British Columbia's Forest Practices Board investigates complaint about logging along Sunshine Coast Trail, finds forestry activities are complying with legislation, notes province's 2009 management principles integrating forestry with recreation

VICTORIA, British Columbia , December 17, 2013 () – An investigation of a complaint about logging along the Sunshine Coast Trail found that forestry activities are complying with forestry legislation and following the management principles for the trail, according to a report released today.

“The complainant was concerned that forestry activities are not maintaining the integrity of the trail,” said Al Gorley, board chair. “We found that the forest company is undertaking practices such as cleaning the trail of logging debris, retaining some trees along the trail where feasible, and relocating sections of the trail when necessary. It also works closely with the local community to keep them informed about planned operations and to address local concerns.”

The complainant would prefer that the trail be protected from forestry activities with a buffer; however, the trail was originally established in the early 1990s to coexist with the working forest around it. In 2009, government established management principles for the trail to integrate forestry activities with recreation. In the board’s view, not enough time has passed since establishment of the principles to judge their effectiveness at maintaining the trail’s integrity.

The Sunshine Coast Trail is approximately 180 kilometres long, running from Sarah Point, north of Lund, south to Saltery Bay, near Powell River. The trails passes through parks, private land and Crown land. It is primarily maintained by volunteers from the community working with the Powell River Parks and Wilderness Society.

The Forest Practices Board is B.C.’s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices, reporting its findings and recommendations directly to the public and government. The board investigates public complaints about forest and range practices on public lands and appropriateness of government enforcement. It can also make recommendations for improvement to practices and legislation.

© 2017, B.C. Forest Practices Board