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Ivey Lake land-use plan could be ‘the wave of the future’



The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District has given a conditional OK to the Ivey Lake Local Resource Use Plan that was developed by the Squamish Forest District and local residents.

"We’re pretty satisfied with the overall outcome," Steve Olmstead, the SLRD’s planning and development manager, told Pique Newsmagazine . "But the actual implementation remains to be seen.

"There are commitments that have to be lived up to."

The Ivey Lake area is located four kilometres northeast of Pemberton and the adjacent forested area – hemmed in by MacKenzie Basin and Mosquito Lake – was slated to be logged in the early 1990s.

Local residents voiced their concerns over the forest district’s plans and the Ivey Lake LRUP planning team was formed in 1996 to hammer out a workable deal that took a variety of resources and activities into account.

The forested area above Ivey Lake contains a drinking water source; fish and wildlife habitat; and timber and botanical products – such as pine mushrooms – that can be harvested.

Olmstead said the regional district, which was not part of the formal planning process, has a couple of concerns.

"Watershed management – quality and quantity – is our primary concern," he said, noting that anyone harvesting in the area must take water issues into consideration.

"Logging will happen there sooner or later," Norbert Greiancher, the forest district’s planning officer, said in an interview earlier this month.

According to Greiancher, the actual rate of logging will be quite low. The total amount is slated to be 414 hectares and no more than 20 hectares will be harvested within the first 10 years. Selective practices such as heli-logging will be used.

Olmstead also said the SLRD has worries about hazardous areas above Ivey Lake.

"We’ve requested some geotechnical information regarding land-slippage hazards," he said. "There are three or four properties on Reid Road that could be affected."

The Ivey Lake area is also culturally significant to the local Lil’wat First Nation and offers a number of recreational activities – including hiking and mountain biking – beneath its canopy of Douglas-fir trees.

A comprehensive Forest Renewal B.C.-funded wildlife inventory was done during the LRUP process and three at-risk species were identified: the northern goshawk, the rubber boa and the tailed frog.

The Forest Practices Code includes provisions to protect at-risk species.

Olmstead said the way the Ivey Lake deal was developed could be the wave of the future for land-use planning in the region.

"There is a growing recognition that there’s a new way of doing (forestry) business near residential areas," he said. "The process was appropriate here. The plan has gone pretty far to recognize all the concerns and has attempted to strike a balance.

"It’s a common sense-type of solution."

The Ivey Lake area will also fall under a more general land-use plan as well. The Sea-to-Sky Land and Resource Management Plan is currently in the development process and is scheduled for final approval in the fall of 2002.

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