UNA Board Letter to UBC on Eagle’s Nest Coning
The UNA Board has sent the attached letter concerning the impact of development on the eagle’s nest located adjacent to Lot 6, to Michael White, Associate Vice-President, Campus + Community Planning, with copies to MLA David Eby, UBC Properties Trust and the UBC Board of Governors and authorize the Board Chair to sign the letter.
April 19, 2023
Campus + Community Planning
2210 West Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4
Re: Coning of Eagles Nest and Development Concerns
In September 2022, UBC Properties Trust contractors placed a cone over an eagles’ nest in a stand of trees near the corner of Ross Drive and Birney Avenue. This nest, which housed a pair of eagles and an eaglet during the 2022 breeding season, will apparently remain covered and inaccessible to its eagles during the construction of a condo tower and townhouses in lot 6, across Ross Drive.
Eagle nests are protected by section 34 of the BC Wildlife Act, which prohibits the molestation of the nests of eagles and other raptors. While UBC requested and received an exemption from the Wildlife Act from the BC Ministry of Forests, the UNA is concerned by UBC’s lack of meaningful public consultation relating to this significant land-use conflict, and in particular the lack of consultation with the UNA.
In coning the nest, UBCPT has relied on the wildlife management advice of Diamond Head Consulting. Neither the Ministry of Forests, Diamond Head Consulting, nor UBC has indicated the basis for an exemption from the Wildlife Act. At the very least, UBC should have undertaken a public consultation process relating to its request for an exemption and intentions to cone the nest. UBC should also have consulted with the UNA, which has a formal advisory role to the University on matters relating to neighbourhood development, governance, and management. More generally, in the unique, under-representative jurisdictional circumstances of UBC, the University should go out of its way to ensure transparency and accountability in its handling of development and land-use conflicts.
The coning of the eagles’ nest came as a surprise and grave disappointment to thousands of residents and friends of UBC. We urge you to read some of the comments posted by the 18,891 signatories of the SaveUBCeagles petition on change.org. In addition to profound reverence for the eagles, frustration over process runs deep. It’s a reminder that public consultation and accountability are more than legal niceties. They get to the heart of citizenship and belonging in our unique neighbourhoods at UBC.
University Neighbourhoods Association