By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Sept 10, 2014
BC Timber Sales will reduce by one-third the harvestable area at the Squamish Chief to address visual and recreational concerns. The proposed logging is in the Upper Oleson Creek area located behind the Chief.
The original cut block proposal was a total of 44 hectares and would have been partially visible from the Sea to Sky Gondola as well as the Chief. BC Timber Sales has reduced the area by 31.9 hectares to address visual and recreational concerns, said Chris Nunn, a B.C. Timber Sales official who briefed the council about the plans.
Nunn said the cut areas visible from the third peak of the Squamish Chief and the Gondola have also been removed from the plan and all identified hiking trails will be outside the cut block boundaries. BCTS will also buffer the trail to the Longhouse Climbing Area.
Officials are also assessing options to manage visual impacts from the Stawamus Chief viewpoints and will consider further cut block modifications if required.
Nunn said the decision to log is made after input from various stakeholders. Some earlier media reports had suggested that there was inadequate consultation but that isn’t the case, he added.
“We have records of all info sharing undertaken to date and can confirm that local and regional governments were consulted,” he said.
The harvest won’t take place until 2015 and BCTS will ensure the licence holder maintains the hiking trails during and after harvest. There are also plans to provide signage and parking for hikers once harvest is complete.
The logged area will be second growth standard of western hemlock, western redcedar, amabilis fir, and douglas fir. It’s about 30 hectares adjacent to the Shannon creek FSR. The trees will be replanted and should be 4-5 metres tall within 10 years.