Kalesnikoff Lumber Ltd. will not build a controversial road near the Nelson cemetery due to opposition from many members of the public as well as the Regional District of Central Kootenay.
The road would have begun in the city and crossed the rail trail near the cemetery, extending into an area that contains a network of smaller trails.
Kalesnikoff will be logging the area with methods designed for wildfire mitigation, with the RDCK doing some of the mitigation work, in the area above the rail trail this year. The company also plans an agroforestry project in that location in the future.
These projects will all still go ahead but by using other roads that approach from above and from the east.
Kalesnikoff’s Gerald Cordeiro sent a message to concerned residents on May 5 stating that “after discussions between Kalesnikoff, the City of Nelson, RDCK, and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI), and taking into account public feedback, Kalesnikoff has decided not to further pursue the lower access road proposal.”
The staff of the RDCK’s parks commission was against the building of the road.
“As RDCK and MoTI have heavily invested in the (rail trail) infrastructure over the last 10 years in the amount close to $1,000,000, both MoTI and RDCK staff reject the proposal to build an access road across the trail,” an April 29 staff report states.
RDCK Area E director Ramona Faust, who is chair of the parks commission, told the Nelson Star in an email, “The recommendation (to reject the road construction) is consistent with other decisions by the RDCK to preserve public use of the trail. The crossing was not in the public review of the interface fuel remediation project so it was a bit of a surprise to the RDCK and the public.”
Cordeiro said work will start this month, “with road construction and harvesting activities occurring well above and safely distant from the old rail grade and cemetery trail systems.”
He said that work close to the trail will be done in a season of low trail use and a temporary detour will be constructed.
“We would like to thank those in the community who provided thoughtful and respectful feedback in the matter, as this assisted the various parties in coming to a well-informed and balanced decision,” Cordeiro said.