It’s no secret that we are living in strange times. Much of the economy has been stumbling because of the pandemic, and, sadly, many community members are either unemployed or working from home. What these people almost invariably have in common is more time to spend as they wish, often with their families. And what a great number of islanders are opting to do is to go for walks/hikes on Salt Spring’s wonderful trails. Most of us try to focus on the positive, and I think we would all agree that the most positive thing about living on Salt Spring is the natural beauty all around us. In the past few months we’re seeing more people on our trails than ever before. There isn’t a park or nature reserve on the island that isn’t being visited by all kinds of people eager to enjoy what nature has to offer. And on Salt Spring, nature has a lot to offer—lovely shoreline and beaches, varied forest, beautiful views, clean air, more birds than we’ve seen for years—and all of this can be e…Read more about What Do Islanders Do in A Pandemic?
Last Chance to Save Mt. Erskine - Manzanita Ridge Connector Trail
We have a very short window of opportunity to save a well-loved trail on Salt Spring, and if we don’t act, now, it will soon be forever split in two. Walkers, hikers, runners, adults and kids all love Mount Erskine’s trails with their stunning views of beautiful forest. Accessible from Toynbee Road, Collins Road, and Trustees Trail, they all interconnect on public land. Or so we thought! We now know that the short connector between the Conservancy’s Manzanita Ridge Nature Reserve and Mt. Erskine Provincial Park is on private land, and there is no alternative for a safe trail. This land is part of a strata that will soon be developed. It’s quite possible that a future owner will build a house right on the existing trail, which most people now believe is public land. The Salt Spring Island Conservancy acquired Manzanita Ridge Nature Reserve from Martin Williams in 2003, and two years later it fundraised to buy the centrepiece of Mt. Erskine Provincial Park in partne…Read more about Last Chance to Save Mt. Erskine - Manzanita Ridge Connector Trail
Incorporation: Nothing Will Change
I’m another one of the 30 percent who voted yes in 2010, but plan to vote no this time round. By the time you read this, I will have voted no to incorporation in the advance poll. Why have I changed my mind? The last time round I felt that we could take greater control over what happens on Salt Spring if we ran everything ourselves. Today, I’m not convinced that this would happen. First, we already make most of our own decisions right here on the island. Most important to me, the major land use decisions are currently made by our two elected Islands Trust trustees. We could increase their number to four if people agreed to that. However, even the two we have can make the same land-use decisions that a council of six plus a mayor could make. A municipal setup would just replace the Local Trust Committee and do the same work. I’ve heard people complain about the official community plan (OCP) and the Islands Trust planners. However, nothing would change under a municipal…Read more about Incorporation: Nothing Will Change