Near Cherryville, B.C. – There are growing concerns in Cherryville over BC Timber Sales’ (BCTS) plans for a logging road into the Cherry Ridge area.
Construction on the road could begin this fall. It would allow logging of seven cut blocks, totaling 190 hectares.
“Our biggest concern is that there be a landslide and that could impact Cherry Creek,” says Hank Cameron with the Cherry Ridge Management Committee, which manages the nearby community forest.
Cherry Creek flows through Cherryville into the Shuswap River. Opponents say there is a history of landslides in the area.
“The concern that I have is if a slide occurs it could block off the Cherry Creek,” says Eugene Foisy a Regional District of North Okanagan director. “When it does burst loose we have numerous homes right close to the creek.”
In a statement, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations said “professional assessments have been prepared by independent consultants to assess the hydrological and terrain stability concerns.”
Critics are hoping BC Timber Sales will hold off till 2016.
“These trees aren’t going anywhere. They’ve got short legs. Give us until 2016 and we can do a lot more studies on this,” says Foisy.
The ministry says timber sale licences won’t be auctioned off until fall 2015.
For their part, the Cherry Ridge Management Committee wants to expand their community forest.
“We were hoping to expand into that area so we could selectively log that as needed and we would do it over a probably thirty or forty year period,” says Foisy.
However, B.C. Timber Sales appears to be forging ahead with their plans for the area, as a contract to build six kilometers of road is already up for tender.
Critics say it’s now a political decision and are hoping the province puts a hold on the project.