Surespan, the company that holds AJB Investments, assures it will not log in the watershed on the east side of Chapman Creek this spring and will only plant trees in cut block CH1 on the west side.
Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) board chair Garry Nohr told Coast Reporter of the development after a Tuesday morning meeting with representatives from Surespan.
The SCRD had been waiting to hear of the company’s logging plans for several months.
While the assurance calms fears raised by local environmentalist group Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) over the impacts of immediate logging in the watershed, representatives of ELF say they want more done to protect the drinking water resource.
Hans Penner of ELF spoke to SCRD board members at their April 2 infrastructure services committee meeting, asking that they look at the use of gates or barriers to restrict road access into the watershed as soon as possible to prevent weekend partiers and illegal dumping in the area.
Waste reduction and recovery manager Robyn Cooper told the board that staff are already looking into the option of restricting access; however, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources manage all forest service road access points into the watershed.
“So any gates or barriers or anything that obstructs entry into the watershed kind of has to be approved by them first,” Cooper said, noting staff is currently identifying all the entry points.
He said staff are also “looking at the existing prevention measures that are already in place and then determining the best course of action to take when we request to the province how to move forward with limiting more access.”
Sechelt director Bruce Milne, who chaired the April 2 meeting, noted directors wanted to do what they could to protect the watershed.
“Obviously we’re on the same page as the community on this in terms of basically restricting access,” Milne said.
Penner said ELF wanted the SCRD to do all it could to stop any future logging in the watershed and that “the issue of private property needs to be addressed and resolved. The logging is not going to be acceptable even if they give two weeks notice. We want a zero tolerance on that.”
Milne let Penner know he had been heard.
“Thank you and you can be reassured that your elected representatives are working on those issues,” Milne said.