Saturday, June 23, 2007
"Do you support taking legal action to protect our drinking water?"
It seems Coasters are spoiling for a fight with the province because the 'yeas' are leading 10 to 1. Pay the site a visit and vote to save our watersheds!
Friday, June 22, 2007
Presentation to Planning and Development Committee
Sunshine Coast Regional District
Thursday June 21, 2007 Meeting
Agenda Item # 30 Tsain-Ko Logging in Egmont, B.C.
The Ruby Lake Landholders Association (RLA), is a society formed in 1979 to maintain the ecological nature of
1. LACK OF NOTICE AND CONSULTATION
I have read the staff report accompanying this agenda Item #30 and want to address one of the most critical concerns of the Landholders Association: lack of proper notice and consultation. Neither Canfor in 2002, nor Tsain-Ko in 2007 have mentioned anywhere that the proposed logging is to take place in the
For this reason we cannot accept the staff conclusion: “ Tsain-Ko have carried out a public consultation…”. Canfor also did not appropriately describe the location of the cutblock in relation to
We are also receiving information that an Area A Water Management Plan is circulating which may involve Sakinaw and
2. INCONSISTENT APPROACH TO WATER QUALITY ISSUES
The SCRD has implemented two significant zoning changes specifically to the
3. CLEARCUT LOGGING: EFFECT ON TOURISM, ENVIRONMENT AND SCENIC APPEAL
4. ACTION REQUESTED
2. Forestry licensees provide to SCRD staff (in a timely fashion and at least two months prior to logging commences) operational plans relevant to logging in watershed and lake or road- visible areas and that the SCRD monitor logging practices in watershed areas (include post-operational inspections) to adequately protect water quality.
3. This Committee confirms its prior resolution opposing logging in community watersheds.
4. The Ruby Lake Landholders Association be provided with notice and be given an opportunity to provide input and involvement of all matters affecting Ruby Lake, the Ruby Lake watershed and its contiguous lands.
"Therefore, when we combine our concerns about our watersheds and all the proposed cutblocks in the
1. That the SCRD ensure on our behalf that the Waugh Lake Watershed is registered with the provincial government as a “Watershed Reserve.” (According to the BC Tap Water Alliance, Waugh Lake does not appear as a Watershed Reserve in their government documents; although, we have maps dating back from 1998 calling it a Reserve).
2. That the SCRD support our wish to see the North Lake Forest Service Road be decommissioned permanently beyond the last properties at North Lake. We are against Tsain-Ko’s plans to reactivate and extend this FSP which runs through the heart of the
3. That the SCRD call for a moratorium on all clear-cutting on the Ruby Lake, North Lake and Waugh Lake watersheds. Tsain-Ko’s FSP is based upon Canfor’s 2002 Development Plan’s which is now 5 years out of date. We are calling for time for a new comprehensive Development Plan to be development that will reflect new knowledge both about watersheds and weather patterns.
4. That the SCRD extend to our watersheds, the same efforts it is undertaking to protect the Chapman Creek watershed. This would include contacting the Vancouver Coastal Health Officer who in turn would contact the Provincial Health Officer to ensure the long term safety of our drinking water supplies and that we, too, will be served by the ‘Drinking Water Protection Act.”
5. That the Joint Watershed Accord between the SCRD and the Sechelt Band be extended to include all coastal watersheds.
6. That the SCRD be as resolute as the GVRD whose watersheds are 88% crown land and who demanded that all logging in the watersheds be stopped.
7. That the SCRD join forces with other regional governments to bring about effective legislation for watershed protection that would be applied to both crown and private managed forest lands within watersheds.
The P&D Committee is comprised of all Area Directors and Chief Stan Dixon of the SIB. A number of motions were passed and once the minutes are available I will the post motions on the blog. The Committee expressed support for our concerns and reassured us that despite their immediate preoccupation with the Chapman Creek watershed they were aware of our needs and will begin work on our behalf. Their first action will be to request Tsain-Ko and its representatives to appear before the Committee to address our concerns and correct their glaring ommission of failing to inform the regional govenment of their logging plans.
Now, until I get the Committee's motions, I will begin posting some of our submissions.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Lee Ann Johnson, emcee; Hans Penner, Concerned Citizens of the S.C.; Will Koop, BC Tap Water Alliance; Dr. Paul Martiquet, Vancouver Coastal Health Officer; Mayor Barry Janyk, Gibsons; Nicholas Simons, MLA Powell River - Sunshine Coast; Dan Bouman, Sunshine Coast Conservation Association (not shown)
A six member panel above attempted to supply us with the answers. We learned about the latest actions by citizens to block Western Forest Products from starting road construction to its public tenure cutblocks on the Chapman Creek Watershed and how such action opens them to a whole range of legal issues. Dr. Martiquet described the new Drinking Water Protection Act which he would like to see be put to the test by the Provincial Public Health Officer. Mayor Janyk explained the SCRD's role and how the possibility of suing the provincial government is a very real option. Nicolas Simons said he would do all he could (drawback: the legislature is in summer recess) but what is needed is a change in government. Dan Bouman illustrated what little power local governments have to protect watersheds while being held legally responsible to provide safe drinking water to its constituents. This is but a brief highlight of the meeting and the local paper will offer more.
For many of us, the history of how we are having to now fight for clean water was the most interesting part of the discussion and this was provided by Will Koop of the BC Tap Water Alliance. Koop has researched the history of BC's Watershed Reserves over the past ten years and explained how the Reserves were at one time completely off limits to all logging and how that protection has eroded since the 1950's through a collusion of successive provincial governments, forestry companies and forestry academics. FOE has purchased his book 'From Wisdom to Tyranny: A History of British Columbia's Drinking Watershed Reserves.' After picking up the book, we attempted to discover what category listing our Waugh Lake Watershed possessed from the list of watersheds at the back of the book. Waugh Lake was not on the list! We spoke to Koop at the end of the meeting to find out why and his only explanation is that the watershed though it has obviously been recognized as a watershed reserve may never have been 'officially' registered with the provincial government What the implications of this is we do not know but we intended to raise the issue at the SCRD Planning & Development Committee meeting the next day.
The land is a large private managed forest holding and much of the marketable timber was logged of when it was owned by Pacific North Woods Resources. There is a good map that shows the extend of those lands on the FOE - PNR website (click here). You will notice that the holding extends from Killam Bay, juts into Egmont Point, moves down the Narrows past the the Lafarge gravel mine and the rapids into Sechelt Inlet and ends two lots short of Highland Point. There are only a few areas were the property actually comes down to the water line: Killam Bay, two lots before Lafarge (but, the one with the 'million' dollar house was sold this year and the other is next to a noisy gravel mine), from the Earle Creek logging camp up to the SIB land holding and East Doriston where it picks up again until it hits those two Highland Point lots. Now, except for the logging camp which really is a beautiful setting and the east Doriston area most of the Inlet shore line is quite rugged.
The community's interest is those lands were twofold: a resort that didn't begin and logging that didn't seem to end; and PNR's pursuit of the crown lands of Egmont Point which we blocked. We learned that PNR had approached forestry at one point to procure Highland Point but the tenure there belonged to another company. So, now that trees are gone and Egmont Point is temporarily out of reach (another story), why should we care about this new company and its plans?
Well, TPP is interested in land on the Egmont side to use as a 'staging area' for the individuals who purchase its lots. 'Staging area' is a euphemism employed by developers to politely say 'we need parking' but it is crass to say so and FOE was taken to task for using the plain English version in a recent brochure. So, henceforth, FOE will use 'SA' when meaning 'parking.' So, TPP is on the hunt for SA in Egmont. TPP is in talks to purchase the Egmont Marina & Resort (EMR) for some of the SA and has approached Pete & Linda Dressler (PLD) for some of their property on the bluff above EMR for possibly more SA. But, how much SA does TPP need? Well, that is where the community comes into the picuture. We are to decide if TPP needs only EMR SA or EMR + PLD SA by letting TPP know how much development we would like to see over there. In other words, density + zoning = SA.
I'll stop here because I want to review the video of the meeting. We want to report the facts because we have promised never to write anything ever again based upon ugly rumours and offensive conjecture.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Good food, good music, and good folks. What more could you want?
- Three Point Properties: Community Info Meeting. Monday (tomorrow night), June 18, 7:00 pm at the Egmont Community Hall.
- Roberts Creek Town Hall Meeting: Saving our Watersheds. Inviting all Sunshine Coast residents from Port Mellon to Egmont. Wednesday, June 20, 7:30 pm at the Roberts Creek Hall.
- SCRD Planning & Development Committee: We'll be presenting our cause and asking for our regional government's support. Thursday, June 21, 10:00 am, SCRD Boardroom, 1975 Field Rd, Sechelt.