Some wild Coldstream neighbours trying to build a home for themselves are causing a dangerous situation for some residents.
Beavers have already brought down one 60-foot tree, narrowly missing two sheds, and it’s only a matter of time before additional trees, which they are already hacking away at, come crashing down. But resident Kelly Long fears the next tree to come down could take out a building, vehicle, or even worse, an animal or person.
Long understands the beavers are just trying to make a home for themselves. What he doesn’t get is why neither the District of Coldstream or provincial government will do anything to protect its residents.
“I don’t get why nobody wants to come look at these trees before they go timber,” said Long, whose Torrent Drive home backs on to Coldstream Creek.
Even though the trees are on Crown land, no one apparently wants to take responsibility for them.
In fact, Long was told that he should take the trees down.
But seeing all of the other old, rotten and partially chewed trees along the bank, he fears that if he knocked one tree down, it might create a domino effect.
Along with concerns for his home and property and his neighbours’, Long is worried the trees could come down on a car driving along Kalamalka or Kidston road, or worse yet, a kid walking to the park or school.
“This one could cause that one to go…I know where this is going to go and I’m not touching them with a 10-foot pole.”
And he’s concerned that the same could happen if the trees are left to come down on their own.
“I’d like to see them remove the trees, and the beavers.
“Before somebody gets hurt.”
The District of Coldstream maintains public properties and rights-of-ways, but says it has no involvement in this matter.
“It would not be a fiscally responsible practice to go onto private property, that the municipality does not have any obligation or rights to access, and maintain that private property with public funds,” said Michael Baker, the district’s director of infrastructure services.
The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations also told Long that he either needs to let the trees fall down on their own or he can apply to remove them.
“If a danger tree is on Crown land and affecting private land, an authorization to fall/use the tree is required,” the ministry told The Morning Star.
“If a tree is within a stream area and below the high-water mark, a Section 11 Water Act notification is required (in addition to the authorization mentioned above, as there may be fish and/or wildlife habitat issues involved with the removal of the tree).”