Cottonwood Lake is a popular recreation area near Nelson. Logging plans could include all the land shown here. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

RDCK negotiating with logging company about Cottonwood Lake forest

Nelson and nearby rural areas would borrow to purchase land from Nelson Land Corporation

The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) has been negotiating to buy land owned by Nelson Land Corporation that the company is currently logging near Cottonwood Lake, according to an RDCK director.

RDCK directors are concerned that the unregulated private land logging could drastically affect the landscape on the Highway 6 entrance to Nelson and reduce the recreational and aesthetic value of Cottonwood Lake Park, the Apex and Busk ski areas, and the rail trail.

“The cost [of the purchase] would be substantial,” said Hans Cunningham, who represents Area G, the rural area around Salmo.

But he declined to disclose the amount, which would have to be borrowed.

“It has to be approved first by all the members of the committee.”

By that he means his own area plus Area E (represented by Ramona Faust), Area F (represented by Tom Newell) and the municipalities of Salmo and Nelson.

“If they approve it, that will be a standing offer to the owner of the property and then we can progress,” Cunningham said. “If it gets logged we might as well pave over Cottonwood Park.”

Nelson Land Corporation owns several parcels on both sides of Highway 6 from the Giveout Creek area to beyond the Apex ski area, and the company has been logging there since the spring.

Private land logging in B.C. is not regulated by the province or anyone else.

The land to be harvested could include the forests around Cottonwood Lake (except the small area of the park on the northwest end of the lake) and the slope immediately adjacent to the Apex ski area, as well as all of the land in between on both sides of the highway.

Cunningham said the three rural areas would like to go ahead with purchasing the land and adding it to Cottonwood Lake Park, but it is contingent on agreement by the two municipalities, which would bear much of the cost of borrowing.

He said he expects the matter to come to Nelson and Salmo municipal councils very soon. These meetings would be in camera (not open to the public) because it is a confidential negotiation about the purchase of land.

Nelson’s city manager Kevin Cormack, Area E representative Ramona Faust, RDCK chair Aimee Watson, and Salmo mayor Diana Lockwood all declined to comment for this story. Nelson Land Corporation told the Star last summer that it never talks to the media about its projects.

In September, municipalities around the province endorsed a resolution brought to the annual conference of the Union of BC Municipalities by the RDCK asking the provincial government to regulate private land logging. The initiative was spurred partly by the logging at Cottonwood Lake.

Nelson Land Corporation, formed in the fall of 2017 by Mike Jenks and Bernie van Maren, bought the properties in December 2017. Jenks is known in the Kootenays and on Vancouver Island for buying up large tracts of private land, logging it, and then selling it, using several company names.

Sunshine Logging of Kaslo is the contractor hired by Nelson Land Corporation to carry out the logging.

Related:

• The logging plan no one wants to talk about

• RDCK wants province to regulate private land logging



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Supreme Court of Canada turns down Slocan Valley fuel spill class action

Court action aimed to compensate 2,500 people affected by the Lemon Creek fuel spill

Hours of care up, but issues remain at Nelson residential care facilities

An annual report revealed stats about Jubilee Manor and Mountain Lake Seniors Community

Nelson’s Ryan Lewis wins main event at Fight Night 7

Lewis earned a split decision against Victoria’s Donny Cornelius

Warning issued after several overdoses in Castlegar

Interior Health says the overdoses appear to be the result of cocaine contaminated with fentanyl.

Leafs win seventh straight game

Nelson held off Golden 7-5

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

Rare bird spotted in Victoria draws enthusiasts from across the continent

It’s the first time a yellow-browed warbler has been reported on the mainland of North America

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

Report suggests new BC Ferries terminal near YVR

Metro Vancouver currently has two ferry terminals at northern and southern reaches

B.C. scouting group’s tent destroyed by black bear on Thanksgiving

The Richmond-based Sea Dragon Sea Scouts were camping at Mount Seymour Provincial Park

Most Read