Jump to content
  • Planned logging on the Discovery Islands

  • 2024-03-03 TimberWest's proposed cutblocks and roads south of Two-Mile Lake

    David Broadland



    Comments on cutblocks 11616, 11617 and 11618 and roads

    [1] Proposed cutblock 11616 is in an area between Two-Mile Lake and a pristine bog that nearby residents Jolie and Greg Shea have informed TimberWest contains old forest, is a wildlife corridor and is in the small watershed that feeds their source of drinking water. TimberWest’s usual practice on Quadra Island is to leave individual trees older than 250 years of age but log all younger trees around and between them, thus destroying the rare ground-level old-forest habitats and associated biodiversity. The Shea family told TimberWest: “We have put wild life cameras system in this area and have seen wolf, cougar, fishers, deer, raccoons and seen northern pygmy owls, peregrine falcons and many migratory birds that use these lakes and bogs to rest.”



    TimberWest is proposing to log the forest on the right side of the bog in the photo above. That stand contains patches of old forest with Douglas fir and western red cedar. The bog is part of the watershed that supplies water to residences along Granite Bay Road, to the left.


    Regarding such patches of old forest, as mentioned above, the Vancouver Island Summary Land Use Plan provided guidance on how they were to be handled in Special Management Zone 19:

    Strategies: to the extent that old seral forest retention will be required within the contributing land base portions of the landscape unit, such retention should be concentrated within the SMZ-portion of the landscape unit; maintain existing old forest in the zone, as well as second growth with high portion of veteran trees; manage to replace old forest in the long term (>150 years) in accordance with old seral targets for intermediate BEO; focus old seral replacement in CWHxm2, concentrated along riparian areas and, where possible, adjacent to existing old seral forest;”

    Given that guidance, TimberWest should abandon this cutblock and plan to leave an extended area of recruitment forest around the existing patches of old forest at this location.

    [2] Proposed cutblocks 11617 and 11618 are near to 11616 and may also contain concentrations of Douglas fir and red cedar veterans. In any case, based on the guidance contained in the Vancouver Island Land Use Plan for Special Management Zone 19, the area of these proposed cutblocks should be used for recruitment of mature forest to bolster the long-term ecological viability of the old forest/concentration of old trees that exists in proposed cutblock 11616.

    [3] The crude representation of the boundaries of these cutblocks in the FOM doesn’t allow for an accurate depiction of what TimberWest is planning for the area within the cutblocks. We can’t tell whether the proposed cutblocks will meet Objective A. 1. (b) of the VILUP Higher Level Plan Order (HLPO), which states: Sustain forest ecosystem structure and function in SMZs, by… retaining within cutblocks, structural forest attributes and elements with important biodiversity functions…”

    As mentioned above, our interpretation of this objective is that “structural forest attributes and elements” includes leaving some standing mature trees within the cutblock. Please provide us with assurance that TimberWest will abide fully with this legal order.

    [4] The proposed .484 kilometres of new road, at 4 metres wide including ditching and clearance, would result in 1936 square metres of permanent deforestation and a commensurate permanent diminishment of the provincial carbon sequestration capacity. How will TimberWest offset that loss?

    [5] TimberWest’s past practice has been to apply for export of all of the logs it cuts on Quadra Island. This logging, therefore, will add minimally to local employment, providing only 1-2 months work for 3 or 4 people. We recommend that TimberWest build a small mill on Quadra Island to process logs that will provide additional local employment and make available affordable, locally grown lumber on the Discovery Islands. Again, has TimberWest explored such a possibility with We Wai Kai First Nation?

    [6] TimberWest’s usual practice is, after logging, to pile and burn the approximately 50 percent of forest stand’s biomass that cannot be commercially utilized. This archaic practice would add immense quantities of carbon to the atmosphere during a time that the federal government has declared a “climate emergency”. What are TimberWest’s plans for eliminating the carbon emissions associated with the non-utilizable waste from these 3 cutblocks and all the others it creates in TFL 47?

    [7] The proposed logging would leave slash piles close to roads. These would allow islanders to salvage firewood from those piles. This salvaging is often done during the summer, often without permits. Unfortunately, this practice increases the risk of human-caused forest fires. The cutblocks will have a higher fire hazard (because of the slash-type fuel) during extreme fire weather than the mature forest that would be logged. This higher-hazard condition will persist for up to two decades. These proposed cutblocks are in close proximity to the Shea’s and other homes. This logging slash—made riskier by the practice of salvaging firewood from clearcuts—will place these homes at greater risk. We recommend that TimberWest confine its logging operations in TFL 47 to areas that are at least 2 kilometres distant from the nearest buildings. TimberWest was aware of the existence of private property on Quadra Island at the time it acquired TFL 47. It should accept that it cannot safely and responsibly log near to built-up areas, especially with climate change expected to bring longer periods of extreme fire weather to its licence area.

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    There are no comments to display.

    Join the conversation

    You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Maps of approved logging on publicly owned land on the Discovery Islands

    The maps below show the areas where cutting permits have been approved by the Ministry of Forests but have not yet been logged, and where logging has occurred over the past twenty or so years.

    There are three main categories of logging on public land in The Discovery Islands. Logging in TFL 47, logging in BC Timber Sales operating areas and logging in woodlots. So far the latter are exempt from any requirement to notify the public about their planned operations. They could voluntarily do so, but none are except for the Cortes Forestry General Partnership.

    TFL 47 is located on Quadra, Sonora, East Thurlow, West Thurlow and Hardwicke Islands. The first map below shows cutblocks in TFL 47 that have an active approved cutting permit—marked as “Active”. Other red-coloured polygons are areas that have already been logged. To see a list of “Active” but not yet logged cutblocks, go to this page.

    BC Timber Sales operates on West Redonda, Maurelle, Sonora and East and West Thurlow Islands. Its planned cutblocks are shown in the map immediately below the first map.


    TimberWest planned logging in TFL 47

    Use the + or - buttons to zoom in and out. You can pan around the map by clicking on it and and dragging. Click on any proposed cutblock (coloured polygon) to view the logging company, size and proposed cutting date.


    BC Timber Sales planned logging

    The interactive map below shows cutblocks planned by BC Timber Sales, which operates on Maurelle, West Redonda, East Thurlow and other islands and areas adjacent to the Discovery Islands. Use the + or - buttons to zoom in and out. You can pan around the map by clicking on it and and dragging. Click on any proposed cutblock (polygons outlined in green) to view the logging company, size and proposed cutting date.

  • The Discovery Islands Forestry-Tourism Working Group Map

    This map shows locations where logging companies may have logged, may be logging, may have cutting permits to log, may have applied for cutting permits to log, and may apply for cutting permits in the future. It does not appear to be in synch with the new Forest Operations Map which shows new applications for cutting permits. At this point its main value is as an indicator of the locations where logging companies might be thinking of logging over the next five years.


  • Create New...