Nelson Land Corporation owns this hillside behind Cottonwood Lake. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

The logging plan no one wants to talk about

Logging could take place on both sides of Highway 6 from north of Cottonwood Lake to south of Apex

Private land on both sides of Highway 6 from about two kilometres north of Cottonwood Lake to the south end of the Apex cross country ski area will be logged this summer or next.

Because it is on private land, the owner, Nelson Land Corporation headed by Mike Jenks of Cranbrook, has limited rules to follow and does not have to tell anyone about his plans.

It is unknown where or how large the cut blocks will be and whether the forest will be clearcut or selectively logged. 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 above the Apex ski area, and all of the land in between on both sides of the highway.

The land may be in a B.C. Assessment tax category known as Private Managed Forest, in which case the owner may have received tax breaks from the provincial government in exchange for providing specific minimum environmental protections.

Because this is potentially a large, highly visible project that could significantly affect the landscape on the approach to Nelson, the Star has tried to find out what areas will be logged, how they will be logged and over what time period, what measures will be put in place to protect Cottonwood Creek or to avoid increasing avalanche risk, how wildfire risk will be mitigated, and whether the public will be informed or consulted.

Jenks is a veteran of private land logging in other areas of the province. Contacted by the Star in February, he said he won’t talk about his plans because he never speaks to the media. His logging contractor, Sunshine Logging of Kaslo, also won’t discuss it.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) has no control over logging on private land. Jenks’ land lies in the areas of two RDCK directors, Hans Cunningham and Ramona Faust. In a Star article published in February, Cunningham expressed concern and said he was looking into it.

But now neither he nor Faust is willing to comment. Nor are RDCK chair Karen Hamling or Nelson’s mayor Deb Kozak who is a member of the RDCK board.

MLA Michelle Mungall has not responded to a request for comment.

Louise Poole, president of the Nelson Nordic Ski Club, expressed concern in the Star’s February article. Contacted again for this article she said she had no further information or comments.

Dianna Ducs, who runs Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism, said, “I don’t have a lot of information, but from a tourism perspective, if the logging goes ahead, as we are assuming, it is not going to be good aesthetically (for locals or visitors) or environmentally (land erosion, avalanches, animals, and reduced use of the land for recreation).”

Jenks’ land extends a short distance up Whitewater Road.

“We were aware there was a potential for logging at the bottom of the road,” said Rebeckah Hornung, Whitewater’s sales and marketing manager. “Our concern would be increased avalanches, which could be negatively impact our road access, but the process would be an avalanche risk assessment that would happen in conjunction with the Ministry of Highways.”

Related: Logging planned for Cottonwood Lake and Apex areas (February 2018)



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Nelson Land Corporation owns the mountainside behind the open field at the Apex cross country ski area. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Just Posted

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

Nelson and COVID-19: everything you need to know

Check this page for every local story related to the outbreak

MP Morrison touts non-partisan effort to provide relief amid COVID-19 pandemic

The federal government has announced a slew of economic initiatives for those impacted by the pandemic

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Interior Health to host virtual town hall Friday, March 27

The Q&A forum begins at 6 p.m. PDT, link in story

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Morning world update: Cases surge past 600,000; positive news in Germany

Spain suffers its deadliest day as Germany considers April 20 to possibly loosen restrictions

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

Most Read