Forest minister won’t cancel requirement to harvest at Lantzville woodlot

NANAIMO – A new proposal from those behind the Save Lantzville Forest effort will look at partial protection of the woodlot.

Residents fighting to save Lantzville forest are looking at partial protection for an active woodlot as B.C.’s forest minister makes it clear he won’t end timber harvests.

Organizers of Save Lantzville Forest, a grassroots group, are working on a new proposal to protect Woodlot 1475, a 256-hectare property in upper Lantzville, which is 96 per cent Crown-owned.

The District of Lantzville recently released a letter from B.C. Forest Minister Steve Thomson which shows the community could request a reduction in the annual allowable cut of Woodlot 1475 if it purchased the licence, but the minister is not able to consider canceling requirements to remove timber all together. The purpose of the lot is to manage and harvest timber “as well as manage for other values,” he wrote.

Thomson also reiterated his support for the woodlot program and the challenges tied to an alternative use of the area, which includes finding replacement lands for the current licensee when Crown land is “very constrained” on southeast Vancouver Island.

It’s a response to a meeting held in November between Thomson, Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell and Lantzville council on the woodlot, where local politicians expressed concern about watershed health and interest in alternative management opportunities for the area, including designation of the woodlot as park.

Lantzville council had previously agreed to support the community desire to protect the lot, which organizers of Save Lantzville Forest have argued has recreational values and species at risk.

Mayor Colin Haime called the government’s response a “little disappointing” and said he hoped if a community initiative was put forward, the minister would be open to considering other uses for the property.

Coun. Will Geselbracht said the letter is the minister’s position and he still supports the Save Lantzville Forest group. An issue council may need to look at in the future is if the woodlot should become a “designated community watershed,” pursuant to the Forest and Range Practices Act, he said.

Ted Gullison, one of the residents behind Save Lantzville Forest, said the minister’s response is another example of how it’s prioritizing business over environmental issues and community concerns. Even if they fully compensated the logger, “government will force us to log and force us to continue to log red-listed and endangered ecosystems,” he said, adding he finds it disheartening it’s up to the community to lead the process to do responsible forestry.

He said a proposal is now being worked on to determine how much it would affect the profitability of the forest for the licensee if partial protection was implemented.

Just Posted

Bastion Street bridge closed for construction work

Span connecting downtown to Old City Quarter closed to vehicle traffic for six weeks

Governor General’s Award-winning author launches her new book

Wendy Phillips’s ‘Baggage’ is told in experimental ‘free verse’ style

Nanaimo city councillors to hold e-town hall meeting on strategic priorities

Meeting will take place May 23 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Nanaimo Heritage Festival helps highlight the long weekend

Parade and family activities took place downtown today, May 19

Crews putting out one of the first wildfires of the season in Nanaimo

Nanaimo Fire Rescue, B.C. Wildfire Service called to Doumont Road fire

Rescuers finally persuade Eiffel Tower climber to come down

The official said the man was ‘under control and out of danger’ on Monday night

Nanaimo ferry stops to let bear swim past

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife

Two cats die in house fire in Nanaimo

Fire happened just after 2 p.m. Sunday on Fifth Street, one resident displaced

Family of B.C. pilot killed in Honduras trying to ‘piece together’ tragedy

Patrick Forseth has a number of friends in the area and was loved by everyone

Justin Trudeau credits immigration for Canada’s growing tech sector

Trudeau stressed that Canada has become a major source of talent for tech all over the world

Feds launch tourism strategy designed to boost sector 25 per cent by 2025

The fund is supposed to back experiences that show off Canada’s strengths

Mamma Mia! poised to be biggest Chemainus Theatre show ever

Plenty of buzz as Island dinner theatre schedules ABBA-fueled romp

New book from Island author details social history of the E&N railway

Along the E&N tells the story of 32 establishments from Esquimalt to Campbell River.

Most Read