The Valley Voice article on CCC cut-block plan Argenta-Johnson’s Landing face, June 4,2020

Cooper Creek Cedar removes cutblock 6 from Argenta-Johnson’s Landing Face plan

by Jan McMurray

Cooper Creek Cedar has made some changes to the Argenta-Johnson’s Landing Face logging plan. Cutblock 6 has been removed from the plan, and the road proposed for cutblock 1 has been downgraded to a forwarding trail. The changes come as a result of discussions with Will Halleran about his terrain stability assessment and discussions with communitymembers during recent eld trips.

“We’re particularly pleased that block 6 has been deleted from the plan,” said Karen Newmoon, a member of the liaison committee. “That’s the block where Brenda [Herbison, biologist] found caribou scat and tracks, so it’s good news for slope stability and for protecting caribou habitat, as well.

“I think this is a testament to the value of relationship-building between the community and the tenure holder.”

The liaison committee was formed to be the communication conduit between the broader community and Cooper Creek Cedar. There isalso an ad hoc group, which consists of vecommunity members with technical knowledge.

“The two groups have different functions but we work together and share information,” Newmoon explained.

She said the community has communicated its concerns and feedback to the liaison committee through an ongoing email participation process and a series of community meetings that began last summer.

“We’ve found Cooper Creek Cedar to be responsive to the community’s concerns, and very open to communication with the liaison committee,” Newmoon said. “No logging plan will be satisfactory to everyone in the community, but we’ve had a lot of back and forth with Cooper Creek and have been able to work towards a reasonable plan.”

The liaison committee and ad hoc grouphave been on several eld trips with CCC repslast fall and this spring. Newmoon notes that the area’s RDCK director, Aimee Watson,recently joined a eld trip. “Aimee has beenvery present in the process. The community appreciates the involvement of our regional director,” Newmoon said.

Cooper Creek Cedar conducting sound forest practices, audit nds

by Jan McMurray

Cooper Creek Cedar got high marks in the Forest Practices Board’s audit of its forest licence near Kaslo.

“On the ground, the licensee carried out sound forest practices in the areas of harvesting, road construction and maintenance, and silviculture, as well as good proactive efforts to engage the public. The licensee is also making significant investments to address the legacy issues arising from poor reforestation in the past, and the quality of practices on the ground exceeded legal requirements in several respects. As this is a very challenging area in which to operate, the Board acknowledges these results,” the audit report states.

The FPB also found that CCC fully complied with legal requirements for old growth management and mountain caribou habitat protection.

The audit found one non-compliance: an excavator crossed a bridge that was not rated to handle the weight of the machine, and one area for improvement: the preparation of site plans for roads built outside of cutblocks. The report notes that the company is now developing the required site plans.

The audit report acknowledges that the area is “challenging for engineering, harvesting and silviculture, has many sensitive environmental values, and is the subject of local public interest in sustainable forest management.”
It also notes that a Forest Practices Board investigation of this same forest licence area in 2012, when Meadow Creek Cedar held the licence, found “some of the highest levels of non-compliance” that the board has ever encountered.

The audit report provides an update onthe Healy Creek area, which was aggedas an area of concern during the 2012 investigation. The Healy Creek drainage was placed into a ‘no harvest area’ in 2008 to conserve mountain caribou habitat, and government and licencees have been discussing who should take responsibility for outstanding forestry obligations here ever since. In the 2012 report, the FPB recommended that government coordinate a maintenance/ deactivation strategy for all roads in the Healy Creek drainage and involve all resource users. Unfortunately, the recent audit report indicates that there has been little progress on this. However, the report notes that the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development has informed the FPB that it has secured funding to plan deactivation work in Healy Creek this year. “The proposed actions are encouraging; timely action is needed by both the licensee and the Province to address the long-term safety and environmental risks from roads and bridges in Healy Creek,” the audit report says.

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