preview

Urbanization & Habitat Loss in the Fraser Valley as a Threat to Biodiversity

Best Essays
We don’t often stop to consider the impact that simply living our human lives has on the other species that once called our neighbourhoods their home. The Fraser Valley, “one of the most important and complex ecosystems in the country” (Thom, p. 171), has been dramatically altered to make a more convenient landscape for housing and farming. In this process, critical habitat has been destroyed and many species that were once abundant have disappeared from our area (Cuthbert p. 24). Urbanization is ongoing and is thought to be the most significant threat to the incredible biodiversity found throughout British Columbia, and particularly the population-dense Lower Mainland (Harding, p. 355). Biodiversity, the “complex web that sustains life on this planet” (Austin, et al., p. 5), is vital for our survival as humans (Cuthbert p. 74). Any loss of biodiversity affects the entire ecosystem and all organisms within it (Fetene et al., p. 52). In the quest to house the ever-expanding human population, we must also consider habitat conservation and seek to preserve the rich biodiversity found in the Fraser Valley that supports and enriches our lives.
Perhaps the most devastating disregard of the Fraser Valley’s biodiversity was the draining of Sumas Lake to create farmland, resulting in the loss of habitat and the extirpation of endemic species. As it was originally intended to be, the Fraser Valley was a “perhaps unparalleled ecosystem” (Rosenau, p. 55), with bountiful wetlands and remarkable biodiversity. The European settlers 150 years ago considered it to be “wasteland” (Thom, p. 172), certainly uninhabitable and a breeding ground for mosquitoes, so the most logical thing to do would be to drain the body of water once known as Sumas Lake...

... middle of paper ...

...Fraser Valley, 1980-1987. Delta, B.C.: Canadian Wildlife Service, 1990. Print.
Rosenau, Marvin Leslie, and Mark Angelo. Conflicts Between Agriculture And Salmon In The Eastern Fraser Valley / Prepared By Marvin L. Rosenau And Mark Angelo. n.p.: Vancouver : Pacific Fisheries Resource Conservation Council, c2005., 2005. UFV Library Catalogue
Thom, Brian, and Laura Cameron. 2005 "Changing Land Use in SolhTemexw (Our Land): Population, Transportation, Ecology and Heritage". In You are Asked to Witness: The Sto:lo in Canada's Pacific Coast History, ed. Keith Thor Carlson, pp. 163-180. Chilliwack: Sto:lo Heritage Trust.
Wilson, Edward O. Biophilia. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1984. Print.
Wood, Paul M., and Laurie Flahr. "Taking Endangered Species Seriously? British Columbia's Species-At-Risk Policies." Canadian Public Policy 30.4 (2004): 381-399. Business Source Complete.
Get Access