Endangered Species found in Silverdale

Mission’s Environmental Manager announced to the Neighbourhood Plan Advisory Committee (NPAC) May 14 that four Species-at-Risk so far have been found in Neighbourhood One of the proposed Genstar development in Silverdale. These species, listed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, include the Oregon forest snail, Red-legged frog, Pacific sideband and Water pepper.  The Ministry of the Environment is calling the presence of over 200 endangered Oregon forest snails a “highly significant find”.  Other listed species, such as Western screech owls, have not yet been located by the developer’s consultants but have been photographed by local residents.

The survival of endangered species is dependent on protection of critical habitat such as the forests, streams, ponds, and wetlands in Silverdale. Frogs are highly vulnerable to water contamination.  This is also a major concern for current Silverdale residents, who rely on groundwater for their wells, and for Mission residents who utilize Silverdale’s freshwater springs.

Given the importance of these discoveries, CAUSS was shocked to hear members of  NPAC state that the presence of endangered species on the site will not alter their plan for Neighbourhood One because the Ministry of Environment has no legal authority to stop it.  This statement is not only incorrect, but is clearly at odds with environmental sustainability, the health of our community, and the future of endangered species in Canada.  Citizens can help save these species by telling council that the recommendations from the Ministry of Environment must be followed if this development is to proceed.