Nathalie Chambers of Madrona Farm is the first to announce her desire to run for the vacant Saanich council seat in the September byelection. (Submitted)

A Solution to the EDPA bylaw challenges

Candidate suggests Saanich Legacy Stewardship Program to support EDPA

Living on the coast of B.C. is like living on the cover of a National Geographic magazine. One can almost hear the camera of Wade Davis, famous ethnobotanist and anthropologist, author, and activist (who frequently visits the University of Victoria), clicking wildly, while excitingly citing distinctive ecosystems with some of the most exquisite and rarest fauna and flora on the planet.

In addition to these ecosystem attributes, it is important to also acknowledge that B.C. is an extraordinarily significant cultural landscape. In Saanich and the Salish Sea, we live in a cultural mecca on the unceded territory, barter routes, hunting corridors, and clam gardens, etc. of the WSANEC, Coast Salish, Songhees, and Lekwungen First Nations.

The land management techniques First Nations employed revered nature, and were also a survival mechanism. It should be noted; the First Nations motto is: “Keep it Alive.”

First Nations ancestors employed fire to maintain open meadows for the harvest of Camas, etc., and it is such land management techniques which helped to create our current ecology (for example, Garry Oak ecosystems), and which helped to vitalize abundant fertility on the Saanich Peninsula. Consequently, all who live, work and play in Saanich benefit from this cultural legacy of land fertility. We do not own it today. It belongs to the future.

Most sensitive ecosystems in Saanich are located on private property, making stewardship vitally important. Saanich’s Environmental Development Protection Area (EDPA) was created as a mechanism to protect these special places on private and public land for everyone, forever.

Further, many Saanich properties are stewarded by exemplary land owners whose properties are in the EDPA, and are key to Saanich’s environmental vision. These land owners make a financial sacrifice via their economic donation to the municipality as a whole. These are the exemplars.

While, I believe ownership is an opportunity to pass the legacy of protected sensitive lands forward to the next generation, I also believe land owners stewarding areas of biodiversity today should be rewarded through tax incentive programs and financial assistance.

I believe ownership is an opportunity to transcend rights to land that destroy ecosystem function, and therefore, also support the creation of a Saanich Legacy Stewardship Program, whereby exemplary stewards are acknowledged, profiled, and rewarded for stewarding biodiversity and sensitive ecosystems.

The above are several suggestions towards building solutions that benefit everyone. There are others, including models which can be tailored to meet Saanich’s environmental objectives. The Islands’ Trust Voluntary Tax Exemption Program is an example. The Trust, through its existing incentive program supports owners to voluntarily leave their properties in a natural state, rather than develop or log it to pay property taxes.

Stewardship is a shared responsibility. Let’s work together.

Nathalie Chambers


Just Posted

Double lung transplant gives West Shore man second chance

Co-owner of West Shore Barber Shop grateful for every minute of the 16 years transplant has provided

Hallmark movie filming in Oak Bay

Shooting for ‘Sunshine’ continues into June across Greater Victoria

City says traffic pattern on Bay Street Bridge will stay as is until October

Commuters began facing long waits on Tuesday morning after the east-bound lane was closed

Home where Proctor murder took place removed from Langford’s Affordable Housing Program

Langford woman almost purchased home, decided against it after hearing history

PHOTOS: Victoria youth continue to gather for climate action

Local students participated in a global movement calling for climate action

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve investigating after sea lion found shot in the head

Animal is believed to have been killed somewhere between Ucluelet and Tofino

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. port workers set to strike on Monday in Vancouver

A strike at two container terminals would affect Canadian trade to Asia

Volunteers already rescuing fry from drying creekbeds around Cowichan Lake

It’s early but already salmon fry are being left high and dry

So, they found ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’

Dave Tryon, now 72 and living in North Delta, will reunite with long-ago travelling friends in Monterrey, Calif.

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Most Read