Skylines and background vistas are important community assets. Mature trees seen against a magical sunset can take your breath away.
The panorama below shows the western horizon of Roberts Bay with Mount Tuam on Saltspring on the right and the Malahat on the left. Between them is a skyline, softened by mature Douglas Fir and Arbutus. It is a view that is cherished by those who live on Roberts Point. In turn, those who live on the western shore enjoy the skyline of “Beaufort Grove” in sunrises with Mount Baker in the background.
The trees on the skyline are comprised of elements of the Coastal Douglas Fir Ecosystem, one of the rarest ecosystems in Canada. This natural skyline has been partially degraded by development, particularly on the south and western shores of Roberts Bay, part of Shoal Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuary. These upland remnants give us the natural ambiance that we cherish as part of our “NatureHoods”, with plants that are adapted to this particular environment and the bird songs that accompany it. These mature trees, so close to the shore of Roberts Bay, provide perches, nesting sites and food to birds and other wildlife that find refuge in the Migratory Bird Sanctuary. They act as an integral part of the Sanctuary.
This skyline is further threatened by development proposals that appear to be incompatible with the setting of a national wildlife sanctuary. One of the last groves forming a skyline at the centre of the top photograph is now being considered for dense development (removal of trees). This will require a change to Sidney’s Official Community Plan which in turn would enable even more development. The link below leads to a description of the project under consideration.
If you are concerned about this development, let the Mayor and Council know.