The government has put forward a draft land use order to establish 27 old growth management areas in Whistler within the Cheakamus Community Forest and surrounding areas.
It is now looking for public input on its plans.
These old growth areas, encompassing more than 7,000 hectares, cover areas in the Callaghan and Madeley Creek areas and pockets around Wedge Mountain. There are also areas close to Cheakamus Lake and further south by Daisy Lake.
These areas, if approved, will be excluded from commercial timber harvesting, which helps preserve plant ecosystems, wildlife habitat and cultural values.
"This is an important step for the community forest in developing our longer-term plan of areas that will be set aside for harvesting," said Heather Beresford, municipal environmental stewardship manager.
The Cheakamus Community Forest is working on another voluntary layer of protected areas called EBM (Ecosystem-Based Management) reserves — areas that may have social or cultural or recreational values.
Those EBM reserves areas will be nailed down and ready for public input this summer and together with the proposed old-growth areas could account for 30 per cent of the Cheakamus Community Forest.
There are over 49,000 old growth management areas in B.C., covering almost 3.1 million hectares.
Members of the public can comment on the draft plan for Whistler until June 25. Written comments may be mailed to Frank DeGagne, RPF at the Sea to Sky Natural Resource District office of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (42000 Loggers Land, Suite 1010, Squamish, B.C., V8B 0H3), or emailed to email@example.com
Local groups to Pitch-In
More than a dozen community groups will be doing their part to spruce up Whistler by taking part in the annual Pitch-In Day on Saturday, April 25.
This event has been taking place since the Resort Municipality of Whistler organized the first clean up in 1989.
Last year 150 volunteers collected 1.5 metric tonnes of litter.
This year the volunteers, who include the Girl Guides, the Boy Scouts and the Whistler Youth Soccer Club, will focus on the subdivision roadside ditches from Emerald to Function Junction.
One goal of Pitch-In Day is to contribute to changing littering behaviour.
Members of the public who are interested in pitching in can contact AWARE at firstname.lastname@example.org to be assigned a location. Volunteers will be able to share in a BBQ hosted by the Whistler Fire Fighters Association. The food and drinks will be donated by Nesters, IGA, and the Village Grocery Store, and the event is also sponsored by Pitch-In Canada.