The Lewis’ Woodpecker is listed as Threatened under the Species At Risk Act, and is also found here in Grand Forks. City council voted to adopt a Management Plan late last month, federally protecting nesting habitats, or cottonwood trees; growth will be restored and disturbances minimized during breeding season. This as the City has the highest density of nesting Lewis’ in the Province. There were still however some concerns from council.

Councillor Rod Zielinksi shares some of his:

“I understand we want to not harm the Lewis’ Woodpecker, and I have no problem with that. When we make statements that we are going to maintain the breeding population, that sounds like a lot of work and a lot of money to me, especially when there are other instances that might affect the population other than just what the City does.”

Councillor Chris Moslin says the trees are all over:

“I speak in favor of adopting the Management Plan but I too have concerns about it. My first concern is it’s going to get involved…. in flood mitigation works. As we all know the cottonwoods provide the shady edge to the rivers, and I’m thinking especially of the ones along the Granby river.”

A nest tree had already been identified at City Park, and a mitigation plan was created for it. Because these trees are common on public land, staff wanted to address the issue City-wide. Staff says this plan is federal legislation, and would guide any work done by the city moving forwards. As nest habitats would be protected, prosecution could follow should you cut down these cottonwood trees.