New roads planned along the Juan de Fuca trail. Photo: Alysha Tylynn Jones
A survey of Juan de Fuca residents indicates that the vast majority prefer environmental preservation to real estate development and resort tourism. The poll results show that only 7.5 percent of respondents support new development and resort tourism in the Juan de Fuca electoral area, while 85 percent prefer habitat and watershed restoration.
A coalition of students and community groups conducted the direct-mail survey of people in Port Renfrew, Jordan River, Shirley, and Otter Point. The Wild Coast Campaign is compiling a report to be presented to the Capital Regional District in spring. Preliminary results will be presented during the Juan de Fuca land-use committee’s public information session tonight at Edward Milne School in Sooke.
The surveys were sent to all 423 households in the rural area via Canada Post in December and January. Residents were asked their opinions about land use in the former Western Forest Products lands in the Juan de Fuca electoral area.
Among other questions, the survey asked “What would you prefer to see happen in the Juan de Fuca forestlands?”
Out of 53 responses, only nine (17%) support resort tourism in Juan de Fuca. Four of these (7.5%) also want to see more real-estate development and subdivisions in the future.
“Resort tourism” ranked 13th on the list of 16 options, ahead of “real estate development and subdivisions” with eight votes, and “clearcut logging” with three.
The top answer, selected by 85% of respondents, was “watershed and habitat restoration.” Second in the multiple-choice poll, with 72% support, was “forest protection.” Third on the list was “park creation,” chosen by 68% of those who answered.
The poll did not specifically query residents on their support for a
proposed resort development on Juan de Fuca trail, now under
consideration by the Juan de Fuca land-use committee.
The survey was distributed to every household in the Juan de Fuca communities via unaddressed Canada Post mail. This is not a scientific poll and should not take the place of full community consultation; however, it represents a fairly random sample of residents.
Here is the question as it appeared on the survey form, followed by the responses for each option.
What would you prefer to see happen in the Juan de Fuca forestlands?
45 Watershed and habitat restoration
38 Forest protection
36 Park creation
34 Public consultation
32 Moratorium on new development
31 More community planning
25 Research forestry
22 Traditional indigenous activities
21 Community forestry
20 Education programs
12 Cultural tourism
9 Resort tourism
8 Real estate development and subdivisions
3 Clearcut logging