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Highway of Good Intentions? Vancouver Olympic Plans Bulldoze Rare Forests

Despite a reputation for environmental friendliness—and official pledges—the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics are already taking an environmental toll

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TELLING SIGN:

This sign was placed on a tree next to the highway construction area just south of the Larsen Creek Wetlands by the contractors. While the wetlands are intact at the moment, there are concerns from environmentalists and ecologists that the construction of the highway right next to them will increase tree fall, the wetlands' vulnerability to invasive species and light penetration in the sensitive area.....[ More ]

MERGING MAMMALS:

Bruce McArthur is a retired construction project manager from Horseshoe Bay who led the Coalition to Save Eagleridge Bluffs. Here he is standing under the new highway by one of the mammal highways that are meant to facilitate the flow of animals between the main forest and the smaller island of forest that has been fragmented by the highway reroute and expansion.....[ More ]

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS:

The new highway [ at the left ] runs right up against the Larsen Creek Wetlands, in the right of the photograph. The wetlands are home to the blue-listed red-legged Frog. The Canadian Wildlife Service recommends 655 feet (200) meters of riparian buffer for amphibian conservation areas.....[ More ]

NO BLUFFING:

The Eagle Ridge Interchange marks the beginning of a controversial highway reroute. This south facing bluff is home to the rare coastal bluffs Arbutus ecosystem that includes the Howell's Violet, a species blue-listed by the Canadian government, meaning it is vulnerable to extinction.....[ More ]

GOING GREENISH:

Vancouver, often noted for its stunning natural surroundings, won the bid to host the 2010 Winter Olympics back in 2003 and the event is changing the shape of the city--particularly a controversial stretch of highway.....[ More ]

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