March 18, 2019
Dear Crabapple Tree Recipient or Family Member,
The crabapple trees that line Portage Road in honour of our past and current community members have created a welcoming gateway to downtown, and more importantly, paid tribute to locals who have had a personal impact on the people who have lived here or who have contributed to the betterment of Pemberton.
The trees have also been the source of Stewardship Pemberton’s Crabapple Project; an important fundraising initiative which greatly assisted the Village in the maintenance of the trees, while reducing the bear attractants in this very busy area.
Unfortunately, even with the success of the Crabapple Project and the continual efforts to keep up with the removal of crabapples, bear activity in this area has increased due to the habitual nature of our area bears. This in turn has resulted an increase in human wildlife conflicts and safety concerns for residents and students walking to and from school.
In October 2018, the Village of Pemberton received a ‘Letter of Non-Compliance’ (the Notice) from the Province of BC’s Conservation Officer Service (the Service) stating that the Village must take immediate and appropriate action to ensure the Village does not continue to operate in contravention of the BC Wildlife Act by removing all ornamental and non-ornamental crabapple trees located along Portage Road, or by installing electric fencing around the trees.
The Notice (attached) states that the Service has received numerous complaints with respect to bears feeding on both the ornamental and non-ornamental trees, and that the bears pose a safety risk and could be destroyed if they continue to return to this area. Therefore regrettably, the Village must remove the trees.
However, to ensure those honoured with a memorial tree continue to be recognized and to preserve the aesthetics of Portage Street’s streetscape, the Village will be planting new non-fruit bearing species, that, once grown, will provide a welcoming entrance to Pemberton’s downtown. Additionally, the Village will erect site signage with the tree recipient names and will explore options for repurposing the wood from the trees that are removed.
The Village plans to undertake this project this Spring, with tree removal to commence in April. Tree replacement will commence shortly after removal in May. To offset the costs of the tree replacement, the Village applied for, and received funding from Tree Canada/BC Hydro Fund.
Due to the nature of this project, we are making every effort to contact each tree recipient or their family to notify them of this project. We encourage you to share this letter with anyone you know who has a memorial tree, or has obtained one in honour of a family/community member. We greatly appreciate your assistance with sharing this information.
Should you have any questions regarding this project, we encourage you to contact Jill Brooksbank at the Village of Pemberton at 604.894.6135 x230 or at email@example.com.
VILLAGE OF PEMBERTON