This morning myself and three other area residents joined Sunshine Coast wildlife biologist, Dave Stiles, on a hike into a very special area of the Waugh Lake watershed: the three ponds. I had heard about the ponds area from other residents and because of its proximity to Tsain Ko Forest Development Corporation's proposed logging road reactivation and extension and its planned cutblock EG273, I felt the opportunity to see this area through the eyes of a biologist shouldn't be missed. The area we would be visiting can be seen on this map.The large mossy green area at the top of the map is the Skookumchuck Provincial Park. Each year, thousands of visitors to the Sunshine Coast follow the trail through the park to the famous Skookumchuck Rapids, the largest saltwater rapids in North America. You can see the three ponds area to the south of the park. The green areas represent old growth management areas which should protect them from logging. The large pink area to the right of the ponds is the forested Indian Reserve 27. IR 27 belongs to the Sechelt (Shishalh) Nation. The purple dotted line represents the reactivated and extended logging road proposed by Tsain Ko. That logging road would give Tsain Ko access to the band's land which it plans to log for the band and access to cutblock EG273. The green dotted line is the Waugh Lake Watershed boundary and the logging road, a portion of IR27 and half of EG273 are within the watershed. In fact, the logging road runs right through the heart of the watershed and not only does Tsain Ko want to reactivate it but they propose it become a permanent route to IR 27.
To give you another perspective, I have prepared a Google Map of the same area.
At the top of the this shot is Brown Lake which is in the provincial park. Below this can be seen the pond area with its old growth management area in dark green and around that is the old 1990's cutblock that took out a huge swath of the watershed right to Waugh Lake at the upper left of the image. Waugh Lake is where the village of Egmont gets its drinking water. Following this clear-cutting, many residents vowed to fight future logging in the watershed. Here is a close up view of the ponds, again, using Google Maps.
At the bottom of this image, you can make out the deactivated logging road from that 1990's clear-cutting. Where the road takes a dip down is located a major creek that feeds the ponds. Today, we hiked that old road, crossed the creek and headed through the old cutblock down to the ponds. We then moved into the old second growth to the right and then back up to where Tsain-Ko plans to build the road extension. The next postings will show you pictures from our trek.