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This weeks letters

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Further, the topography of the proposed logging area, with its thin soils and moss, is stabilized by the existing trees. If 70 per cent of those trees are removed, this slope, which already has a history of slide activity and damage to Pemberton Creek, might be dangerously unstable. CRB/Weyerhaeuser has not provided evidence or a geo-technical report to show how they might address such dangers.

Impacting the community’s tourism values as a Gateway to the backcountry

A key finding from the 2000 report, "Forest Tourism Opportunities Study for Squamish Forest District & In-SHUCK-ch / N’Quat’qua Statement of Intent Area" was that "the main challenges to tourism and economic development [in the region] continue to be the lack of infrastructure, services and amenities in the rural areas, the lack of community/political support for tourism, and land and resource management concerns as use expands. Growth management and land use are real concerns especially along the Highway 99 corridor.

If not managed properly things like highway development, recreational resource use conflicts and visual quality management have the potential to degrade visitor experiences and perhaps jeopardize the marketability the region has earned over the last 20 years."

Pemberton is just starting to build its vision and infrastructure as a tourism-supported economy. The proposed logging will impact that in such a way that visitor experiences will be degraded, and that potential may be jeopardized. There are not enough advantages flowing to the community from the logging to justify the risk.

Visual Quality Impacts and the draft LRMP

The Land and Resource Management Plan for the Sea to Sky region addresses Visual Landscape Management, acknowledging that the region offers unique and significant visual resources. Visual quality objectives, formally approved by the Ministry of Forests District Manager, cover areas with the highest visual importance, being those areas surrounding major communities, such as the proposed cutblocks, which is mapped as a Known Scenic Area.

The LRMP process has been a nearly two year process of collaboration between various regional stakeholders, to develop the most comprehensive guide possible to assist with land use and resource extraction decisions. The timber industry is just one contributor to the provincial economy – it’s needs must be balanced by tourism, recreation and wild-land values.

The high visibility of this location require the utmost care in logging, and I suggest, would be more appropriately dealt with by electing not to log here. The LRMP draft states that "the visual resources of the plan area are significant and represent important quality of life values for residents and high value recreation and tourism experiences for visitors." I ask you not to negatively impact on the visual resources of our community.