Activists in British Columbia oppose logging on BC Timber Sales cutblock near Gibsons, claiming logging would damage well-water quality for nearby residents and environmentally sensitive Douglas fir ecosystems
February 14, 2014
(Industry Intelligence Inc.)
– British Columbia environmental group Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) is campaigning to protect a cutblock near Gibsons that BC Timber Sales (BCTS) has proposed, the Coast Reporter reported on Feb. 14.
The area is a candidate for logging because it is not part of the coastal Douglas fir biogeoclimatic ecosystem that was protected as a preemptive measure as building expanded in coastal British Columbia, according to BCTS planning forester Norm Kempe.
The 30-hectare forest, ELF argues, is more suitable for recreational purposes, as it has never been logged and is host to endangered Douglas fir ecosystems and western hemlock.
In addition, the area is part of a watershed reserve that protects quality of wells that supply water to residents in the area.
According to an ELF spokesperson, the watershed reserve status is probably why two-thirds of the cutblock falls on Crown land outside the BCTS chart area.
However, the watershed reserve status does not prohibit logging activities in the area. A hydrology study is being conducted on the area to determine whether logging would threaten the safety of drinkable well water for residents down slope, as ELF suggests.
Kempe said BCTS had included the cutblock in its operational plan when it had discussions last year with the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) and Town of Gibsons, but that the plans were “in the very preliminary stages.” Kempe expects the plan to be ready by June, and BCTS believes the hydrology study will make no findings that would impede logging in the area.
The primary source of this article is the Coast Reporter, Sechelt, British Columbia, on Feb. 14 2014.