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  • (2023-11-10) Letter regarding BC Timber Sales proposed logging plans for Maurelle Island (David Broadland)

    David Broadland

    To: Theresa Cleroux, Planning Forester, BC Timber Sales


    Hi Theresa,

    The Discovery Islands Forest Conservation Project strongly objects to your proposed plans on the basis that the cutblocks are far too large for a small and ecologically sensitive island like Maurelle Island. The Discovery Islands are one of BC’s hottest biodiversity hotspots and your plans don’t seem to regard Maurelle Island as being any different than a pine plantation in the middle of the Chilcotin Plateau.

    The cutblocks you are proposing will greatly increase the cumulative area that has been logged along the western side of Maurelle since 2013, and would produce three large conglomerations of clearcuts/young plantations that will not support existing native species of plants and animals and will greatly increase fire hazard and the risk of a large fire. Below is a summary of the cumulative area of each of those conglomerations:

    Northern area where you are proposing cutblocks 3299 and 3300: 90.9 hectares

    Middle area where you are proposing cutblock 3298: 76.2 hectares

    Southern area where you are proposing cutblocks 3301 and 3302: 83.8 hectares

    The Discovery Islands Forest Conservation Project recommends that your approach on Maurelle should be similar to Quadra Island where cutblocks can be no larger than 5 hectares.

    As well, BCTS should allow 30 years between the logging of one cutblock and the cutting of an area adjacent to that cutblock. A mosaic of greater areas of old and mature forest and smaller areas of logging slash and young plantations will mitigate the ease with which a fire is ignited in a cutblock or plantation and reduce the rate of spread of a fire, which, as you know, is higher in clearcuts and plantations. This is already a critical issue since climate change is increasing the length and intensity of droughts and creating drier and windier fire weather.

    Also, your proposed plan does not show the location of wildlife tree retention areas although the [online] Forest Operations Map interface allows for that. Once you have reduced the size of your cutblocks, please resubmit your proposed plan indicating where wildlife tree retention areas would be located. It would be best if you also include the location of existing wildlife tree retentions areas in your new plan.

    Finally, does BCTS have the equivalent of a management plan for Maurelle Island that shows how an allowable annual cut has been determined, or the volume BCTS believes it can log on Maurelle Island over a given planning period? If so, could you kindly forward that to me, or a link to where I can find it?


    David Broadland

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