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

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Peace on the water

Harrison Lake was rather serene recently with the lack of usual traffic… Continue reading

UPDATE: Police oversight agency investigating after shots fired Saturday night in Chilliwack neighbourhood

RCMP reported a ‘distraught male’ fired at police officers on Christina Drive – IIO is on scene Sunday

Prospera Credit Union, Westminster Savings lay off over 100 staff following historic merge

2020 merger was largest credit-union merger in Canadian history

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

COVID-19: B.C. park reservations surge as campgrounds reopen

Keep trying, many sites not reservable, George Heyman says

$2,000 reward for info on suburban trap after raccoon dies

Animal rights groups say there was no need for the trap

B.C. residents can now reserve a provincial campsite for a stay starting June 1

Campsite reservations will only be available to British Columbians

Cullen commission into money laundering in British Columbia resumes today

Inquiry was called amid growing concern that illegal cash was helping fuel real estate, luxury car and gambling

Missing North Delta senior found dead after nine days

88-year-old Jarnail Sanghera had been missing since the morning of Friday, May 15

Bike shops busier than ever, but owners worry about stock supply issues

Uptick in cyclists brings new challenges for shops

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

Most Read