Logging work proposed for 2016 in the Cheakamus Community Forest (CCF) is expected to have minor impacts on traffic and trail access for residents of Cheakamus Crossing.
Harvesting plans were presented at an open house on Monday, Feb. 1, and they include a proposal to log 8,100m3 of forest in Cheakamus Block 16, a 22-hecatre area located southwest of the Cheakamus Crossing quarry. Road building for the site, which will include minor improvements to Jane Lakes Road, is predicted to begin in March. Harvesting will likely span April and May, with hauling expected to take place over approximately 15 days in May and June. Up to 12 truckloads are expected per day.
The impact on traffic during that time will be minimal, said CCF operations manager Tom Cole.
"There's no reason why we need to restrict (traffic to the area)," he said.
Work is also currently underway to mitigate issues with residents and recreationalists who use Jane Lakes Road to access the Sea to Sky Trail and other mountain bike trails. Wildfire thinning near harvest areas or along main access routes may require temporary closures, although efforts will be made to schedule them in the late fall or early winter to minimize disruptions.
"We'll have to make sure those connections out to the road are well signed," Cole noted. "It should be very manageable."
Cheakamus Crossing resident and mountain biker Trevor Burton, who was in attendance at Monday's meeting, is confident the work won't cause undue headaches for the neighbourhood.
"I have minor concerns and I think they'll all be well managed and taken care of," he said. "I don't see it being an issue."
There's also potential to create a Jane Lakes Recreation Road Loop, as well as make upgrades to other Forest Service Roads in the CCF that would ideally improve access to recreational areas.
"Once we move beyond Block 16, there's hope we can integrate (the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association) and see a benefit to having upgraded roads that can get you up onto the plateau where (bikers) might be able to take in a feature," Cole said.
For more information, visit www.cheakamuscommunityforest.com.
To learn more about the long-term harvesting plans in the CCF discussed at this week's open house, pick up next Thursday's issue of Pique or go online to www.piquenewsmagazine.com.