I don’t think there is anyone who would disagree that we need to rid our Island of broom. However, the statement in your May 20 editorial “Effort needed to rid us of broom scourge” that BC Hydro is one of the “worst offenders” when it comes to tackling broom is wrong.
BC Hydro does not “own veritable network of broom corridors”. We operate on an acquired a right-of-way from the property owner of the land on which our transmission lines cross; we do not own the land.
Nonetheless, during vegetation management work on ROW, BC Hydro will contribute resources and w ork with different landowners, local government and community groups where there is an integrated plan and effort from all stakeholders to control broom. We work with property owners of adjacent land who have a current broom management program or with those whose lands are currently free of broom. As well, BC Hydro funds several regional invasive species committees throughout the province (including the Coastal Invasive Species Committee).
Broom was here long before transmission lines or BC Hydro made it to Vancouver Island. Introduced in the 1850s by Captain Walter Grant, broom has had many years to spread and take hold. There is no quick and easy fix for eradicating it. While BC Hydro has spent thousands tackling broom, it will take the vigilance and commitment of all local governments, property owners and stakeholders to eradicate it completely.
Ted Olynyk Manager, Community Relations Vancouver Island