Logging in Skidegate Channel damaged viewscape

  • Nov. 14, 2014 8:00 a.m.

A Council of the Haida Nation complaint about the visual impacts of logging on Haida Gwaii was upheld in a Forest Practices Board report released earlier this month.The logging in question took place in 2009 on the north side of Skidegate Channel, west of Queen Charlotte, in a significant travel corridor for tourists, fishermen and residents of Haida Gwaii.”In the board’s opinion, a failure to meet government objectives for visual quality arose due to the licensee’s reliance on unsound professional assessments and refusal to engage in dialogue with government officials and forest professionals who expressed concerns on several occasions,'” said board chair Tim Ryan.Trevor Russ, vice-president of the Haida Nation, said he was pleased with the finding.”I think from the Council of the Haida Nation perspective, we’re happy that the Forest Practices Board stepped up,” he said, noting that the CHN has heard additional concerns from citizens about the visual impacts of logging.Queen Charlotte mayor Carol Kulesha also applauded the Forest Practices Board’s decision but said it took too long.”The system did work although way too slowly,” she said. “It took five years to come to this conclusion.”Ms Kulesha said Skidegate Channel is an important area used by many islanders and visitors travelling by boat. The logging in question was started in 2009.The board found that professional visual impact assessments done for Teal Cedar Products Ltd. underestimated the degree of alteration to the viewscape. Even though staff of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and the village of Queen Charlotte both raised concerns about the potential impacts of the logging before it took place, the company would not discuss the concerns nor reconsider the accuracy of the assessments before it proceeded to log.The report notes that it is difficult for Ministry of Forests staff to refuse to issue cutting permits, even when there are concerns.”This case is another example supporting a concern of the board that government officials have no ability to refuse cutting permits when they suspect a high risk to forest values,” the report says. “The public expects government to protect their interests when risk is obvious, rather than allowing a failure to occur.”The report also criticizes government for failing to take enforcement action against the licensee for not meeting legal requirements to protect visual quality.The Forest Practices Board is B.C.’s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices, reporting its findings and recommendations directly to the public and government. The board investigates complaints about forest and range practices on public lands and the appropriateness of government enforcement. It can also make recommendations for improvement to practices and legislation.

Just Posted

Haida Gwaii gets top spot in The World

It was already a nice Christmas present, but Keith Moore was really… Continue reading

McNeill fined again for illegal fishing

A local man with a long history of poaching has been convicted… Continue reading

Painting her way home

Janine Gibbons talks about all she learned illustrating Haida and Tlingit story books

Old Massett taps grassroots for community plan

Over coffee, kitchen tables, and community dinners, Old Massett is taking a… Continue reading

Subsea internet cable to link up Haida Gwaii

Cable to connect Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast with mainland network

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Police fear fewer fentanyl imports don’t signal the end of the overdose crisis

RCMP say it’s just as likely that criminal are getting more clever

UPDATE: Two people die in ATV accident south of Campbell River

Third person survived attempt to cross a creek

Coal dust escaping rail cars spurs B.C. petition

Local governments are on board with Shuswap resident’s request for better control of escaping particulate

Lawyers slam ‘de facto expulsion’ of student guilty of sexual interference

Calgary student guilty of sexual assault of a minor allowed to finish semester

B.C. NDP set to restructure union bargaining

School trustees to regain control over employer group

A new development surrounding plane that went missing around Revelstoke in November

The family of Ashley Bourgeault believe they have found a new clue

$130K could get you on a dive to the Titanic

Hot summer ticket: $130K could get you on a dive to the Titanic off Newfoundland

UK’s Princess Eugenie, daughter of Prince Andrew, engaged

Princess Eugenie, the daughter of Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, will marry Jack Brooksbank in Autumn 2018

Most Read