Cheakamus 16 Harvesting starts early April

UPDATE:

Forest harvesting in Cheakamus Valley complete as of June 30, 2016

Forest harvesting starting in Cheakamus Valley

March 30, 2016: Whistler, B.C. – Harvesting in the Cheakamus 16 block of the Cheakamus Community Forest (CCF) will take place this spring, and construction of a one-kilometre access road into the block will begin on Monday, April 4. The block is located southwest of Cheakamus Crossing approximately 2.7 km from the turn off to the gravel Jane Lakes Forest Service Road.

Trucks will access this site from Highway 99 at Function Junction by travelling on Cheakamus Lake Road to Legacy Way and then turning right on to the Jane Lake Road.

Timeline

The Cheakamus Community Forest’s subcontractor, Lil’wat Forestry Ventures LP, will begin construction of the access road on April 4. Road building will take approximately four to six weeks and will require some blasting. Blasting will comply with the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW)’s noise bylaw and will be restricted to the hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Log hauling will begin once the road is complete with five trucks making two trips per day (on weekdays only) for approximately 12 to 15 days in total.

Warning and safety signs for the public will be located along the road where driveways, trails and other access points intersect. The speed limit for logging trucks on the gravel road is 30 kilometres per hour.

In addition, Lil’wat Forestry Ventures LP received $250,000 from the BC-Canada Jobs Grant program and will conduct a job training program in the Cheakamus 16 block while the logging takes place.

Cheakamus Valley harvesting

The Cheakamus 16 block is expected to yield approximately 6,000 m3 of wood. There will be five openings ranging from 1.7 to 6.5 hectares with mixed tree ages that will be harvested with variable retention of trees to meet ecosystem-based management objectives.

Harvesting in this block was previously deferred until the long-term plan was developed that provides a complete picture of harvesting options in the valley and the entire CCF. Over the longer term, other areas of the Cheakamus Valley will be harvested, similar to of the rest of the community forest.

The Cheakamus Valley will also be the site of wildfire fuel thinning projects similar to the Millar’s Pond project completed in 2015.

An open house for Cheakamus Crossing residents took place on February 1 to discuss harvesting plans for the Cheakamus Valley, and overall 2016 harvesting plans for the Cheakamus Community Forest were presented at an open house in November 2015.

The Cheakamus Community Forest enables Whistler and its partners, the Lil’wat and Squamish Nations, to have direct control over harvesting in the area around Whistler, and is one of over 50 community-managed forests in British Columbia. The Cheakamus Community Forest is managed by the partners for views, watershed protection, habitat, recreation and cultural values.

Find more information at cheakamuscommunityforest.com

About the Cheakamus Community Forest

The Cheakamus Community Forest encompasses more than 33,000 hectares of land surrounding Whistler. It was established in April 2009 when the Lil’wat and Squamish First Nations and the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) jointly signed a 25-year tenure with the B.C. Ministry of Forests and Range. These three equal partners oversee the management and operation of the forest under the auspices of the Cheakamus Community Forest Society, an independent not-for-profit organization.

Community forests are different from other tenures because they are managed by the community, for the benefit of the community. The Cheakamus Community Forest actively works with local stakeholders to develop forest harvesting and management plans that benefit the larger community, such as protecting viewsheds, cultural assets, and important habitats.

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