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White Lake Logging Plan Opposed in the Shuswap
July 30, 2012 (Chase, BC) - The Shuswap Environmental Action Society is supporting the concerned residents of White Lake who are opposing plans by B.C. Timber Sales (BCTS) to log in the hillsides above their homes.
Of greatest concern, is the 16-hectare (40 acre) block directly behind the community hall where recreational trails lead up to the White Lake lookout.
“I toured the site on July 25th and was amazed to see a rather young, Douglas fir forest that did not appear to be suitable for logging. The area is located directly behind the community and includes a number of recreational trails,” explained Jim Cooperman, SEAS president. “We hiked to the bluff, a popular destination for both Shuswap hikers and tourists, where we could see how logging this forest would damage this breathtaking view for many years,” Cooperman added.
The BCTS plan calls for up to 30 percent retention of the trees in the block above the hall and these trees have been ribboned. Since there is some root-rot in the stand, the plan also calls for stumping, which is basically digging out and turning over the stumps to reduce the spread of the fungus that causes root-rot. While limited selective logging would be an option the community could support, BCTS is insisting that this type of logging is not suitable as it would help spread the root-rot. Even though the “leave trees” would lessen the impact to the view of the logging, windstorms could easily down these trees adding to the mess caused by the stumping. And all of this industrial activity is planned to occur in the immediate vicinity of this rural community.
The White Lake community is mobilizing to oppose the logging plans. “I attended the community meeting of approximately 70 people in the evening of July 25th, and was shocked to find out that BCTS made no effort to contact the community regarding the logging plans.” said Cooperman.
White Lake resident Hal Dyck was the first to learn about the plans after speaking to a private consultant who had been surveying other blocks above his house, “he informed us that the north face of Bastion Mountain was in the ten year logging plan but what should be of more immediate concern to us are the parcels above the community and fire halls, which are scheduled to be logged within two years.”
“Two meetings have been held with a few community residents and the BCTS which allowed concerns to be expressed, however no effort has been made to alter the plans regarding these concerns. Before any logging should be allowed to proceed, we believe that the BCTS needs to undertake a legitimate planning process with the community that will adequately address their concerns,” stressed Cooperman.
“At the very least, there should be a delay of at least one year before any contracts are signed to allow time for proper consultation, to inform all the residents of White Lake, and to do impact studies to address the concerns of residents,” said Steve Corrie, Chair of the White Lake Residents Association (WLRA).
Petitions are now being circulated to demonstrate to the government the level of concern within the White Lake community and throughout the Shuswap. Non-residents can access the online version of the petition through the SEAS website, www.seas.ca where photos of the area can also be viewed.
Photos and plans of the proposed logging are available upon request.
For more information, contact:
Jim Cooperman, SEAS President, 679-3693, cell 319-4197
Steve Corrie, WLRA, 835-8858
Hal Dyck, White Lake resident, 835-8888, cell 253-3100