In the last 25 years Nanaimo has lost 45% of its urban forests. Deforestation of Nanaimo has occurred because of clear cut developments and the removal of trees on existing lots without any replacement.
There is still a window of time left to save the last remaining section of urban forest in the Linley Valley Area. The map below shows an aerial view of North Nanaimo in 2003; the red dots show locations of deforestation in the last ten years.
The red dots make a ring around the Linley Valley area. There is only a small section saved around Cottle Lake and Lost Lake. The time is now to move ahead and create a legacy for the future, and have a living forest in the middle of Nanaimo. This would take some foresight by city leaders. Below, is an arial map of North Nanaimo in 2013. The red line shows the planned Linley Valley Drive.
Below is part of Linley Valley Drive already completed. Clear-cutting the area makes for cheap lot preparation whether it is for residential or commercial development.
The big problem in Nanaimo is all the old large residential city lots can be subdivided which means the heavy lifting of densification now falls on residential neighbourhoods. New commercial developments remain low density. Even if there is a covenant to protect heritage neighbourhoods such as Lynburn Estates in Departure Bay, this is ignored.
The City of Nanaimo employs an Urban Forestry Coordinator for $81,000. It appears their hands must be tied.