Open letter to Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
As a property owner on Gambier Island, I was shocked to learn of impending plans to open two new woodlots on Gambier, which would mean nearly half of the island's Crown lands and one quarter of the entire island will be subjected to clear-cut logging. Please stop this process now, and reconsider. It is difficult to understand why your department would embark on such an initiative without public consultation and with an apparent disregard for community values. Instead, wouldn't it be more appropriate to consider alternative, off-island locations where logging would better benefit the local communities, integrate well with local planning initiatives and have less relative impact on pristine wilderness?
These woodlots would encircle Gambier Lake, where popular primitive campsites are nestled amid a relatively undisturbed and ecologically sensitive area. This is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The lakeside campsite is located right inside one of the newly designated woodlots. Clear-cut logging of the old growth along the hillsides adjacent to the lake would destroy the lake's wilderness setting, which attracts so many people to the lake. Howe Sound is renowned for its spectacular scenery and is a recreational playground for the residents of the Lower Mainland and the Sunshine Coast. Does our Ministry truly intend to pursue a plan that would clear-cut areas in the middle of this scenic fjord?
For the sake of the island's precious wildlife, the flourishing recreation and tourist industry, local property owners, film producers and the province at large, I urge you to put an end to this destructive plan to expand logging on Gambier Island. I understand that the Gambier Island Conservancy opposes these woodlots, so I would like to see you meet with them as soon as possible to resolve this issue.
Peter Scholefield, West Vancouver