Council votes to spend $1,600 on ‘watch for wildlife’ signs
Spending up to $1,600 on signs alerting motorists to wildlife is too much, Councillor Grant Ward commented on Sept. 17.
Mayor Jack Froese agreed, but a majority of council approved the signs for Willoughby where development is pushing wildlife out of its habitat.
Many animals end up being killed or maimed when they are hit by moving vehicles. Disturbed by their fate, Willoughby resident Dr. Patricia Tallman began a campaign to persuade the Township to erect the signs. These will target Willoughby first because that is where most of Langley’s development is taking place.
Council also authorized staff to review an excavation protocol, authored by Tallman, with the Urban Development Institute.
The protocol supports a ban on excavation during nesting or dening season if terrestrial wildlife is observed. This measure alone, Tallman said, would eliminate the current discriminatory practice of ignoring terrestrial wildlife and contribute towards reducing juvenile road kill.
The protocol encourages ‘wildlife awareness’ alerts to excavation crews, and building containment fences to prevent wildlife from escaping onto roadways.
As well, when a pond is to be drained, pond species should be salvaged and relocated.
Without naming Tallman, Ward said that the Township “is looking after one particular person who has come to this council. We have gone down this road way too long.”
Concerned about the proliferation of signs, Ward commented that “wildlife get caught under the wheels of cars . . . we should not be spending this type of money.”
Councillor David Davis said that the wildlife signs “warn us to slow down and pay attention.”