A defining moment

Garry oak is a transitional species, with trees growing into California

Underlying what Kristen Miskelly regurgitates about threatened species and the EDPA in your Oct. 9 issue is an erroneous definition of species.

Note her “in our region” qualifier to Garry oak ecosystems – as though what grows nearby on the south side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca are not Garry oaks. Indeed, those trees grow south into California, they are common in the middle of their range (Oregon, according to the Canadian government’s SARA database).

Miskelly omits that many of the Garry oak meadow and savannah configurations were created by humans several hundred years ago. They felled trees with fire to create open areas and interface shrubbery on the periphery. That fostered growth of plants, birds and animals that they harvested for food, clothing and shelter. But worshippers of Garry oaks include the result of that  early farming in what they claim are threatened ecosystems, while attacking later human activity.

Miskelly also omits that Garry oak is a transitional species, normally supplanted by Douglas fir as happened in Metchosin. Tribal farmers prevented that by periodically burning open areas, which eliminated new trees.

Kristen Miskelly bashes Mayor Atwell, but I think she should look in her mirror and ask why she thinks that species stop at a line on a piece of paper, why she is paranoid about criticism, and why she uses a false definition of species  to promote taking away what people have earned.

Keith Sketchley

 

Saanich