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  • (2024-04-25) Letter to TimberWest regarding proposed logging in old forest between Back Bog and Two-Mile Lake

    To: TimberWest, Forest Operations Map

    CC: Chief Ronnie Chickite, We Wai Kai Nation; Lesley Fettes, Campbell River District Manager; James Aitken, TimberWest


    I’m writing about proposed cutblocks 11616, 11617, and 11618 (TFL 47, Quadra-Quinsam Operating Area), which is an area of primary forest between Two-Mile Lake and a pristine bog on Quadra Island (known locally as the Back Bog). This ancient forest with a vibrant understory has never been logged. There are so few of these areas left on this island. This forest is loved by Granite Bay community members as well as many on other parts of Quadra. It is known as a magnificent and a sensitive ecosystem because of its status as a human and wildlife corridor between Two Mile Lake and a bog. The local wolf pack is regularly spotted, along with owls, birds of prey, migratory birds, deer, raccoons, insects, and harvestable and medicinal plants and mushrooms.

    I am concerned that increasingly hot and dry summers combined with a potential clear cut and new road in this area will have profound negative impacts on this space that will last well into the future. Severe droughts are no longer isolated events on this island. Old trees need to be surrounded by other plant life in order to continue to thrive. One can look at the few old trees that stand in the middle of other cuts to see what often happens when they are left without the benefit of transpiration and shade provided by other trees. Alone, we often see them yellowing due to drought and exposure, scarred by machinery, or uprooted due to erosion and wind.

    Additionally, the cutblock will have a higher fire hazard than the mature forest that would be logged. This higher-hazard condition will persist for up to two decades. The close proximity of this proposed cutblock to several homes in the community is another serious concern, especially because the Quadra fire department will not respond to fires on the north end of the island, and Mosaic’s wildfire response team is not authorized to respond to house fires. Timberwest/Mosaic 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.

    I’d like to add that I’m upset by the recent logging around Swan Lake (near the Copper Bluffs community on eastern Quadra), and concerned that the Back Bog and anywhere else may be treated with the same lack of professionalism and sensitivity. A number of small streams feeding Swan Lake were damaged and buried under logging debris, and the tree buffer between the cut and the pond’s edge was scanty with mostly poor-quality trees remaining (https://www.cheknews.ca/logging-in-watershed-frustrates-b-c- island-residents-1197714/).

    I hope that Mosaic will reconsider its plans for this place. Please abandon this cutblock and leave an extended area of recruitment forest around the existing patches of old forest at this location.

    With thanks for your consideration,

    Laura Bennett

    Granite Bay, Quadra Island, BC

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