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 the May 12 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 were 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,” he said. “But our watershed is so 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, the Town’s director of infrastructure services, has already been in discussion with BC Timber Sales.
“There are 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,” he said.
A motion was then passed to send a letter to BC Timber Sales asking for postponement of the pending logging process.
During the same meeting, a complaint of excessive vehicle speeding along Jim Cram Drive was brought to the town council’s attention.
Coun. Duck Paterson brought the issue up after hearing the fears from seniors living in that area.
The area of incident is also close to Forrest Field.
“There are a lot of seniors up there and about 40 lots,” Paterson said at the meeting. “There are also a lot of small lots, homes and children around there.”
Paterson also believes there is not enough signage in that area prompting drivers to slow down.
“Forrest Field has a park and playground there, but there are no signs to say that it is a playground zone. The speed is getting way higher. I think Public Works should put a playground sign in there or a crosswalk.”
Coun. Steve Arnett was equally concerned.
“There are a lot of seniors up there, and I know them and they don’t move very fast,” he said. “Anything is too fast for them. They just can’t go as fast across the road.”
As a result of the concern, the Public Works department will now look into potential signage prospects for the area.