BC Timber Sales propose logging plan close to Holland Creek

Council worried that logging process may affect Ladysmith's watershed

BC Timber Sales is on the verge of starting a logging plan that would see a number of trees being cut down very close to Ladysmith’s watershed.

As a result, town council is concerned it may affect the drinking quality of local water.

A delegation from BC Timber Sales showed up at last Monday’s regular council meeting at city hall to try and appease council and listen to the concerns.

“We have a development in Holland Creek,” said Glenn Piggot from BC Timber Sales. “We’re proposing to advertise it for sale this year.”

Nick Clarke, also from BC Timber Sales, said that in an ideal world the logging would have been advertised for sale already.

“This is part of our proposed sales plan,” said Clarke. “We have a requirement to meet our targets although we’ll consider any concerns that the town has.”

There was plenty of them.

“I don’t want to do anything that is going to affect the drinking quality of our water,” said Coun. Glenda Patterson.

Coun. Gord Horth’s concern was more with the “timing of the harvest.”

“Right now we have B.C. Forestry, Stz’uminus First Nation and TimberWest logging all within our watershed,” said Horth.

Coun. Steve Arnett was equally concerned with affecting the watershed.

“This is a business friendly council,” said Arnett. “But our watershed is soc critical. This council has said it would like full control of it. With the number of operations going on in there all at once, I’m not willing to gamble with our watershed.”

John Manson, director of infrastructure services, has already been in discussion with BC Timber Sales.

“There’s three general areas of concern,” he said. “One is the Chicken Ladder intake as we get over half of our water from there. We shouldn’t be taking water from Stocking Lake in a non-winter period. Any logging in the area would have no buffer for the town. We also wouldn’t want you (BC Timber Sales) to take the road through the creek as it’s a very sensitive area. We’d also want assurance of monitoring of the system in place.”

Clarke reiterated to council that this process would “not impact water quality.”

Coun. Duck Paterson also has concerns and is on the same page as the rest of the council table.

“Asking them to not log in the watershed is not feasible but I would ask it be postponed until we get a filtration process in place.”

A motion was then passed to send a letter to BC Timber Sales asking for postponement of the pending logging process.