A provincial agency is being accused of placing Cherryville residents at risk.
B.C. Timber Sales will soon tender construction of a new road so 209 hectares of timber can ultimately be logged on Cherry Ridge.
“There have been numerous slides over the years there so this is scary stuff,” said Eugene Foisy, the regional district director for Cherryville.
Opposition to the road is also coming from the Cherry Ridge Management Committee, which oversees an adjacent community forest.
“Cherryville representatives have provided information to inform this timber agency about the hydrology of Cherry Creek, which is in recovery from hydraulic mining over a 60-year period,” states the committee in a release.
“Local residents have provided information to the government about the instability of the deeply incised gullies that the B.C. government agency intends to cross with a road.”
CRMC goes on to say that BCTS does not have accurate meteorological data for the basin or information about water quality or quantity in Cherry Creek.
“They have ignored relevant advice about local soil conditions and previous road failures in this area.”
Foisy is calling for a moratorium on a road and logging until 2016 when B.C.’s chief forester reviews the annual allowable cut for the area.
Foisy believes the ideal situation would be for the CRMC to be given permission to take control of the 209 hectares with selective logging that will reduce the chance of slides.
“Harvesting should occur but not in huge clearcuts. We’re asking them to give us a chance. What’s the rush?” he said.
BCTS defends its decision to tender the road construction project.
“Please note that this does not mean that CRMC is unable to have further input on this development,” said Warren Yablonski, BCTS planning forester.
“BCTS would like to ensure the community of Cherryville that we are committed to working with your community to integrate harvesting activities with other resource, social, economic and environmental values on the landscape.”
Yablonski also says his agency is also open to a site tour with the CRMC and to receive water quality and meteorological data.
Foisy is urging B.C. Timber Sales to maintain communications with the community.
“We need to have a good public meeting out here,” he said.