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Damage near Byrne Creek alarms streamkeepers, city

Local streamkeepers are alarmed by recent repeated damage to sensitive areas near the banks of Byrne Creek in southeast Burnaby.

“We`re seeing trails cut, branches torn off, trees cut down, salmonberry bushes and ferns torn out––it’s distressing,” said Paul Cipywnyk, president of the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers Society, in a press release.

“Our members put in hundreds of volunteer hours every year and we’ve planted some of those trees with city permission. It’s so sad to see someone thoughtlessly cutting them down.”

Streamkeepers have been reporting the damage to staff at city hall and documenting it with photos, said Cipywnyk. “City staff are also appalled and are very supportive.”

While the Burnaby parks department has seen similar damage, usually unintentional by shortcutting trail users or owners of off-leash dogs, this time the damage seems much more deliberate.

Burnaby RCMP caution citizens to not personally intervene if they witness someone damaging the park, but to call police.

Cipywnyk said members of the public are reporting sightings, including a description of at least one person seen to be doing such damage.

“We thank everyone who has contacted our group, and we encourage the public to pass any tips on to Burnaby RCMP.

“We’re hoping this is not malicious and that perhaps someone simply doesn’t understand the negative impact of such actions," Cipywnyk added. "We are very fortunate to have jewels like Byrne Creek Ravine Park in our midst, and we should treat such green havens with respect.”

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