Residents owe legal costs in Douglas fir campaign

"Dougy," Cadboro Bay’s notorious Douglas fir hit the ground Monday morning

Even after “Dougy,” Cadboro Bay’s notorious Douglas fir, hit the ground Monday morning, one of its most outspoken advocates couldn’t stop taking photos of the scene.

Bob Furber, along with fellow area resident Max Cowper-Smith, will now pay for their failed legal effort to save the ancient, 30-metre tree, which Saanich felled Oct. 22, after on Friday the B.C. Supreme Court approved the municipality’s application to have it removed, based on safety concerns over its level of decay.

“When do you walk away?” said Furber, who will now split Saanich’s legal fees with Cowper-Smith. “I don’t know. It’s something that comes from inside and I haven’t walked away yet.”

Crews arrived to fall the tree at Monday at 7:30 a.m., while supporters of the tree, dubbed “Dougy,” were engaged in a wake. Neighbours complied with the district’s requests to leave the tree and after presenting information on the health of the tree – a sonic tomography report commissioned by Cowper-Smith. They stalled the removal for another hour or so, and then Dougy finally came down.

“The tree is on Saanich property and Saanich can do what it likes and we had no say in the matter,” Furber said. “It certainly didn’t go in our favour. … It’s going to be sad because we give quite a lot of money to charity and this year instead we’ll be giving it to Saanich.”

Furber, still reeling from his first day in court, remains upset the issue escalated as far as it did, though he continues to contest the amount of decay in the tree.

“Obviously whenever a situation like this happens, we want to take a step back and say, ‘What happened?’” said Rae Roer, manager of Saanich parks. “We’ll do that in the next days and weeks, but it’s maybe just a little too close right now to figure out exactly what we’ve learned.”

The parks department’s mandate of balancing protection of the urban forest with the health and safety of the community will remain constant, Roer said, yet the way the way in which their message is communicated, is now up for evaluation.

The cut tree has been transported to Haro Woods to decompose and feed the forest, Roer added.

nnorth@saanichnews.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

One dead as fish boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Saanich council seeks more information after hearing Uptown-Douglas plan

Council asks for further reports on economic, housing, transportation plans for corridor

Three active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

Since July 24, Central island has had five new cases, North one, South none

Victoria police seize replica handgun and bullets

Unrelated call leads police to functional replica

Flaming object thrown through Victoria restaurant window

Police looking for any witnesses to early-morning incident

Man arrested after stabbing incident at makeshift camp near Vancouver Island mall

RCMP in Parksville report 28-year-old man taken into custody without incident

Canucks ride momentum into NHL playoff series against defending Stanley Cup champs

PREVIEW: Vancouver opens against St. Louis on Wednesday

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

42 more people test positive for COVID-19 in B.C.

The province has recorded no new deaths in recent days

Joe Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

Harris and Biden plan to deliver remarks Wednesday in Wilmington

Lawsuit launched after Florida child handcuffed, booked and briefly jailed

Suit alleges “deliberate indifference” to what should have been handled as a behavioural issue

Russia approves vaccine, Putin hopes to begin mass production

Critic calls decision to proceed without thorough testing ‘dangerous and grossly immoral’

Most Read