Canfor explains its Upper Clearwater logging plans

Open house held on July 13 in Dutch Lake Community Centre attracts many area residents

Upper Clearwater resident George Briggs (l) talks with Peter Baird

Logging blocks under discussion on the shoulder of Trophy Mountain and on the west side of the Clearwater River would yield about 200,000 cubic meters of wood – equivalent to between 20 and 25 per cent of Canfor’s Vavenby division’s annual allowable cut, according to Peter Baird, Canfor’s general manager for forest planning.

Speaking at an open house held Wednesday, July 13, in Dutch Lake Community Centre, Baird said that they believe their logging plans are consistent with the land use plans for the area, including the Kamloops Land Resource Management Plan (LRMP) and the Upper Clearwater Guiding Principles.

“Some folks disagree but we believe that we are … certainly we’re striving to be,” Baird said.

Concerns raised about the company’s logging plans include hydrology, terrain stability, visuals and wildlife, he said.

Stations at the open house attempted to address each of the concerns in turn.

Nearly all of the stations had small crowds of people at them during the four-hour open house.

Some areas have been removed from harvesting to meet concerns such as soil stability.

Certain cut-blocks are ready to go while others are still works in progress, Baird said.

The company would like to begin harvesting soon but will not go ahead until the consultation process has been completed, he added.

Baird is based in Prince George.

According to a report from B.C.’s Forest Practices Board, the Guiding Principles agreement was developed in the late 1990s following opposition by residents of Upper Clearwater to establishing woodlots in the area.

The agreement included setting up a referral group that would review harvesting proposals and consult with the residents of the area.

In January, 2012 Canfor met with the referral group to discuss its plans to log in part of the area covered by the Guiding Principles.

As an outcome of the meeting, members of the referral group felt that the scale of harvest, concept of salvage, and consideration of other values was not consistent with the Guiding Principles.

They also were unhappy because they felt the process laid out in the Guiding Principles was not being followed.

A meeting was held with the referral group, Canfor and the Ministry in 2014.

Another meeting, held in 2015, apparently resulted in more progress being made.

Below: A computer-generated image shows what a proposed logging block on the shoulder of Trophy Mountain would look like from Clearwater Valley Road by Wells Gray Guest Ranch.  Canfor graphic


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