End of an era at Sewell Inlet

  • Apr. 28, 2005 7:00 p.m.

By Heidi Belington–Thirty-six years of logging in Sewell Inlet ended Wednesday.
That’s when a crew of 15 loggers finished off the last logging for Western Forest Products, something it has been working on for the last couple of months, said general manager Trevor Boniface. Last Sunday, the last barge of logs left. A crew of 30 to 35 silviculture workers will remain at the bunkhouse over the summer, and then the camp will be closed.
An exact date for the final closure hasn’t been chosen yet, said Mr. Boniface. After the silviculture workers finish, a salvage company will assess and dispose of the remaining buildings. They might be sold, or they might be dismantled for materials. Some buildings may be made available to fire crews for practice burns. “If it seemed like a good thing, it could be done,” said Mr. Boniface.
Last November, long time residents Jack and Gloria Collier left the camp. They were the first family to move there as the site was being cleared in 1969, and they were the last permanent residents of Sewell Inlet to leave.
Logging began in Sewell Inlet in 1969, and the camp was built around 1970, Mr. Boniface said. At its busiest from 1985-87, the camp housed 50 families. After the South Moresby agreement, which created Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, and removed that land from logging plans, the operation was scaled back. Today, the site has a bunkhouse, office, shop and six houses.