Access to Heart Lake trailhead restricted until May 15

Active logging close to the Heart Lake Trail means access to the trailhead will be restricted between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday.

A logging project taking place close to the Heart Lake Trail is well underway but it is not expected to affect the trail’s corridor specifically.

The harvesting is being conducted by forestry company Econ Consulting, and access to the trail will be restricted up until the middle of May.

“The Town of Ladysmith has been advised that there will be active logging in areas close to Heart Lake trail,” the Town’s Parks, Recreation and Culture Department stated on its Facebook page. “Access to the Heart Lake Trail head will be restricted between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday from March 19 to May 15. Please use alternate routes.”

Econ Consulting’s Erik Hulbek made a presentation to Ladysmith council in March allaying fears that loggers would be active along the trail’s corridor over the next few weeks.

Nevertheless, there will still be visuals of the logging process present for hikers.

“The harvesting plan calls for protection of Heart Lake Trail corridor itself and also mitigating the impact on view corridors from the town,” Mayor Rob Hutchins said in an e-mail to the Chronicle. “The parcel to the south will most likely not be noticeable to hikers from the trail. However, hikers will see some clearing 100 feet away  from a portion of the north side of the trail.”

Hutchins says the current plan calls for harvesting six parcels stretched out along the west of the hydro right of way, and the  total cut of all six parcels is 8,000 metres.

Two parcels are adjacent to the Heart Lake Trail — one to the south of the trail is 1.27 hectares, and 827 cubic metres of wood is expected to be harvested. The parcel to the north is 1.79 hectares, with 871 cubic metres of wood to be harvested.

The Heart Lake Trail is on a portion of land not owned by the Town of Ladysmith.

“The trail crosses both a Crown wood lot (the bottom half) and private managed forest land (the top half — TimberWest) as it makes its way up the side of Stanton Peak,” explained Hutchins. “Portions of the Crown wood lot have been harvested in the recent past.”

For more information, contact the Town’s Public Works Department at 250-245-6445.