Summary of Island Timberlands 2012 Industrial Logging Plans
On November 21, 2011 Island Timberlands (IT) Operations Planner, Wayne French, invited the Cortes Island community to join himself and company representatives from Planning, Silviculture and Marketing to discuss the planned 2012 harvest of their Cortes Island forest land holdings. The open house took place at the Whaletown Fire Hall on December 2, 2011 from 2 – 5 pm. Maps showed the planned logging areas (polygons), areas of retention, and proposed road-building. A field tour into the lower reaches of the Green Valley Watershed was conducted on Saturday, December 3.
Island Timberlands identified three areas for commencement of industrial logging and road building activities, with a possible start of mid-January 2012.
1) Squirrel Cove – several polygons in the upper Basil Creek Watershed, using existing roads accessed from Whaletown Road
2) Gorge Harbour log dump – several polygons north of the log dump and Whaletown Road, accessed through Jimmy Smith Way and the gravel pit
3) Green Valley Watershed – several polygons east and south of Blue Jay Lake, accessed from the Blue Jay Lake driveway (IT owns the first part of this driveway)
Industrial logging is scheduled to begin on the Squirrel Cove property and the Gorge Harbour log dump property. Road-building (~4km) in the Green Valley Watershed is expected mid-to-late spring; plans include a fixed span bridge over the major wetland which drains into Delight and Blue Jay Lakes. The dates for industrial logging in the Green Valley Watershed were not specified. Wayne French offered approximate figures of 20,000 to 30,000 cubic metres of timber to be removed in the first half year of 2012.
Several areas of concern were brought to the attention of Wayne French and respective company representatives by Cortes community members: identification & protection of sensitive ecosystems (with reference to the MOE Sensitive Ecosystem Mapping and emphasis on old growth & wetlands), watershed protection & water quality, salmonid stream protection (Basil Creek & Green Valley), Gorge Harbour aquaculture impacts, local employment opportunities and IT logging plans following the spring of 2012.
Individuals of the Cortes community looks forward to positively affecting IT logging practices on Cortes Island through continued respectful dialogue.
This summary represents the understanding of Wildstands members present at the IT open house held at the Whaletown Fire Hall, December 2, and the IT field walk, December 3. This summary has been forwarded to Island Timberlands Operations Planner, Wayne French.