Cherryville residents will get some input on contentious logging plans, but the project may still move ahead.
B.C. Timber Sales, which ia a government agency, has indicated that development of a logging road on part of Cherry Ridge is temporarily on hold so more discussions can be held with residents.
“They have selected a low bidder but they won’t start construction until they resolve this sensitive matter,” said Eugene Foisy, Cherryville director, after talking to BCTS officials.
The ridge consists of steep slopes and there’s a concern clearcut logging could lead to slides, and place homes, Hanson Park and the school at risk.
About 110 people attended a recent rally to demand BCTS not proceed with the road until there is a downstream assessment done. The Cherry Ridge Management Committee, which operates a community forest, wants to see the area identified selectively logged instead of clearcut.
BCTS’ public input process will occur through a questionnaire to residents.
“They want to ask people why there is a concern,” said Foisy.
Foisy has also been told that BCTS will not put in a road as far as originally anticipated and one cutblock has been scrapped.
However, while Foisy sees BCTS’ actions as positive, he insists there is a need for residents to remain vigilant because the agency has not abandoned plans for clearcutting altogether.
“We’re on the right track,” he said, adding that he is hopeful the community’s interests will prevail.
“We’ve got where we have because of pressure. The government doesn’t want to be seen as the bad guy.”
In terms of a downstream assessment, the Regional District of North Okanagan is currently considering possible funding for that process.