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Whistler-area logging project begins

Blog by Nick Swinburne | November 8th, 2010

Permitting delays to reduce 2010 cut from 18,000 to 3,400 cubic metres A piece of heavy machinery is moved into place along a side road just off the Brew Creek Forest Service Road on Saturday (Nov. 6). Logging of a five-hectare patch known as Brew 02 began on the weekend.

Logging under the auspices of the Cheakamus Community Forest (CCF) began on the weekend, but the amount to be cut this year will be far less than the 18,000 cubic metres local officials had planned to cut.

Logging in a five-hectare swath of forest referred in CCF documents as Brew 02 was underway on Saturday (Nov. 6). It is to continue until mid-December, CCF officials said in a statement issued on Thursday (Nov. 4). The project in the Brew Creek area in the southern part of Whistler is expected to deliver 3,400 cubic metres of wood, officials said.

The CCF Society, a partnership involving the Resort Municipality of Whistler and the Lil'wat and Squamish nations, is required by the B.C. Ministry of Forests to log 100,000 cubic metres over the first five years of their tenure in the 30,000 hectares of forested land surrounding Whistler.

Richmond Plywood, the logging contractor hired by CCF, had planned to cut some 18,000 cubic metres this year, but delays in receiving approval of the CCF Forest Stewardship Plan and cutting permits from the Ministry of Forests has drastically reduced the amount that can be realistically cut this year. CCF officials have said they will have to increase the amount to be logged over the next three years to make up for this year's shortfall.

CCF officials have repeatedly said that their objective in taking on logging activity is environmentally sensitive management of the land base. Toward that end, they are working to achieve certification of their activities through the Forest Stewardship Council, a third-party forestry certification system that's recognized globally by native peoples, environmental groups and industry.

Nonetheless, some locals opposed to the logging of old-growth forest have openly protested the CCF plans, arguing that the environmental, recreational and tourism value of old-growth forest in the Whistler area is more important than the value of the logs and/or any ecosystem management gains that might be achieved.