Save the Peregrine Falcons / Stop the Kish Mine
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A long defunct quarry at 40251 Quadling Road in Abbotsford, BC is home to a pair of nesting Peregrine Falcons. Although the birds are protected in Canada, and the site is a registered breeding site, the cliff face having been man made from previous escavations is not protected as it is not considered natural. The Sumas River provides a steady diet of seabirds creating a perfect nesting location for the Peregrines.
In addition to the Peregrines the quarry is:
- home to a large flight of migratory cliff swallows
- directly adjacent to the Barrowtown pump station and Sumas River Dam and dyke system
- in close proximity to a very popular fishing and recreational area with a boat launch and walking trails along the dyke.
- 120 meters from the closest residence.
- 130 meters from the nearest domestic well
- less than 500 meters to Highway 1
A notice of the Quarry Pit Amendment Application was posted on June 16, 2019 with a 30 day deadline to write with concerns. The amendment is posted on a very quiet, dead end, rural road where very few people will see it. Activity had been taking place for weeks leading up to the amendment posting. The City of Abbotsford was unaware of the activity.
The cliff face is also the annual nesting site of hundreds of cliff swallows. Ornithologists and environmentalists have been sounding the alarm with regards to the steady decline in swallow numbers for years. This flight is healthy, and needs to be protected. In addition to the Peregrines and Swallows, this ecologically sensitive area is home to dozens of bird species, including bald eagles, golden eagles, osprey, blue heron, king fishers and numerous waterfowl and song bird species.
Once the mine owners are given permission to begin operations they will begin blasting the mountainside and continue for 8-10 years.The quarry and proposed blasting site is directly adjacent to the Barrowtown Dam and pump station. The dam, pump station and connecting dyke system, protect the Fraser Valley from flooding and prevent the Sumas Lake, which was drained in the 1920’s, from returning. In an age of unprecedented global floods, is it wise to risk damaging the dam and dyke that are protecting one of the most important agricultural areas in the province? The Sumas River is home to endangered sturgeon, Coho, steelhead, trout and pike minnows. There is a resident family of river otter and colony of beaver, more than a dozen resident black bears, and deer and porcupine inhabit the area. It is a very popular boat launch, and parking is at a premium in the evenings and on weekends. Anglers line the shore daily on both sides of the river. Kayakers, canoers, and ski jets all take advantage of this free, community boat launch. Parking is at premium in the evenings and on weekends, 12 months of the year. The dyke is part of the Trans Canada trail, which is popular with cyclists, horse enthusiasts and dog walkers alike. Will the area be closed down during blasting?
The closest home is 120 meters from the blast site. On the quarry amendment application, the shortest distance to the nearest residence is listed as 2000 meters. This is completely misleading. The nearest well is 130 meters from the excavation site. It is also erroneously listed as 500 meters from the nearest residential water source on the application. There is no vegetation buffer on the quarry property; the scars are just now starting to heal from previous damage.
I am an area resident, and own a small farm near by. Please do not allow the beautiful area that is enjoyed by so many to be destroyed by greed.
Any one of these concerns raises alarms, but when added all together it simply makes no sense that the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources would allow this area to be destroyed. Email your concerns to SouthwestMinesDivision@gov.bc.ca and/or the Honourable Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources firstname.lastname@example.org by July 15, 2019.
Thank you for your time.
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