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Questions raised about logging companies’ plans

Current plans make no mention of heli-logging



With less than two weeks to go until the official public comment period expires on a proposed logging operation in Pemberton, council would like some written assurances from CRB and Weyerhaeuser that they are not being misled.

A Pemberton resident forwarded pictures of the area to Pique Newsmagazine where CRB, who is working on behalf of Weyerhaeuser, is proposing to log, pointing out the inconsistencies between CRB’s recent statements and their published logging plans.

Three weeks ago CRB spokesperson Bernice Patterson told council that her company could do a "good job maintaining the visuals" in the village. CRB and Weyerhaeuser have proposed to log an area of timber directly behind the Signal Hill Elementary School.

But according to maps supplied by CRB and kept in the Pemberton library, the timber CRB is proposing to remove can be clearly seen from the Village of Pemberton and would effect the "visuals" in the village.

Pemberton council highlighted this fact but CRB countered the council’s argument by stating that they would selectively log the area with helicopters. However, those plans have yet to be confirmed to the public. With time running out on the public comment period, council is pushing for CRB to present a new plan to the public.

CRB has good credentials in Pemberton because it was largely successful in maintaining the scenic values of those areas when it logged in the area in 2002.

But with this area of forest, unless only a few select trees are taken out of the hillside, the Pique’s pictures show that CRB has little hope, if any, of maintaining the "visuals" so close to the village with any large scale forestry operations.

Moreover, if CRB starts helicopter logging so close to the elementary school, the noise could also become an issue for the community.

CRB’s existing maps show that the company wants to build a road to truck the logs out once they have been felled.

But Patterson has told the council and the media that CRB would be using helicopters so the road no longer needs to be built.

"That road is scrapped…we’re going to 100 per cent heli-logging now," said Patterson.

"The heli-drop zone is going to be off the end of our road we used last time (to log in 2002) and that’s across from One Mile lake."

With these changes to the logging plan and the growing public interest in this logging operation, several Pemberton councillors have repeated calls for CRB to make another public presentation.

Pemberton Mayor Elinor Warner said it was unacceptable for CRB not to amend their public plan if they now intend to helicopter log.

"I think they still plan on building a road in here," said Warner.

"Why else wouldn’t they have changed their plans in the library?"

But Patterson said such public consultation in this case would not constructive.

"We have no plans to do a public meeting unless we’re directed and it would have to come from somebody like the Ministry (of Forests) for us to do that," said Patterson.

"Last time (before they logged in 2002) we found there was a lot of people that just said ‘no’ and that was their big comment and that was about it.

"We just stood there and let people abuse us for a couple of hours, we didn’t really get a lot of points across. It’s kind of like now, people don’t really want to look or listen."

Despite the controversy, councillor Mark Blundell said the council had not heard from Weyerhaeuser or CRB since the first council meeting about this proposed logging operation three weeks ago.

"It’s a contentious issue and they should explain what they’re going to do," said Blundell.

"I’m not against logging, but let’s get some public input into it.

"Are they’re going to do some selective logging, or some fire proofing?

"Maybe if we knew more, more people would be receptive."

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