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SCRD votes to oppose logging

SCRD votes to oppose logging

At its Nov. 22 meeting, the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) board opposed logging in the Reed Road and Clack Creek areas until a land use plan for the Coast is in place.  Letters will be sent to the province requesting that cutblocks in these areas be withdrawn from upcoming BC Timber Sales auctions.

The Elphinstone Community Association and Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) brought the requests regarding the potential logging to the board. The board stopped short of supporting calls from those groups to ask the province to designate the locations as parks or protected areas.  Such designations could permanently withdraw them from the working forest.

SCRD staff at the meeting advised that annual cut volumes for areas are established by the province. If cutblocks within the Coast’s forest management area are protected from logging, they must be replaced by others from within that area with similar timber volumes.

“If we take these lands out, where else in our area do we allow BC Timber Sales to allocate cutting,” asked Darnelda Siegers, director from the District of Sechelt.

The SCRD has previously written the province about the community’s desire to protect the ecological and recreation values of the two sites. Both are in the Mount Elphinstone area.  The Reed Road site borders on residential development.  Donna McMahon, board director for Elphinstone (Area E) stated that this interface forest needs to be managed to help protect the adjoining community from forest fires, floods and landslides.

In closing discussion on the issue, Chair Lori Pratt noted that developing a land use plan to guide board decisions on such matters should be a priority.  Land use plans set direction on land management to meet economic, environmental, cultural and social objectives. The Sunshine Coast is one of only a few regions in the province without one.

Connie Jordison

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