ELF ‘shocked’ BCTS proceeded with Clack Creek auction

BC Timber Sales (BCTS) has awarded cutting rights in the Clack Creek area cutblock known as A93884 to a Squamish-based logging company.

The auction closed on April 30, according to BCTS, with Black Mount Logging securing the rights to remove roughly 29,500 cubic metres of timber.

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In a May 14 press release, Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) said that with its court challenge of the auction still in progress, the auction should not have gone ahead.

“We’re shocked that with all of the available information before BCTS on the importance of the Clack Creek Forest to our region that the NDP government would proceed to issue a contract on it,” said ELF’s Ross Muirhead. “We remain hopeful that a Court will rule that the reasonable action to take is to defer the block until the Elphinstone Land Use Plan is completed between government and the shíshálh First Nation.”

In the petition filed with BC Supreme Court in Victoria April 23, ELF argued that plans to harvest timber from the block should not move forward until the government acts on recommendations from a 2018 Forest Practices Board report on at-risk plant species, and the province and shíshálh Nation complete a new land use plan.

BCTS has not yet filed a response to the petition, but ELF said they were told through a government lawyer that Black Mount Logging doesn’t plan to begin any cutting until September or later.

“There is ample information available to BC Timber Sales regarding the value of this forest and the availability of other timber outside the proposed park expansion area,” said Matthew Nefstead, ELF’s lawyer in the case.

“This block did not need to be listed for sale now, and we are asking the court to overturn that decision. BCTS should have realized that there are other stakeholders in this critical land use decision and made every attempt to ensure that it would not be logged to allow a transparent process to unfold.”

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