Seabird looking for access to woodlot

Band continues with application to remove road from Sasquatch Park boundary

Seabird Island’s plan to have a roadway removed from Sasquatch Park is still in the works, Ted Holtby from Tamihi Logging said this week.

Currently, Holtby and Seabird are waiting to hear from BC Parks regarding stage one of their application process. They are hoping to have a piece of the roadway removed from the park to allow timber to be moved from a proposed woodlot on First Nation land that is otherwise landlocked. The road travels through Sasquatch Park and connects to Rockwell Drive, a route Holtby said is the only way to access the area.

The first application is a simple one, he said, which allows BC Parks to decide if they will consider a more in-depth application for further study. Upon approval, the applicant would put together a more detailed plan.

“That’s still where we’re at, at this point,” Holtby said on Tuesday. He said they’re planning for a public information session next week to meet with community members, hear their concerns and answer questions.

They’ve booked the Agassiz Agricultural Hall for Thursday, May 29, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. for the session, and will be booking a room for a similar event in Chilliwack the following week.

“From all of that, we will gather more information and synthesize it and gather it up for the stage two application to the Parks branch,” he said.

Their application is not without controversy. Several members of the public have spoken out against the removal of the road from the park boundary, and a petition titled Help Save Sasquatch Provincial Park is making its way through the community.

Holtby said the plan’s detractors don’t believe parks should be “tampered with in any way.”

The petition says Sasquatch is “under threat” from the boundary adjustment application, and that an adjustment will “violate the principals that parks should be safe from development,” and impede access to and enjoyment of the park. The petition, circulated by local resident John Coles, suggests that Seabird and Holtby find alternatives for logging trucks.

Holtby said there are no other routes, and they will continue to seek approval for the boundary adjustment.

“The government has created a means to have a boundary amendment to use parks, and in this case, it’s just for access on an existing road,” he said. “They (Seabird) just want to drive down the road, which was a logging road by the way, originally.”

Seabird wants access to their land and the ability to remove timber from their woodlot. Holtby said there is no other access to the area, and helicopter logging is not feasible due to the close proximity of hydro lines, roadways, the communities and parks.

“The cut would be very minimal, a woodlot has a very small cut,” he added. There is no end date for the logging activity, he said, as a woodlot would be selectively harvested over a period of time.

And while the logging activity wouldn’t employ a large number of people, it would give the Seabird Island band a chance to train people in forestry.

“It’s not the case of employing a lot of people, but for them it’s a good source of revenue and it’s an opportunity to work with their youth and some training on how to work in the industry,” he said.

At a presentation to Harrison council last year, Holtby also stated that if the road were to be removed from the park, any licensee would be able to transport logs down the road.

He said they received “a blitz” of letters from residents following that presentation, but that it’s quieted down recently.

“We had all kinds of emails and not many that were in favour of the plan, but that’s to be expected,” he said.

The Observer has contacted the Ministry of Environment for comment on the application process, and is awaiting a response.

news@ahobserver.com

 

 

 

Just Posted

Comedy, chicken poop and dancing at Lytton Festival

This year’s festival will honour longtime supporter Shirley James

LETTER: Recreational angling has low-impact on Fraser salmon

Jason Tonelli writes about his displeasure at the call to close recreational fishing on the Fraser

Hope’s Wheeled Wild Women hit the road for cancer research

Group of friends ready for the 200-km bike trek that ends in Hope

PHOTOS: Paintings return to Kilby for fifth annual festival

The Plein Air Festival will be taking place at the historic site all weekend

Cougar spotted in Seabird Island

Residents are asked to report all sightings to conservation

Sts’ailes invites adults to become engaged in Halq’eméylem with new video series

‘Qw’oqwel te Qw’oqwel’ gives language learners an immersive way to learn Halq’eméylem

‘It’s just the freedom:’ Paralyzed Broncos player pursuing life on the water

The former Humboldt Broncos goaltender, who started in the net when he was nine, was paralyzed last year

Young balance-bikers race in B.C.’s inaugural Strider Cup

The course has several obstacles including ‘Mount Scary’ and the ‘Noodle Monster’

Canadians killed in Afghanistan honoured during emotional dedication ceremony

One-hundred-fifty-eight Canadian soldiers died during the mission

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Most Read