Cherry Ridge process upsets

B.C. Timber Sales is preparing to auction off three blocks for logging near Cherryville

Frustration is growing over proposed logging in the hills above Cherryville.

The provincial B.C. Timber Sales has completed road work on Cherry Ridge and is preparing to auction off three blocks for logging.

“BCTS is going ahead despite our concerns and we haven’t completed our studies,” said Hank Cameron, Cherryville director.

The Regional District of North Okanagan is funding hydrological and slope stability studies on Cherry Ridge because of concerns that logging could ultimately lead to a landslide.

Residents had hoped BCTS would hold off on selling timber licenses until the studies were completed and the information reviewed.

“There hasn’t been a hydrological study done on Cherry Creek,” said Cameron.

However, BCTS officials have previously insisted that geological and hydrological studies have been conducted and the road and logging pose no threat to the community.

The agency says that as part of road construction, three culverts have been replaced with bridges to increase fish habitat passage.

The three-block timber sale license will be issued this fall.

“Two are adjacent to the 2012 slide,” said Cameron.

An ongoing concern from Cherryville residents is what they believe is a lack of BCTS consultation with the community over harvesting.

However, the agency stated in an e-mail that, “B.C. Timber Sales has been in continued contact with Cherry Ridge Management Committee for input into final operational plans.”

Cameron insists the community will remain vigilant about logging on Cherry Ridge and present its hydrological and slope studies to the provincial government.

“We are taking the high road. We really think we are in the right on this,” he said.