To the Editor,
Re: City signs on to make cuts to emissions, July 31.
It’s good news that Nanaimo plans to cut emissions and become carbon neutral by investing collaboratively with other Regional District of Nanaimo municipalities in regional emission reduction and carbon offset projects.
Protecting Linley Valley West could be an ideal regional carbon-offset initiative, for three reasons.
1. Linley West lands have mainly second-growth forest cover, which absorbs carbon more efficiently than old-growth forest, so it provides greater carbon offset value.
2. Current zoning of Linley West lands allows development, so this area will qualify as a carbon offset if zoning changes and/or other strategies are implemented to protect the forest cover.
3. A protected Linley West and adjacent areas of Linley Valley will contribute to broader environmental goals, as part of a regional initiative to save at-risk coastal Douglas fir bioregions with sensitive ecosystems.
Moreover, Linley West can become a regional attraction by offering low-impact recreational and learning opportunities, such as hiking, birdwatching, nature tours, and locally-based environmental study projects for students at all levels.
Local carbon offset and emissions reduction initiatives help all of us to recognize the additional value of our greenspace.
The City of Nanaimo emits most of the RDN’s greenhouse gases: by protecting Linley West and other significant areas of green space, it can offset its impact on global warming and reduce its costs to become carbon neutral.