Logging plan for Port Alice

Western Forestry Products (WFP) has brought a proposal for an application to log two blocks within the Village of Port Alice municipality.

Western Forestry Products (WFP) has brought a proposal for an application to log two blocks within the Village of Port Alice municipality.

The proposal entails a terrain stability assessment report, which was prepared by Island Geoscience.

The assessment of the prospective area was started in late December of 2014 and completed in January of  2015. Chris Peterson, a planner for WFP, said they are very confident in their report.

“It’s second growth which is fairly quick, because it’s easy to see things and what is going on in the woods and understanding the ground. LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) was used as well in the layout beforehand. The guys went out into the field to confirm the findings and that is what helped speed things up,” said Peterson.

The project would clear two blocks of second growth forest located a few kilometres south of Port Alice, along the hillside overlooking Marine Drive.

To access the blocks, one main logging road will be built, along with four small ones along the length of it.

The process will include the use of explosives which will require road closures of Marine Drive to ensure the safety of those using the road. Vince Devlin, health and safety manager at WFP said,

“We don’t anticipate anything would go down onto the road. It’s just clearing the road (stopping traffic) to make sure that there is nobody there in case of a one-off situation. After the blast, we make sure everything is clear and open it up for the public.”

Devlin is confident that if given the green light by the municipality of Port Alice the project would be completed in three months. Some concerns with the proposed site have to do with its proximity to an area that experienced a significant landslide in 2010 near a residential area.

“I know we are a little bit apprehensive about them logging so close to the village of Port Alice and actually when I saw a part of it going directly behind the houses it makes me anxious and that is why we have to make sure we do our homework, because most important is to keep people that live here safe,” said the Port Alice mayor Jan Allen.

“According to one of our bylaws we have the opportunity to go out and get  a second report and that is exactly what we are in the process of doing.  So I can’t say how long, but I would say within two or three weeks. We would get the second report and compare the two reports.”

Allan admits the size of the project is not too large as compared to other logging projects in the region, however it will bring money into the municipality.

“I understand the need for logging, because that is jobs and money within our community. I consider this a small one, because when we asked them last night how long it would take to log, they said three and a half months,” said Allen.