Protection around Sandspit ‘totally unacceptable’: MIMC

  • Jun. 18, 2008 10:00 a.m.

By Heather Ramsay–Sandspit leaders think the community has been cut off from any hope of future growth thanks to the Strategic Land Use Agreement. Moresby Island Management Committee members told Forest Service representatives at their June 11 regular meeting that a protected area southwest of Sandspit on the signed Strategic Land Use Agreement maps leaves their community with no room to grow. “I really have a problem with that. It cuts Sandspit off,” said committee chair Gail Henry. Others shared their concerns. “We might as well put a gate at one end and a gate at the other,” said committee member Carol Wagner. Three Ministry of Forests representatives, district manager Len Munt and operations managers Cal Ross and Jevon Hanchard, attended the meeting. Mr. Ross had been presenting the SLUA maps when he was asked about what the green areas represented. They represent negotiated protected areas and the one below Sandspit protects the Dover Trail, he said. But committee members said the area on the map is much larger than the Dover Trail itself and could lead people into areas that are dangerous. Ms Henry said people have come to her gas station after falling and stumbling through logging areas and a gravel pit, thinking they’ve embarked on the Hans Creek Loop off the Dover Trail. “It makes no sense to me,” she says. Others thought the green area might encroach on some private land. Mr. Ross said negotiations on the protected areas took place between the Council of the Haida Nation and the Ministry. “This is where the boundaries landed,” he said pointing to the map. Committee member Warren Foster wanted to know where the chance for input from MIMC was. “It’s coming into our backyard, but there was no consultation with us, the community,” he said. One of the light yellow areas on the map also caused concern. Mr. Ross said these indicated other areas that were protected for values such as cedar or marbled murrelets, but are not destined to become parks, rather a new type of management plan will be put in place. Ms Henry said the light yellow area in Alliford Bay covered Sandspit’s industrial area. Mr. Ross pointed out that most of the protected areas are still under temporary protection. He suggested the community reach out through the recently signed Protocol Agreement and speak with the CHN. “There is still an opportunity to talk on a political level,” he said. The logging companies on the islands are still double checking the boundaries and making sure they are in the right places too, he said. Mr. Munt said he agreed that the community’s concerns about growth was an important issue and he promised to get some answers. He said he would provide MIMC with a smaller scale map so they could better see the boundaries and look into the reasons the Dover Trail protected area looks as it does. “I don’t know if MIMC will like it, though,” he said. He also said he would get back to Ms Henry with the name of the person to speak with in government as well. Committee member Duane Gould said what is proposed for the area around Sandspit was totally unacceptable. He made a motion that MIMC communicate this to the parties involved through the regional district. This was passed.