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Dangerous tree removed from Puntledge River after complaints from tubers

Outdoor enthusiasts can now enjoy the Puntledge River without the worry of getting hurt.

The City of Courtenay says over the weekend crews removed a large Black Cottonwood tree that was a hazard for people swimming and tubing in the river.

Earlier this month, many people reported the tree to the city, which was lodged downstream of the Condensory Bridge.

The city’s manager of parks, Mike Kearns says because the river isn’t part of the city’s jurisdiction, they worked with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans as well as Rupert Wong with Current Environment to have it safely removed.

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“The river is really outside of the city’s jurisdiction and we recognized pretty quickly that it was a significant hazard and that the prudent thing to do was to take some action and try to remove it,” explained Kearns.

“It was a great effort on everyone involved and really especially Rupert and his team with Current Environment. Their connections with DFO, putting together a plan that respected the environment consideration as well as the safety of the challenging work that it took to do it in the channel itself.”

Kearns also said while the team was working on removing the tree, they saw first hand what residents were worried about. 

“When they were out there on Friday had a couple of close calls while they were working and they helped people get out from the entanglement so, with the warm weather that we finally have now and the increased traffic on the river with the tubers, I’m glad we were able to pull it all together.”

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