Jump to content
  • (2023-11-10) Letter to BC Timber Sales regarding its proposed logging on Maurelle Island (SNFAC)

    Maya Weichelt

    To: Theresa Cleroux, Planning Forester, BCTS Provincial Operations (Chinook)

    Jillian Tougass, SCFD District Manager, BC Ministry of Forests  


    Hello Theresa and Jillian, 

    Surge Narrows Forest Advisory Committee, a committee of the Surge Narrows Community Association, is responsible for relaying information about proposed logging and other environmental  impacts. The committee acts as liaison between the Surge Narrows community and other entities. Please accept these comments regarding BCTS proposed logging on Maurelle Island, 2023-2027.

     We appreciate that BCTS provided information in a meeting at Surge Narrows on September 11th. Twenty five community members were able to attend, and this was a good opportunity for sharing some local knowledge and perspectives.  It became clear that the priority for BCTS and the Provincial Ministry of Forests is the AAC, set at 47,000 cubic meters. Compromise seemed limited to tweaking the currently mapped cutblocks, and while community priorities were acknowledged, BCTS could not tell us who to contact or how to effect deeper changes. The following comments reflect community held concerns that remain unresolved.  


    Local Economy           

    The Discovery Islands are heavily impacted by logging, but tourism is the #1 employer for local residents. Based on the importance of tourism to the local economy, the VQO’s for Maurelle Island should never have been downgraded. We understand that the dividing line for 2 forest districts might have confused your view, but this is a serious mistake that needs to be reversed.


    Biological Diversity

    Protecting biological diversity is a high priority for governments worldwide, including in BC, where there are many plans underway. The Discovery Islands have excellent low-elevation growing sites and could easily contribute to the old growth protection and recruitment goals set by the province. We note numerous deferral and OGMA areas on Maurelle, and they look good on the map, but the reality is that the mapped deferral sites are steep, rocky, cool slope, high elevation – and they are clearly not the excellent growing sites required for big trees and biological diversity. The deferrals appear to be a publicity sham and it's disturbing that BCTS is targeting the mature timber on rare high-value sites where old growth and biodiversity could be well protected. We encourage you to look honestly and protect what’s important instead of making AAC your highest priority.  


    Wild Fire

    Historically, many low intensity fires have swept through forests of the Discovery Islands. Forests often emerged mostly intact after such events, because fire resistance is relative to the age of a forest, and old trees can survive all but the hottest fires. Clearcuts and young plantations are far more likely to burn hot with flames that race dangerously through the forest crown. Accelerated forest impacts have created a network of fire danger on many of the Discovery Islands. Surge Narrows residents (and other Discovery Island communities) are acutely aware of fire as a threat to everything we hold dear. Please work with us to help identify and mitigate risks to community and biodiversity.


    Climate change

    Old temperate forests sequester and store massive amounts of carbon. They are Nature’s most valuable contribution to climate stability. When a forest is cut, its trees no longer produce oxygen and most of the carbon in its wood fibre reaches the atmosphere within 40 years. Logging on a 60 to 70 year rotation increases atmospheric carbon. Logging also has detrimental impacts on soil carbon and the forest’s “coarse woody debris” – which are the large logs that hold moisture, provide critical habitats, and store carbon over centuries while they slowly rot. When exposed by logging, forest soils also quickly contribute their massive stored carbon to the atmosphere. Climate change is accelerated when old and mature forests are converted to plantations.


    Surge Narrows residents are highly aware and deeply concerned about the effects of climate change. We wish to be part of a solution and we are not convinced that large scale industrial logging is appropriate for this area. We have other better ways to contribute to the economy and climate change solutions.

     We look forward to your reply and suggestions.



     Maya Weichelt, chair

    for Surge Narrows Forest Advisory Committee



    Cc:      Hon George Heyman, BC Minister of Environment  

                Hon Bruce Ralston, BC Minister of Forests

                Michele Babchuk, North Island MLA

                Robyn Mawhinney, Director, Strathcona Regional District

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    There are no comments to display.

    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

    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.

  • Create New...