Large clear-cuts in areas like Cottonwood Lake, above homes in Wynndel near Creston, and in the Elk Valley have Kootenay communities concerned about logging on private land.
On Wednesday, May 1, Wildsight is hosting a public forum in Nelson to give people an opportunity to learn more about private land logging — and have a chance to speak up about the logging in their backyard.
In the East and West Kootenay, local residents are up in arms over a lack of regulations and community input into private land logging, Wildsight said in a news release. Near Nelson, local residents were caught off guard after one landowner purchased over six square kilometres of land with plans to log nearly all of its remaining forest, much of it on steep slopes.
“Large steep slope clear-cuts, right beside towns, wouldn’t be allowed on Crown land,” says Wildsight’s conservation coordinator Eddie Petryshen, “but because logging on private land is poorly regulated in B.C., companies don’t have to worry about local trails, viewscapes or wildlife.”
The provincial government recently promised an audit of the provincial private managed forest system, but no further detail on the scope or timing of that process is available since the announcement in mid-January, Petryshen said.
“Regulations for private land logging are minimal and don’t require that community needs or connectivity for wildlife be considered,” says Petryshen. “The Private Managed Forest Lands Act provides woefully inadequate requirements for the logging of private land.”
The public forum starts at 7 p.m. at the Nelson Rod and Gun Club.
“Our communities need better regulations and more community input into what happens in our forests,” says Petryshen. “It’s time for the province to start applying the same rules on private forest land as they do on Crown land.”