The B.C. government confirmed Monday afternoon that it is pausing a controversial logging project in the Mount Rose-Swanson area of Spallumcheen.
The government said the BC Timber Sales (BCTS) project is being put on hold so the forest stewardship plan can be refined.
The move comes after more than 20,000 people signed an online petition against logging in the popular recreation area, and the Township of Spallumcheen called on the province not to put the project out to tender until a more thorough public consultation had been done.
It appears that public pressure may have had an impact, as the provincial ministry responsible now says more consultation with the public and First Nations will be done and that information will be included in the revised plan for the area.
Many who oppose logging in the area are concerned about the impact it will have on recreational use.
“There are a lot of recreational users, and when I talk to people about the joy that they get from walking through an intact forest as compared to a cut block, I haven’t met anybody who would prefer to walk through a cut block,” said Andrea Gunner, one of those who signed the petition.
The province’s logging plan was for 10 small cut blocks covering over 28 hectares.
However, the government was quick to point out that those 28 hectares amounted to only around four per cent of the sensitive area.
That plan, which is now being re-examined, also called for some trees within the cut blocks to be retained including some of the old growth.
Originally, the province had planned to start the logging in early winter 2021 to minimize the impact on recreational users.