Meadow Creek Cedar's suspension for silviculture infractions has been upheld. However

Meadow Creek Cedar suspension upheld

The Ministry of Forests has upheld a local forest company's license suspension, according to MLA Michelle Mungall.

The Ministry of Forests has upheld a local forest company’s license suspension.

Meadow Creek Cedar’s license was yanked in February for silviculture infractions. The company appealed the district forest manager’s decision to the ministry’s regional executive director, but it has been sustained along with a remediation order, Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall says.

The company can still take its case to the independent Forest Appeals Commission.

The commission is expected to hear an appeal of a $42,000 fine imposed for the same contraventions, although a hearing date has not been set. Mungall says it could be in July, August, or September.

Meanwhile, a long-awaited Forest Practices Board report on Meadow Creek Cedar will be released tomorrow.

The audit is expected to be a wide-ranging — and unflattering — assessment of the company’s operations. Investigators have been compiling the document since last summer.

Kootenay Lake district manager Garth Wiggill is also reviewing another contravention file relating to exceeding soil disturbance limits on a cutblock and a small timber trespass.

Mungall said she expected the regional executive director to uphold Wiggill’s ruling.

“Garth did his due diligence, no doubt,” she said. “I’m not surprised his decision was upheld.”

Mungall acknowledged, however, that it would be a “lengthy process” before the company exhausts all of its appeals.

“It’s unfortunate for the community that it’s taking this amount of time. It’s hard for them to move forward and know exactly what direction they’re able to go.”

On Wednesday in Victoria, Mungall asked forests minister Steve Thomson whether any programs existed to help displaced workers, similar to the jobs commissioner that existed in the 1990s.

She said while Thomson couldn’t list anything specific to support workers directly, he did mention broader programs, and invited her to meet with him soon to discuss them in more detail.

“I’m really pleased the minister is so willing to continue on a non-partisan approach with this, because that’s definitely where my efforts have been put,” she said.

Meadow Creek Cedar’s license suspension and fine followed a hearing last December in which the company’s former professional forester acknowledged violations in an agreed statement of facts.

An investigation by ministry compliance staff found the company didn’t achieve “minimum restocking requirements” on six separate cutblocks where harvesting occurred in 2006 in 2007.

The company has had numerous other problems as well.

“This has been really devastating for the community at the north end of Kootenay Lake,” Mungall said. “Not just Meadow Creek, but the entire Lardeau Valley and Kaslo as well.”

Mungall met with the community in December and believes there is economic development potential in the area, but support is required to identify opportunities and turn them into reality.

Surrey resident Dale Kooner, who also runs a blueberry farm and is affiliated with several trucking firms, bought Meadow Creek Cedar in 2005 from a Japanese concern.

 

Just Posted

Leafs stretch winning streak to 8 games

Nelson downed Grand Forks 5-2 on Friday

RDCK moves ahead with Castlegar rec complex upgrade plan

Board approves grant application for $13 million from provincial, federal governments

Cottonwood Lake preservation group surpasses $50,000 fundraising goal

In 28 days, 393 donors have contributed to the fund

Last of southern Selkirk caribou relocated to Revelstoke area

One cow from the South Selkirk herd and two from the Purcells were moved this week

Scammers using Castlegar home for rental fraud

Local realtors say the problem is happening more frequently with their properties

Self serve doggy-wash poised to change dog grooming industry

Add money, start spraying to wash dog in the K9000

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Burnaby byelection turmoil sparks debate about identity issues in politics

The Liberals still have not said whether they plan to replace Wang, who stepped aside Wednesday

Most Read