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callaghan meeting

Representatives of Western Forest Products are meeting municipal staff and Mayor Hugh O’Reilly today (April 23) to discuss logging and Olympic plans for the Callaghan Valley. "They’re anxious to meet and to get the lines of communication open," said O’Reilly. Western Forest Products has 39 cutblocks planned for the Callaghan over the next five years. O’Reilly and other people involved in the 2010 Olympic bid say they don’t want to deny Western its cutting rights, but they would like to see logging done in a way that won’t detract from the proposed Olympic nordic site. Until recently there has been no discussion among forestry interests and Olympic advocates regarding the Callaghan. "This all came out of meetings we had a week or 10 days ago," O’Reilly said. "We met with Joe Foy of the Western Canada Wilderness Committee regarding the Stoltmann proposal, and then we met with the Squamish Forest District about its plans. "What came out of the meetings was that the province has not provided any input or direction regarding the Olympics. Our actions are inconsistent with our goals." O’Reilly has since written to Premier Glen Clark, Forest Minister David Zirnhelt, Tourism Minister Ian Waddell and Western Forest Products regarding the logging and Olympic plans for the Callaghan. Western asked for today’s meeting with the municipality. The provincial government, as signatory on the official documents, is leading the Vancouver-Whistler bid for the 2010 Winter Games. But the province has been occupied by other matters in recent months. Waddell did not know about logging plans in the Callaghan until a visit to Whistler earlier this month. At that time he said the province must act to preserve the area from logging. O’Reilly said logging and First Nations issues in the Callaghan, and elsewhere, are issues the province must ultimately deal with, "but sitting down face to face (with Western Forest Products representatives) will go a long way." The Lil’wat Nation has claimed the Callaghan as part of its ancestral territory.