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Cheakamus Community Forest begins harvesting activities



Harvesting in the Cheakamus Community Forest (CCF) has begun and it will be far less than the annual allowable cut of 20,000 cubic metres.

Skytech Yarding Ltd. began logging last Friday in Brew Block 2. Skytech is the company contracted by Richmond Plywood to harvest the proposed 3,400 cubic metres of wood.

Harvesting should be completed by Dec. 15, weather permitting. Heather Beresford, environmental stewardship manager for the Resort Municipality of Whistler, said that if the project is shut out by snow, harvesting will be halted and will have to be completed in the spring.

"I'm taking off my skier-snowboarder hat and saying I hope it doesn't snow five-feet in the valley because that would be a problem for us to finish the work," Beresford said.

She said the trees being cut are mainly Douglas fir and hemlock with some cedar. The area had been burned about 105 years ago, so none of the trees being harvested in this round are old growth.

The Brew area being harvested is 5.4 ha within the 2,007-hectare Brew Planning Compartment Area. Thirty per cent of this area is identified as "never to be harvested."

Beresford said there are several different types of harvesting taking place in that block: 4.6 ha are low dispersal harvesting, where fewer trees are left on the landscape; 0.8 ha of the forest will be of moderate dispersal, where more trees along the edge of the forest will be left to make more resistant to wind.

She said the sensitive areas in the block will be left untouched.

People interested in seeing what's being harvested can enter the RV camp entrance across from the Brandywine Provincial Park entrance. Go left at the first switch back, then go a kilometre up the road to the harvesting site.

Along that road, about 200 trees have been marked for over-story tree removal. No new roads are required for these cuts.

All lumber will be shipped to Richmond Plywood's mill in Richmond.