• August Focus
  • Rainwater Harvesting Group Expanding
  • Town Hall Proceedings
  • Community Economic Development Committee Survey
  • Climate Emergency & Emergency Support
  • OCP Draft Release
  • Protecting Old Growth Forest & Fairy Creek Ecosystem
  • Ban on Rodenticide
  • Clean Coast, Clean Waters Initiative
  • Rally to Protect Fairy Creek
  • Upcoming Events

Your August Newsletter

Member, William (Gord) Wallace reminds us that at home in BC, as the forest fire season is upon us, the effect of climate change and humans’ effect on our planet are becoming increasingly obvious. The rise in global warming, resulting from increased greenhouse gases (GHG), has had devastating effects on our forests, extreme weather, food supply disruption and respiratory illness. The four horsemen of heat, drought, fire and pests have, together with deforestation, set Earth’s ecosystem on a path that is unsustainable.

In 1990, British Columbia forests acted as they should by cleaning the air and sequestering over 84 million tons of GHGs annually. By 2020, BC forests collectively became a net emitter of 39 million tons of GHGs annually, primarily through fires. Now, with less than 3% of old growth forest remaining in BC and seedlings on clear cuts unable to survive the harsh climate extremes, our forests, once a friend of the environment, are contributing to its destruction.

It will take hundreds of years, if ever, for young forests to achieve the carbon sequestering power of ancient forests. Stopping all old growth logging and overhauling forest practices will help the planet heal wounds humanity has inflicted on it. 

What's Been Happening?

Water Group: Why should you keep a well log?

Transition Sooke’s Rainwater Harvesting group is expanding into the Water Group and is looking for new members. Contact Lynn for more information. Topics of discussion will include greywater management and water conservation. This seems particularly apropos in light of the drought declaration in Vancouver in July. 

The acts and bylaws that manage our water resources are meant to protect your property from the effects of neighbouring development. Surface drainage is easy to track. Groundwater, not so much. Keeping a well log provides the best information on what is going on down there. When new house development or roadworks take place, they may negatively impact your well.  The best way to prove that has happened is to refer to the past history of your well in your well log.

For more information, visit the new page on Transition Sooke’s website: Water Group

Town Hall Proceedings Available
Residents Respond to "Growing Pains"

Transition Sooke’s virtual Town Hall — To Grow or Not to Grow: Developing a Liveable Sooke in a Climate Emergency — was held on Saturday June 26.  Now available: Proceedings   
See also below, District of Sooke Official Community Plan Status.

Community Economic Development Committee

The District of Sooke's Community Economic Development Committee has developed a public survey asking for input on the "Community Economic Strategy".  There is a place for citizens, non-profits and businesses to fill out the survey. Everyone is encouraged to contribute to the survey, available only until August 20. Survey

Climate Emergency Here Now!

The tragedy that unfolded in Lytton in July should be a reminder to put together a household emergency kit and grab-and-go bag. Helpful information is available at: Emergency Planning

The Sooke Emergency Program has volunteers in the community available to share emergency preparedness information, answer questions and provide resources at:

  • Thursday Night Market, Sooke Region Museum from 5 to 8 pm  August 5, 19 and September 2
  • Saturday Country Market, John Phillips Memorial Park from 10 am to 2 pm August 7, 21 and September 4.

Further information is available through the District of Sooke Emergency Support and/or by phoning the Sooke Fire Department: (250) 642-5422.

Track wildfires of concern in BC here.
Updates on fire locations, evacuation alerts/orders can also be followed here.

Official Community Plan (OCP) Status

The latest draft of the District of Sooke’s OCP will be released for community feedback in early September, 2021. For exact timing, sign up to receive the District of Sooke’s Picture Sooke updates at: Picture Sooke .  Once you’ve read the newsletter, you can go to the Transition Sooke website or follow us on Facebook

As a follow-up to Transition Sooke’s June Town Hall — To Grow or Not to Grow: Developing a Liveable Sooke in a Climate Emergency — a second Town Hall will be organized once the draft OCP is released. 

Protecting Old Growth Forest and the Fairy Creek Ecosystem

August 9 marks the first anniversary of Fairy Creek forest defenders protecting ancient trees standing over 800 years and over 60 metres tall. In the intervening year the issues have proven to be complicated. 

A recent two-year deferral of old-growth logging requested by the Pacheedaht and two other First Nations, doesn’t include all areas of old growth within Fairy Creek targeted for removal by Teal Jones.  

Although the Pacheedaht First Nation Council has asked protesters to leave, members of the Pacheedaht First Nation, including Elder Bill Jones and disputed hereditary chief Victor Peter, have requested they stay, as guests, to help protect the ancient forest. 

On April 1, Teal Jones received a court injunction to remove demonstrators. Since mid-May, over 500 arrests have been made. RCMP enforcing the court order have themselves come under scrutiny for implementing exclusion zones restricting the news media and independent legal advisors. On July 20, the BC Supreme Court granted media the right to witness RCMP actions, per Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Emotions are running high along with concerns about: the future of BC’s biodiversity, climate change, carbon sequestering, watershed protection, profit over planetary health, and embedded colonialism. With over 233 active wildfires in BC at press time, and with world weather anomalies breaking records it is understandable that people in BC are anxious about continued old growth logging. 

Elders for Ancient Trees recently saw 30 local seniors present court judgements affirming the right to public access and peaceful protest at Fairy Creek. They eventually breached RCMP exclusion lines.

Ban on Rodenticide
In case you missed it, a Provincial Order now bans rodenticide use on city-owned properties. The BC Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BCSPCA) provides some background on the reasoning here.

This may also prove to be good news for the Pesticide Education Group.

The Clean Coast, Clean Waters (CCCW) initiative is wrapping up its operations after having removed thousands of kilograms of debris, including styrofoam, plastic bottles, nets, rope, abandoned boats and tires from B.C.’s shoreline. Full story 

Keep Telling Them What You Think!
Your letters and articles on climate change, development, and community resilience in the Sooke News Mirror and other publications keep our issues in the public eye. Thank you!

Transition Sooke members continue to sit on District of Sooke council committees. Watchdog reports can be found on the web page.

Upcoming Events

August 4, 7 pm Regular TS Monthly Meeting (via Zoom) All welcome. Contact Alan for the login information. Previous minutes available here.

Zero Waste Sooke is planning a return to face-to-face meetings, beginning September 14 at 6:30pm in the Sooke library.

For the meantime,Transition Sooke groups are continuing to meet via videoconferencing. For the Climate Change Emergency Teams, contact the individuals listed at the top of the Climate Emergency page. For other groups, please send a message to the general email.

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Transition Sooke · c/o 2119 Melrick Place · Sooke, BC V9Z 0M9 · Canada

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