Cherryville road action gears up

Community reps consult with West Coast Environmental Law to discuss B.C. Timber Sales’ construction of a logging road on Cherry Ridge

Action is being stepped up to protest a logging road in the hills above Cherryville.

On Wednesday, community representatives consulted with Vancouver-based West Coast Environmental Law to discuss B.C. Timber Sales’ construction of a logging road on Cherry Ridge.

“He is going to write letters to the Ministry of Forests to have the geotechnical and the compliance and enforcement reports on the slide of April 25, 2012,” said Hank Cameron, who is the new regional district director for Cherryville.

“We’ve been asking for that information and it’s been refused.”

Residents are concerned the logging road and future logging could trigger a slide, similar to the one that impacted three properties in 2012.

The community has also posted a watch on the North Fork Road.

“They are looking to see the (construction) equipment coming and going,” said Cameron.

However, there are no plans for residents to physically block the construction crew from entering the site, something that occurred last month.

“It’s certainly been discussed and some people are keen to do that,” said Cameron.

“But as a group, we don’t want to tell people to do something illegal that leads them to jail.”

Cameron and others in Cherryville are monitoring the protests over a pipeline in Burnaby.

While several people have been arrested in the Lower Mainland, a judge Thursday denied Kinder Morgan’s bid to extend an injunction to prevent protests. The judge also ruled that civil contempt charges should be dropped against those arrested because of uncertainty over the size of the injunction zone.

Cherryville residents are also considering legal action to stop BCTS on Cherry Ridge.

“Court has certainly been discussed but it’s an expensive process. We’re volunteers and we don’t have funding,” said Cameron.

The Ministry of Forests defends the actions of BCTS in Cherryville.

“Why not delay road construction so the community can fund a watershed assessment and concerns about potential slides can be alleviated?

“BCTS has completed third-party professional assessments on terrain stability and hydrology, and have had the road professionally designed. BCTS is satisfied that these plans are appropriate to address all of the values,” states the ministry.

“If the community is unsatisfied and wants to complete other assessments to evaluate their own interests, then they can do those assessments. BCTS will evaluate all professional information provided as BCTS has indicated to the community on many occasions.”