A. PROTECTING THE SCOTT ISLANDS
Conservation is everybody's business. The quality of our natural environment is directly related to our quality of life. While some development is necessary, development with a callous disregard for the environment is tantamount to eventual destruction of our planet and genocide. There are already many areas of our planet and many natural species that have been destroyed by industrialization, pollution, war, and other human activities. Over-fishing, over-hunting, poaching, and plain greed and stupidity has also contributed to the decimation many species of animals, fishes, and birds.
Unless we all take a stand to conserve and protect our natural environment, our natural resources will continue to be exploited and destroyed. Birds are an important part of our environment and important biological indicators to the health of our ecosystems. Preserving and protecting birds and their habitats is in essence protecting our own habitats and enhancing our overall quality of life.
The Scott Islands off the northern tip of Vancouver Island is recognized internationally as an "Important Bird Area" with significant populations of seabirds such as Cassin's Auklet (55% of world population), Rhinoceros Auklet (7% of world population), and Tufted Puffin (2% of world population)that should be protected. Seabird colonies on 2 out of the 5 islands have already been allegedly destroyed by man's introduction of mink and rats, and unless appropriate steps are taken, the other islands are also in jeopardy. Although the other 3 islands themselves are protected by "restricted" park status, the ocean feeding grounds have no protection. Fortunately, the Canadian Wildlife Service is currently taking steps to create a "Marine Wildlife Area (MWA)" to protect the surrounding area from detrimental human activities such as oil and gas exploration and fishing. Public support for the MWA initiative is important for its success. This is our chance to stand up an be counted. If you support this plan, email Greg.Mallette@ec.gc.ca an let him know now (before May 2004). For more information, go to www.scottislandsmwa.ca or phone 604-666-8008.