East Creek is adjacent the Brooks Peninsula

Five-month wait for logging plan has Sierra Club crying foul on the north Island

Lemare Lake Logging says its operations at East Creek near Brooks Peninsula have been by the book, forests ministry unconcerned

The provincial government is rejecting an environmental watchdog’s claim that a north Island logging firm is effectively engaging in “covert” logging of an old growth forest on the northwest coast.

And it plans to take no action at this time in response to a Sierra Club request that the operation be put on hold until Lemare Lake Logging shares its plan for harvesting in the East Creek area adjacent Brooks Peninsula.

Provincial laws require that such plans be made available to anyone who asks and Sierra Club campaigner Mark Worthing said logging site plans are routinely requested and routinely provided by most logging firms, often by email.

“It’s pretty regular. Most of the bigger outfits just post their plans online,” he said.

That’s why he was surprised when an initial inquiry to see the East Creek plan in December was met with what he described as suspicion and a five-month song-and-dance of corporate requests for credentials, Sierra Club requests for MLA and ministry intervention, refusals to provide documents by email or fax, unreturned messages, cancelled appointments and inflexibility in scheduling a meeting.

“And (they) flat out refused to provide plans when a concerned community member arrived at the office asking to see site plans,” Worthing said.

Lemare  general manager Eric Dutcyvich said by email that he was unavailable for an interview with Black Press but added readers can be assured the firm is doing everything by the book.

“As is our standard practice, we are following all of the forest stewardship guidelines and regulations that govern our operations. This includes giving the public the opportunity to view our site plans within a reasonable time,” he said.

An emailed statement from the Ministry of Forests, Land and Natural Resource Operations communications department indicated ministry staff have been in contact with the firm about these concerns.

“It is the ministry’s understanding that Lemare Lake Logging has made the site plans available,” the email states. “We are under the impression that Sierra Club and Lemare Lake Logging had scheduled a meeting.”

According to the ministry, it has never investigated a complaint regarding access to site plans. Making plans available is considered important and refusal to comply can result in a fine of up to $10,000.

“Logging is occurring on Crown land, therefore the public has a right to know how those public lands are being managed,” the email reads.

But Worthing said the Sierra Club is still waiting.

“How many months would you attempt to acquire plans from a company you were legally entitled to before you gave up?” he said. “I’m quite busy, and don’t have time to pester and pester a company that is in non-compliance. In my opinion, that’s the government’s job.”

He said the Sierra Club requested the plans after a visit to the area. East Creek is part of what the club describes as the largest remaining ancient rainforest on northern Vancouver Island. The club is actively lobbying to protect the Island’s remaining old growth from what it considers lack of proper stewardship.

The ministry states inspectors have made more than 10 visits to the site and discovered a few non-compliance issues regarding roads and timber marking that have been addressed by the licensee.

“It seems like they know they’ll get something less than a slap on the wrist while they buy themselves more time to log like there is no tomorrow in East Creek,” Worthing said. “I expect better behaviour from companies logging crown-land ancient rainforest, and governments meant to regulate that.”

A formal complaint has been filed with the BC Forest Practices Board.

 

Just Posted

OPINION: Ten signs that Port Alice has changed

“Right now, our lack of amenities is holding back economic growth in our village”

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

Port McNeill council discusses ‘bear aware’ and what you can do to stay safe

Port McNeill’s Conservation Officer Brad Adams gave a presentation about being ‘bear aware’.

Port Hardy RCMP release tips to prevent fraud and theft from vehicles

In many of the incidents reported, “the vehicles that were broken into were unlocked.”

Stranded hikers rescued by helicopter on Mt. Schoen

Campbell River Search and Rescue used hoist operation to rescue trio

VIDEO: Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls into Hope

Thousands of cyclist descend on small town for annual cancer fundraiser

VIDEO: Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls into Hope

Thousands of cyclist descend on small town for annual cancer fundraiser

Island murder victim’s mom expresses outrage over mental fitness decision of the accused

Smith vows to keep fighting until justice served for Descoteau

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Most Read