It has been claimed by the local BC Timber sales office that due diligence was taken to identify competing community values but if so, they haven't weighed in too much. This may be because the decision comes out of Chilliwack, not Squamish. If it was Squamish no way in hell they'd not notice the monstrous parking problem from hikers flooding the Chief, or be totally unaware of the sea change caused by the new gondola.
At any rate, most cut blocks these guys OK don't cause conflict or compromise values so close to town, but these ones most certainly do. Their error in public consultation needs correcting. If you agree you all can do your part by voicing your displeasure and opposition with the Chilliwack office of BC Timber Sales
The proposed cut blocks are SW 103 and SW 144, located in the upper Olson Creek. They are just getting cruised now and the next move is to put them out to tender so we need to get on it now. FOSC and CAS are aware and I understand are organizing something but all voices are needed i'd say. No need yet for anything impolite but assertive would be good.
Thats a huge noticeable block of land to cut down Especially when you pair it with the cut block just east of it, I hope something gets better resolved as this is a great area I like to use to get away from the crowds....Plus the connector Squaw/Third Peak trail that meets with the S2S makes for great long loops trips using either the S2S or the Gondola for access.
Thanks for the info!!!
One of the arguments made in favor of the Gondola, by its’ proponents (and some prominent climbers) was that the advent of the Gondola would prevent any further logging in the areas above the Chief.
This would seem to be a good opportunity for them to act on their words.
"Dear Mike Teschke:
Thank you for your email of June 18, 2014, regarding BC Timber Sales (BCTS) Proposed Development in Olsen Creek Drainage - Block SW144 and expressing your concerns. I agree with you and understand the importance of this area for the rock climbing community. On January 7, 2014, BCTS Operating Plan #14 for Squamish Forest District which include block SW144 was information shared with First Nations and stakeholders which include local governments (Municipalities and SLRD), licensees, Recreation Sites and Trails staff, Sea-to Sky Gondola, Squamish Off-Road Cycling Association (SORCA), and Squamish Dirt Bike Association (SDBA). BCTS and the representatives of the Canadian Access Society (CAS) and the Squamish Access Society (SAS) met on June 23, 2014 to discuss options to manage trails and reduce visual impact in the area of SW144 (block SW103 is part of revised shape of block SW144).
BCTS committed that staff will explore options to mitigate the impacts on trails and visuals and present layout options to CAS and SAS at a meeting in mid July. When the final shape of the block is determined, BCTS will work with SAS and CAS to establish safety requirements for timing of operations in the block and on the access roads to the block and appropriate signage warning of operations on roads and in the block. BCTS will not proceed with the sale of this block until at least February 2015. Once the block is harvested, it will be promptly reforested. We will plant a combination of Douglas-fir and western red cedar seedlings. The standing western hemlock trees along the block boundary and within the retention patches will provide seed for natural regeneration as well.
It is important for all us to address all concerns or comments in a coordinated fashion, we have requested SAS to keep other members of the climbing community informed that CAS and SAS are engaged in discussion with BCTS regarding proposed development of Block 144 in Olsen Creek Drainage.
If you have any questions regarding this development or any other BCTS works, please contact me at..."
I cut the contact details off the end of the message, if anyone wants to specifically contact the Planning Forrester who sent me this, PM me and I'll pass that along.
Can anyone from the CASBC and/or SAS post up about these discussions? There is currently no mention on the websites of these organizations.Mike Teschke wrote: BCTS and the representatives of the Canadian Access Society (CAS) and the Squamish Access Society (SAS) met on June 23, 2014 to discuss options to manage trails and reduce visual impact in the area of SW144 (block SW103 is part of revised shape of block SW144).
First of all there was clearly a failure to contact stakeholders by BCTS when they did the "public consultation phase" at the beginning of the year. No climbing or hiking groups were contacted at that time. SAS first found out that something was up a few weeks ago when the flagging tape was noticed. Any effort to meet with these groups has been last minute, and after the project has been approved.
SAS and CASBC met with representatives from BCTS on June 23 to try and get some info on the proposed cut block. The long and the short of it is that BCTS says that most of this area will be logged next spring barring directives from above. BCTS has offered slight concessions like providing a treed buffer for some of the affected trails, and possibly removing more material from areas away from recreational assets and less from close by.
CASBC and SAS will meet BCTS again this month to see what these concessions actually amount to.
The Longhouse and the Catalin Wall are just outside of the block. Winter Heat and possibly the top of some parts of the Slahanie seem to be climbing areas directly in the block.
The "Visual Quality Objectives" were determined from the highway.
Unfortunately I've been sick the last week and didn't get around to posting this info on the SAS site yet. We will be looking for member input on how the community would like us to proceed.
Our MLA Jordan Sturdy was present at the opening day ceremony of the Gondola. Clearly, by his atendance he is indicating his support for the recent Gondola / Squamish Chief centered eco tourism inititive. Perhaps it is all image and no substance, but if it is substance I think a little prod in his direction wouldn't hurt. Is that what they are hinting at about "Word from above"?
Squamish council needs to make an opinion on this as well. One way or another, some re-evaluation needs doing.
I emailed the local planner for the Ministry of Forests (thanks, Mike T.) and received a nearly identical response to the one Mike posted higher up (claiming that they are involving groups like the SAS and are doing everything possible to mitigate impacts, etc.).
I cc'd MLA Sturdy, Mayor and council of Squamish and S2S Gondola. Hopefully if enough politicians hear enough objections, the decision will be reconsidered. But it kind of sounds like another done deal.
If we, as a community, can raise enough awareness and let the government know we oppose these plans then we can make a difference. If we do not, then we have no one else to blame but ourselves. So, I ask these questions….
Why do you climb? Is climbing only about movement and the physical/mental challenge of ascending a piece of rock? Are you only interested in being able to access a climb? (If yes, then you won't mind walking through cut-block to get to your crag).…...Or, do the surroundings influence your climbing experience? Do you use the network of trails in the area and take in views at the top of the pitch? Do you hike or run the trails on rest days? If so, I urge you to share the links below and start writing.
This is not just a local appeal. For those that visit Squamish and want to continue to enjoy the trails and view points please write also. The area where the logging is planned will impact your experience. As a tourist, your opinion is valuable as Squamish is promoting itself as tourist destination.
The areas in red are rough projections of the areas surveyed for logging.
Tony's Lookout - What a special view of the chief and sound:) The new Gondola line looks up the valley toward this lookout which is in the middle of the surveyed area to be logged.
For more info.
http://globalnews.ca/video/1433696/squa ... g-concerns
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... f01a6418dc
I hope you find the time to write.
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