An application to remove basalt rock from the Whistler Interpretive Forest is causing a political rumble. The municipality is writing to the Ministry of Energy and Mines stating its objection to a private contractor’s application to remove up to 200 tons of basalt per year. The rock is part of a key geographic feature in the interpretive forest, the ancient volcanic cone that forms part of Loggers Lake. The contractor still requires permission from the Forest Ministry to haul material over its road, so the application could be held up on a technical issue. "The whole issue is just bizarre," says Councillor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden. "One arm of the government is making an investment in the forest, while another arm is issuing permits to take a natural feature and part of their investment out of the forest. "We’ve written a letter, but that’s all we can do because we have no jurisdiction in that branch of the provincial government. I don’t know if in the end it will do any good, but it’s all we can do." The province, through the Forest Ministry, has invested more than $1.5 million of public money and nine years of effort to develop the Interpretive Forest as a recreational and tourist area. But that fact doesn’t seem to matter; the Mines Act takes precedence. The interpretive forest has been created through a partnership of the RMOW, Western Forest Products and the Squamish Forest District.