Alberni groups protest McLaughlin logging

More than 80 people gathered at Echo Centre Monday for a Watershed-Forest Alliance meeting to protest logging at McLaughlin Ridge.

More than 80 people gathered at Echo Centre Monday for a meeting hosted by the Watershed-Forest Alliance in its quest to protect an old-growth forest at McLaughlin Ridge and in the China Creek Watershed.

Alberni-Pacific Rim MLA Scott Fraser and retired government scientist Doug Janz were guest speakers at the event.

The pair were resolute: that the forest range needs to be protected with enhanced regulations.

“McLaughlin Ridge is critical winter range for deer and elk. Weyerhaeuser and Mac Blo saw this and left it untouched,” Fraser said. “The area is a unique system for many different species.”

Fraser retraced the history of the issue.

McLaughlin Ridge was removed from a tree farm licence in 2004 by then-owners Weyerhaeuser and is now considered privately managed forest land.

Provincial officials wanted critical winter habitat protected for two years and a committee would subsequently decide the form of protection.

The province and Island Timberlands disagreed on critical issues and the company ceased meeting in 2009. Harvesting plans were not science-based, government biologists said. “We asked Island Timberlands not to go into McLaughlin but at the end of the day it was their land,” Fraser said.

Groups have a bit of breathing room as logging has thus far occurred only in the lower areas and not on the upper ridge. And logging isn’t expected to start again until next spring, Watershed-Forest Alliance chair Jane Morden said.

The group will continue talks with Island Timberlands about stalling logging in the area.

The group doesn’t have a beef with the company, Morden said. “Island Timberlands has the legal right to do what it’s doing,” Morden said. “But the government erred in not following through with its intent to pursue winter ungulate ranges.”

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

Just Posted

Mattress recycling program provides work experience in Port Alberni

Recycle Matters was started by INEO Employment Services

Port Alberni’s Five Acre Shaker announces first headliner

Canadian rock band Harlequin will take the stage on Sunday

Two new developments approved for Port Alberni

Rental apartments and new retail space proposed

Take the Fresh Steps Unplugged Challenge in Port Alberni

Are you doing your part to limit your child’s screen time?

UPDATED: Drag racers cancel Thunder in the Valley for 2019

AVDRA makes last-minute decision after ACRD denies airport for venue

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

B.C. ferry stops to let bear swim past

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Most Read