Cherryville residents are taking a stand against government plans for a sensitive area.
About 110 people attended a rally Sunday to oppose B.C. Timber Sales’ proposal for a road and logging on Cherry Ridge.
“There’s full support from the community,” said Eugene Foisy, Cherryville director.
There are steep slopes on the ridge and there’s a concern that clearcut logging could lead to slides jeopardizing Hanson Park, the school and the hall, as well as homes.
“We’re afraid of what may happen down here,” said Foisy.
Residents are demanding a downstream assessment of the road and logging before BCTS proceeds with issuing a contract for road construction.
If BCTS does not proceed with a downstream assessment, there is the possibility the Regional District of North Okanagan may fund a study.
“We want a say on what’s looked at,” said Foisy, adding that the pressure on BCTS will continue.
“We will wait to see if BCTS issues the contract for the road. If they aren’t listening, people in the community are looking at other activities to pursue (in opposition).”
The Cherry Ridge Management Committee, which operates a community forest, wants to see the area identified by BCTS to be selectively logged instead of clearcut.
“This BCTS proposal will not provide social and economic benefits equivalent to the community forest model. It will not enable community involvement nor diversify use and benefits. It does not respect Cherryville’s interests,” stated a release from the CRMC during Sunday’s rally.
The CRMC goes on to say that BCTS has ignored relevant local advice about soil conditions and previous road failures in the north fork of Cherry Creek.
“Local residents have provided information to the government about the instability of the deeply incised gullies that this government agency plans to cross with a road,” states the CRMC.
“These gullies have a history of landslides, one of which took out the North Fork Forestry Service Road in 2004. Such slide events are similar to the Sugar Lake Road slope failure on April 25, 2012, triggered by misdirected drainage from a forestry block.”