Based on a directive from Minister of Forests Doug Donaldson, BC Timber Sales (BCTS) is presently carrying out an enhanced public engagement consultation regarding the Reed Road Forest.
In a first step, they have contacted land owners who will be affected by their logging plans of Reed Road Forest. However, BCTS decided to contact only a few property owners and to exclude many others that also would be affected. Of seven directly adjacent land owners that BCTS said they contacted, only five were actually contacted and nobody living further downslope was approached.
Furthermore, a section of the proposed clear-cut is drained by Walker Creek that has been diverted along Reed Road in an eastern direction. Thus, anyone living downslope of the Walker Creek diversion should have been included in an objectively-carried-out engagement process. As a result, any conclusion BCTS forwards to our government is worthless.
I take the liberty to highlight two statements made by BCTS’s representatives during this so-called public engagement. One of the residents stated that this forest was previously marked as Gibsons Watershed Reserve and asked BCTS on what authority they had incorporated Reed Road Forest (in 2012/13) into their timber supply area. BCTS’s answer was that this forest was always part of their inventory. I challenge BCTS to produce maps published before 2010 that show Reed Road Forest to be part of their timber inventory.
A second resident was told by BCTS that there is a real shortage of timber for coastal mills. The harvested wood will generate several times the value of the logs themselves in terms of jobs and higher value products. Such a statement begs the simple question: Why then are we still exporting raw logs, instead of feeding the starving mills?
Reed Road Forest is as big a gem as Clack Creek Forest used to be. This forest is located in an extremely close urban interface and must be immediately removed from BCTS management.