Riparian follow-up: Good News!

Determination from the Managed Forest Council (MFC), dated July 2015
This “determination” from the Managed Forest Council (MFC) is dated July 2015 – Click to read it on the MFC website.
Following up is good

In the course of searching for something else, I came across this determination published by the Managed Forest Council (MFC).

I knew some of the background already.

McGuffie Creek, 18 May 2015
McGuffie Creek, 18 May 2015 – Click to enlarge

The (now defunct) Pebble in the Pond Environmental Society had asked me to provide my impressions on the status of riparian areas in Lot 450 (on 16 May).

This I did (on 19 May).  You can read it here.

My impressions were that the riparian areas surrounding McGuffie, McFall and Wys Creek remained mostly intact.  By that time Pebble in the Pond had announced that they’d retained a lawyer, contacted the MFC, and that a “file had been opened”.

The investigative process

What I didn’t realize at the time was that a legal complaint had already been drafted and submitted  (on 14 May).  That letter stated, in part, that:

“Our client has further concerns that riparian values and fish habitat are also being unlawfully impacted, and our client has been advised by members of the local community that logging equipment has been crossing through streams without sufficient safeguards for water quality and fish habitat during harvesting”

This was (is?) news to me.

The result

In any event I’m greatly encouraged to report that MFC took the matter seriously.   Thus another registered professional biologist (RPBio) was employed to visit the site (on 15 June) to examine the aforementioned riparian areas and report his findings.  Based on that report, MFC determined that Island Timberlands had not contravened the Private Managed Forest Land Act or regulations.

We should all sleep better – though nary a tree was saved, the process worked.

Thank you Pebble !!! – Click to enlarge

The Hamilton & Associates report was thorough, professional, and in my estimation, accurate.   This fact notwithstanding,  I wonder what the cumulative costs of this “investigative process” were?  

I suspect they were substantial, including legal fees paid for via public donations, and administrative fees and a professional report commissioned by, and ultimately paid for, by MFC and PMFL landowners.

In retrospect… I think my effort had nicer photos…but he had way better maps…

Updated: 23 July 2016

Nibbling away at the ALR: Powell River style

“Lot 450 out of ALR”
Powell River Town Crier, 4 Jul 1994
– Click to enlarge
Math matters

Arithmetic took me back to the archives.  There I was surprised to find, among a pile of dusty newspapers, something that contradicted much of what I thought I knew about Lot 450.

As a relative newcomer to the community I’ve come to love, learning the following just…well, it just breaks my heart.

What arithmetic?   The issue was that I couldn’t make sense of a 2006 Powell River Peak story that mentioned, in passing, that 112 hectares had been excluded from the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) “10 years ago”…

Since it’s pretty hard to hide 112 hectares in an area the size of Powell River, I first imagined that the article must have been referring to the “old golf course” or the “lower section of Block 55”.  But those land parcels just weren’t the right size, so my numbers weren’t adding up.   So where on earth was it?

Turns out that it referred to that entire section of land where I spent so much time in May.  The very place where a group of brave souls faced down a feller-buncher.  The spot where some Powell Riverites gained national attention over the idea that maintaining some urban forest around might be a wise thing to do.  Simply put, what many know as “Lot 450” used to be part of the ALR.

This is old news, of course, but what happened in 1994 and later may provide some new context with which to understand current plans, which will have repercussions for lands that were initially cataloged to preserve farmland.

As they say, the devil is in the details…

A brief history of the ALR in Powell River

(Click on any image to start a full-screen slide show)

Those bird nests again

Clicking on this image will open a new browser tab, where you can explore the various bird species that nested there.
You can also see the harvested cutblocks in 2015, Island Timberlands’ harvest plan for the area, and see who owns which land parcels.

Here’s another look at those bird nests confirmed during the 2015 breeding season.

In total, n=32 nests and 14 species, including my personal favorite, that lovely Brown Creeper on 16 May…I’d never seen a nest of that species before!

Although I found most of the nests, records were also supplied by Guy Monty, Robert Colasanto and Christopher Heffley – Thank You!

Be the raven…and stay watchful...