Hydro, was that we wanted to have some communications with the contractors to have a soft approach over creeks and streams in Maple Ridge.
Consequently, we are now shocked to find that no communications were considered, or took place, and Hydro’s only defense is, “this is normal right-of-way practice”.
We feel let down in the realm of communications on this issue.
In years gone by, we did have fairly regular communications with Hydro’s right-of-way clearing specialist, Rennie Roddick, and he gave us every indication that in a ravine contour like the Alouette River, trees could grow to a greater height without there being a safety issue with the transmission line.
Therefore, trees have been retained in this area, and we have also had a clear indication that Hydro replants with a type of vegetation that will only grow to a certain height in some instances.
At this time, we are only getting from Hydro a standard response, with no description as to what mitigation will be provided, if any, as a result of this clear cut.
We look forward to meeting with Hydro and the contractor on Thursday and we will take these questions forward to them, even though we are dealing with the situation after the fact, which is unfortunate.
Our discussions will centre on some form of mitigation. We are hoping Hydro understands the impacts of what has gone on here and will act accordingly to mitigate for the damage created to the riparian zones of the creeks and rivers in this region.
Geoff Clayton, president