Forestry professional questions patch clear cuts in forest reserve
My name is Gino Gaiga, I worked in the B.C. coast forest industry for over 40 years — the past five years, as a woods foreman. I recently took a walk through the Stoney Hill Forest reserve cut blocks to assess the salvage of the December blowdown.
At a February council meeting, councillors voted for low impact salvaging and public consolation. What I saw on Stoney Hill are nothing less than patch clear cuts. Accessing the Stoney Hill forest and its close proximity to a residential area I feel the prescribed logging method could have a detrimental impact to the surrounding area.
My reasons are: 1) Visual impact. 2) Soil erosion, and soil contamination from ground-based logging affecting residential watershed. 3) Stoney Hill is rocky with little soil cover, which does not allow trees to root well making them vulnerable under high wind. By clear cutting, the canopy is opened increasing the chances of more blowdown near the clear-cut side line. 4) There is a broom infestation on Stoney Hill with enumerable seedling including in the salvage cut blocks. Removing the canopy will allow broom seedling to take off. This combined with ground-based logging machinery tracks and tires that tears ground cover, expose soil and create the perfect growing condition for broom to spread dramatically. The long-term cost of managing the broom will be an ongoing expense for tax payers. 5) Council was told the salvage was necessary to reduce fire hazard. As a professional I don’t see the risk. Just get the branches on the ground. It is a lot cheaper than rebuilding a logging road.
Stoney Hill isn’t a commercial forest in a distant valley and should be treated with extreme care.
I believe at this time all logging should stop and a truly transparent study conducted.