Community forest forges ahead

The last 12 months have been extremely busy in Cherryville’s community forest

  • Dec. 27, 2013 4:00 p.m.

The last 12 months have been extremely busy in Cherryville’s community forest.

The forest is operated by the Cherry Ridge Management Committee on behalf of the community.

“Road access has been a major priority to enable us to deal with our responsibilities throughout the licence area,” said Hank Cameron, president.

“We continued to improve the Fenceline Road access on Cherry Ridge in 2013. We graded the road surface, rebuilt the lower and middle switchbacks and built a private land bypass.  We installed more culverts and ditches, piled the slash, and developed a gravel pit on the Fenceline Road. Returns from our log sales paid for the cost of these road upgrades.”

The focus of 2013’s salvage harvest was to remove lodgepole pine and Douglas fir impacted by beetles, as well as windfalls.

At a riparian restoration project adjacent to Cherryville Estates, reverse weirs and rock work installed in 2010 functioned well to relieve pressure on an eroding gravel bank.

“The 2013 high water season removed a long-term log jam, shifting stream flow into the north channel of Cherry Creek which, being narrower and deeper, has more favourable aquatic habitat,” said Cameron.

“This notable high water season has been traumatic for many communities in B.C. and Alberta but this proactive measure protected our Cherry Creek banks.”

Cherryville has also mitigated the risk of wildfires by fuel modification in the forest.

“The purpose of the projects was to define risk areas for interface fires, identify measures necessary to mitigate those risks, outline a plan of action, and implement the appropriate measures,” said Cameron. “As a community, we are committed to the achievable goal of making our wildland interface areas fire resistant and fire smart. We wish to collaborate with neighbouring communities and government agencies on hazard abatement and fuel modification projects.”