Why we rarely see the hundreds of mountain lions live in the Lower Mainland
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Monday, April 25, 2022
Good Morning Reader!
There are lots of scary things in BC’s forests. Bears! Cougars! Snakes! Of course, what is scary and what is dangerous are often two very different things. You’re probably more likely to be hurt driving to a local trail than by a cougar. But I understand the fear. It’s probably hard-wired into us. Tiger Kings aside, people learned over thousands of years not to try to pet those cougar cubs—we have had less time, obviously, to learn the necessity to drive safely on the highway. Maybe we can one day learn the latter lesson.

Also, thanks to all those who responded to our survey on the flood assistance provided through the Red Cross. The survey is still open, so if you applied we would love to hear from you, whether your experience was good or challenging. To those who asked why we weren’t asking about the federal Disaster Financial Assistance process, mainly we want to keep a narrow focus. Also, we’ve already touched on one of the largest limitations—the $300,000 cap.
—Tyler Olsen, managing editor

Today’s weather: ☁ 14 C
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Hundreds of cougars live in the Fraser Valley, but the large cats are rarely seen. 📷 Felineus/Shutterstock
The big cats among us

It was 8:30 at night in July of 2020. The air was starting to cool after a warm summer day, and the sun had crossed over the top of Golden Ears Mountain. A dog ran along a trail in the provincial park. Its owners hiked along behind it.

Six minutes passed. A cougar padded cautiously along the same path. Its muscular shoulders moved with its gait; its long tail swept along the ground.

Snap. A trap was sprung. But the cougar continued its walk through the forested mountainside.

Michael Procko returned to the scene several days later. A Master’s student at the University of British Columbia’s Wildlife Coexistence Lab, Procko had set up 58 camera traps across Golden Ears Provincial Park in 2019. His goal was to see how wildlife and people use the same recreational spaces. He discovered cougars.

In a rapidly urbanizing area like the Fraser Valley, space is becoming less common. And we have almost no idea how that is impacting local cougar populations. Today, Grace explores the world of the Fraser Valley’s cougars, and shares what experts say we can do to better coexist with our local big cats.

Friday: Lawsuits, land, and reconciliation: Sts'ailes and BC pursue a new path to reconciliation
Need to Know
🔪 An Abbotsford man is facing his second stabbing charge in two years [Abbotsford News]

👍 Chilliwack’s Hooge Wetlands were hailed by politicians for their role in minimizing flood damage [Chilliwack Progress]

🔎 Toxic chemicals have been found leaching from an Abbotsford waste facility into a nearby waterway [Abbotsford News]

🔥 Investigators said a fire that severely damaged an Aldergrove restaurant was ‘suspicious’ [Alderbrove Star]

☺ TODAY’S SMILE: A local man has a special bond with his favourite stool [Twitter]

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Two new apartment buildings have been proposed for central areas in Abbotsford. 🗺 Bing/Tyler Olsen
The Agenda
Developers have submitted applications to build two new apartment buildings in Abbotsford. Heinrichs Developments is looking for permission from the city to build a six-storey, 99-unit building at 2790 Gladwin Rd. The project would be sited adjacent to Heinrich’s recently built Court project, on the former home of VRC Fitness. Meanwhile, Trio Architecture has applied to build a new six-storey building on a long vacant property in downtown Abbotsford. The building, at 33671 McDougall Ave., would have commercial space on its ground floor and 25 apartments above. To proceed, both projects need to go through the rezoning process and receive council’s blessing.

Chilliwack’s Prest Road is in need of a new watermain after the existing cast iron one failed in March, causing extensive damage to the road on both sides of Highway 1. The existing watermain was installed in 1962, and is now a decade past its expected lifespan, a staff report read. In early March it broke in two places: at Chilliwack Central Road and in another spot just south of Highway 1. The break was likely caused by additional stress from road construction on the already aging water system. Staff have already completed repairs north of Highway 1, but now need to abandon the pipe south of the highway. (It is located in the centre of the road, and could fail again at any time.) Staff recommend that the city install new ductile iron pipe from Highway 1 south to Prairie Central Road. (See the report here.)

In Thursday’s edition of The Current, we shared an incorrect name for one of the artists who worked on Chilliwack’s rainbow banners. The artist’s name should have read Justin Mallard, not Julian Mallard. You may have also noticed that an Earth Day event we shared would have required time travel to attend. For anyone who wanted to go to the UFV building tour, we are sorry that it took place in 2016, and not 2022 like we had thought.
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Around Town
🎭 Langley Little Theatre presents The Best Brothers, a bitter-sweet comedy from Daniel MacIvor, on April 30. Tickets online.

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