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Egmont Community



Notes from BCTS/Tsain-Ko/ECC Meeting

Notes from the February 13th 2020 Meeting at the Backeddy

(diverted from the ECC hall by BCTS)

Egmont Community Club (ECC) Land & Water Stakeholders (LWS) Committee / BCTS / Tsain-Ko

In Attendance:

Tom Silvey, Director & ECC Liaison, ECC; Sam Hughes, Secretary, ECC; Alana Quock, Owner, Skookumchuck Bakery (presenting on behalf of ECC LWS; Rick Craig, President, North Lake Residents Society (presenting on behalf of ECC LWS; Lydia Passmore, Director, ECC; Paul Hansen, Owner, West Coast Wilderness Lodge (ECC Invitee); Billy Griffith, Director, ECC; Maureen Juffs, Director, ECC; Leonard Lee, Director, Area A (Observer); Darnelda Siegers, Mayor of Sechelt / SCRD Chair; Kal Helyar, Egmont Fire & Rescue Chief (ECC Invitee); Russell Silvey, Acting President, ECC; Sue Grayston, UBC Professor/Business Owner (ECC Invitee); Kim Tournat, Representative from the office of MLA Nicholas Simons; Debbie Hendsbee, CEO, Tsain-Ko; Tom Johnson, BCTS; Jordan Louie, Tsain-Ko; Amanda Girard, BCTS (Meeting Chair)

Call to Order: 6:15 ish pm.

1. Amanda Gerard introduced herself and handed out the meeting agenda. She invited participants to introduce themselves and state their affiliation.

2. Amanda Gerard explained the meeting objectives and described the current state of the process as 'early planning'. She described the polygons on the maps at the table as exercises that were not yet 'field verified'. She suggested that there can be a lot of input yet because the field work only began last week and that BCTS and Tsain-Ko (the licence holders) wanted to hear from stakeholders and that this was the impetus for the meeting at this early stage. She also proposed that there may be one more smaller meeting before the larger open house public meeting. This would be to present more refined plans after having been made aware of conflicts, challenges, safety concerns, etc. from stakeholders. At this time they are looking for site specific comments.

3. Tom Johnson set the stage for why the BCTS and Tsain-Ko are presenting at the meeting together. The effort forms part of provincial reconciliations (between BC Gov & First Nations). In line with the agreement terms Tsain-Ko asks BCTS to auction their volume of timber. At this time Tsain-Ko is in the process of laying out their blocks. Jordan from Tsain-Ko explained a bit more of the history and detail of that process using Chartwell & Tsain-Ko employees. The licence has been in place since 2008 and has renewed every 5 years since.

Q: What happens if the timber is not harvested?

A: The block will roll over or expire into a new harvester that could multiply the un-forrested portions exponentially.

Paul Hansen noted the Egmont (and Maple and Doriston Hwy?) road issues that would certainly arise with big logging trucks using the tourist routes. Tom Johnson suggested that the trucks could travel at off season and on off times during peak season. Maureen Juffs noted the already compromised Egmont Road at Bosch corner and identified it on the map for BCTS and Tsain-Ko. Kal Helyar added that if the road gave way there the community could be cut off from rescue and emergency services (between the fire hall and the community).

Tom Johnson mentioned the time sensitive nature of the cut and touched on the stewardship plans (tourist viewing spots preserved from trail/roads/ferry routes; wildlife species concerns; environmental considerations).

4. Amanda steered the meeting to item 4 on the agenda and gave the floor to Tom Silvey from the Egmont Community Club. Tom introduced his talk and handed out copies of the document “Issues for Discussion and Associated Questions”. He quickly went through the paper (attached) to allow as much time for questions from club representatives s as possible. In response to Tom's Issues/Questions statement Amanda and Tom Johnson clarified that species at risk will be considered during the process; that some protected areas are already identified; that there will be wildlife tree retention areas set aside and left undisturbed (at this point there were some percentage questions – Amanda agreed to get back to the group as to the percentage and stated that Chapman Creek is apparently 7% - she predicted that the Egmont block should fall within 7-14%. Tom Silvey reiterated the issue of 'climate emergency' as identified by our federal government. BCTS reps answered that they have an action plan that includes climate assistance guidelines. The reforesting plan after logging for a few years includes the following; Deactivation plans (culvert removal, stream/runoff monitoring and correction). Amanda stated that the stewardship plan block checks to ensure the aforementioned results and strategies are achieved. Sue Grayston introduced herself and her area of expertise (forestry & vegetation) and asked if the ECC could see the stewardship plan. Amanda responded that she would have a better idea about the silviculture system after the field crews have reported. Sue opened the topic of selective logging and asked about what options other than clear cut BCTS has looked at. Debbie from Tsain-Ko interjected to announce that she wasn't going to leave the group with the impression that this would be anything but clear cut. It just isn't an option. It's not economically viable for the company. Jordan added that visual impact would be minimized and that the Agamemnon Channel had been identified as a tourist viewing route and would be logged to keep the view pleasing. Amanda told the group that visual impact assessments will model what the cut blocks would look like. Tom Silvey mentioned the importance of the water supplies (Waugh Lake, North Lake, Goose Lake, Brown Lake). Sue reiterated that we need to see the stewardship plan. Amanda said that she would love to see unique logging methods used but BCTS is in a bind as the lumber would be auctioned under the Softwood Lumber Agreement so it is out of their hands. Tom Johnson said that their role is to capture the value of the timber to feed into the system to set prices for NAFTA using standard practices under the Forest Range Practice Act(?). Alanna Quock opened her statement by referring to her June 13th letter (hope to attach to these notes at some point). She passionately stated her fears about what would happen to the foot traffic tourism that follows the Old Doriston Hwy to the trail head and then into the park. Visitors are not happy with the little bit of local traffic that already exists. It is a narrow road on stolen land (accessioned from private property originally, hence the private, local vehicles only rule). Kal Helyar reiterated his earlier remarks about the safety aspect and the dangerous conditions that exist for smaller vehicles (narrow, winding, blind corners and hills, road instability on a steep bank at Bosch corner). Tom Silvey asked Amanda to please provide a list of the stakeholders (email) and the estimated value of the timber scheduled for removal. Amanda agreed to provide these details to the group.

As the meeting was winding down and people were leaving Kal Helyar called the group to attention. He stated clearly and concisely that safety regarding the Egmont Road, Old Doriston Hwy & Maple Road (??) (specifically the ability to handle persistent, relatively long term logging truck traffic) and access to services are real and impending concerns that need to be dealt with in a serious and in-depth manner before any hauling from the proposed cut blocks occurs.

Meeting adjourned 7:ish pm.

Attachment: 1
Written by: Tom Silvey

“Issues for Discussion and Associated Questions”

as presented by Tom Silvey at the February 13th Meeting with Egmont Community Club & BCTS/Tsain-ko at the Backeddy

Egmont Community Club

Issues for discussion and associated questions:

1) Cumulative Impact to the Egmont area. Has BCTS considered the cumulative impacts of these proposed 24 cut blocks, affecting 168 Ha, and the impact to the local residents, visitors, image and economy of the Egmont area?

These cumulative impacts include, but are not limited to:

a) Irreparable damage to the community's main economy, which is tourism and eco-tourism, which relies on having intact forest and marketable forest, scenic and intact ecosystem experiences. The Skookumchuck Rapids and its trail is one of the premier tourism destinations on the Sunshine Coast and its economic benefits are appreciated in the regional community from Gibsons to Egmont/Earls Cove and beyond.

b) Irreparable damage to the local ecosystems & environmental impacts through deforestation. In June of 2019 the Government of Canada declared a National Climate Emergency. Is the BCTS not aware of this or does this not apply to the BCTS? During this climate change emergency, logging of intact forest cover is not acceptable as it is removing a carbon sink and will lead to increased local temperatures through the loss of shaded forest cover.

Logging roads to access the timber also leads to further fragmentation of the landscape. Roads lead to increased illegal dumping, poaching of wildlife and trees, and issues with water run-off and erosion. Has BCTS done, or will be doing studies by qualified professionals to investigate and mitigate issues arising from the plans?

c) Irreparable damage to local water sources. Block #1 is in the Waugh Lake watershed reserve and EGG 12 & 21 are right up to it. EGG 2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and 9, will affect the water source and water quality of North Lake drinking water. The residents of North Lake use the lake as their drinking water source and pull water directly from the lake. As well, the creek from North Lake to Agamemnon Bay will be impacted by silt, sediment and increased run-off. The residents who use Brown Lake as their water source will be impacted by blocks 10,11,12 and 21. The creek from Brown Lake which exits into Secret Bay will also be impacted. Has BCTS done or will be doing studies by qualified professionals to investigate impacts to these water sources and propose mitigation strategies to issues arising from the plans? Besides the blocks, there is also road work within the Waugh Lake watershed to access cut blocks EGG 19 and 10,11,12 and 21.

d) Public Safety. Roads to be used by the proposed logging plans include Egmont Rd., Maple Rd., Doriston Highway, North Lake Forest Service rd. and Klein Lake Recreational Area Rds. Major trails impacted will be the Skookumchuck Rapids trail, and Suncoaster trail.

These roadways and trails are extremely narrow for logging truck traffic and heavily used by vehicle and pedestrian traffic. There are 5 road access points shown to access Egmont and Maple Rds. Again, Egmont is the primary tourism destination for the Sunshine Coast and the Skookumchuck Rapids can expect to have approx. 50,000 people hiking the trail per year, who use Egmont Rd. to access the trail head. Will the Skookumchuck and Suncoaster Trails experience times when they can't be used for their intended purpose due to road work or log hauling? Klein lake campsite is an extremely popular recreation area and already there are conflicts with the access road past the houses on North lake road. Has BCTS consulted or done studies by independent qualified professionals to propose mitigation strategies to issues arising from the plans? Have you consulted with the Egmont Fire Dept., BC Parks and Trails, the SCRD Emergency planning department and the Ministry of Highways for input concerning the use of these roadways?

Can we expect road delays for flagging, blasting, and logging trucks turning onto these roadways? How will BCTS plan to mitigate these concerns for residents and especially during the tourist season when the volume of traffic swells? Will any damage to the roadways be paid to be fixed and repaired by the BCTS and Tsain-ko?

Other Questions:

1) Who are the Stakeholders other than the ECC and NLRA who will be consulted?

2) What is the estimated value of the timber that is proposed to be harvested from the sites?

3) Will any of these cut blocks be put out to tender for third party logging companies to bid on?

4) Will there be other meetings for the Stakeholders and others who wrote letters, and the public in general to have meaningful dialogue before the plans are finalized?

5) What are the next steps for BCTS and Tsain-ko, and what stage are you at now?

Attachment: 2
Provided by Alanna Quock & Trevor Matthews
June 13, 2019

bakery & cafe
[email protected]
6694 Doriston Highway Egmont, BC V0N 1N0

Re: Sunshine Coast Operating Plan

To Whom it May Concern:

We are writing to provide comment on the Tsain-ko and BCTS Partnership Blocks in North Lake, Powell River Operating Area of the Sunshine Coast TSA.  We have concerns regarding impacts on important Tourism resources along the Suncoaster Trail and Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park trail (including the portion on Doriston Highway from the parking area on Egmont Road) as well as impacts on bird habitat.  Skookumchuck Narrows is the primary tourist destination on the Sunshine Coast, and Egmont is the gateway to the popular Princess Louisa Inlet tourist destination. Our business, The Skookumchuck Bakery & Café, is located on Doriston Highway, one property over from the planned cutblock TA0335 EGG21 with planned harvest in 2021. It is important that logging activities do not adversely impact the operation of the growing tourism economy on the Sunshine Coast, and that they do not change the natural character of the area as this is a prime eco-tourism destination.  No logging activities can occur within view of the trail along Doriston Highway or the trail into Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park without adversely impacting the character of this prime BC tourism and world class kayaking destination, and in turn the tourism businesses on the Sunshine Coast that rely on the draw of Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park. The experience of the trail and destination has already has been adversely impacted by logging activities on private land across the inlet from the Narrows. Large areas of clearcut is what you see when you look across the inlet from the viewing areas at North Point and Roland Point. 

At the minimum, we request that the following cut blocks be designed with adequate buffers to maintain viewscapes of existing forest along Sunshine Coast Highway, Egmont Road, Doriston Highway, Suncoaster Trail, Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park:

TA0333: cutblock EGG23, EGG4, EGG2
TA0334: cutblock EGG18, EGG16, EGG15, EGG17, EGG22
TA0335: cutblock EGG10, EGG11, EGG12

Recommend no harvesting or hauling activities during primary tourist season May 15-September 15.  If possible, recommend only elective logging, to minimize disturbance to ecosystem and migratory bird habitat while removing a percentage of trees to promote growth and productivity of the forest. These are happy healthy forests and forestry practices ought to be conducted in a way to return the forest to a productive forest state.  We also understand that adequate engagement with the community and affected businesses has not occurred as we were only made aware of these activities yesterday. Please schedule a community meeting in Egmont and invite all businesses in the area to participate in that meeting prior to moving forward with planned activities.

We want to ensure that our forests are healthy and productive in the long term to maintain the health of the ecosystem, as well as the local economy that depends on the ecological integrity of the area.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Alanna Quock & Trevor Matthews
Owners and Operators
Skookumchuck Bakery & Cafe