At the Nov. 22 SCRD board meeting (audio recording HERE), Gayle Neilson from the Elphinstone Community Association made a presentation outlining local residents’ concerns about the proposed logging of District Lot 1313 (also known as the Reed Road Forest). BC Timber Sales (BCTS) is putting it up for auction in January 2019.
In response to her presentation, the board made the following motion:
- THAT the SCRD write to the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development to request that the lands known as DL1313, including cutblock A91376, be protected from logging and reserved for public use and ecological integrity;
- AND THAT the letter include background information on the Regional District’s consistent opposition to harvesting on DL1313, including concerns about surface and ground water, geotechnical stability, fire risk, ecological conservation, recreation and visual impacts;
- AND THAT the Minister be requested to respond to the SCRD prior to the scheduled January 2019 timber license auction.
This is a step in the right direction, but we’re not out of the woods yet (sorry, bad pun). The SCRD has no jurisdiction over logging on Crown Lands. If residents want to oppose the logging of this block, they need to continue to put pressure on the provincial government to preserve this forest as a conservation area.
We are badly in need of a wider land use strategy on the Sunshine Coast, particularly a buffer zone between residential properties and Crown Land designated for logging.
A staff report on the SCRD’s options will be coming to the Planning & Community Development Committee meeting on December 13.