SCRD directors mull logging decisions

A letter from forests minister Doug Donaldson (“Province moves ahead with Clack Creek licence auction,” April 5) indicating that the Clack Creek Forest will be harvested and that Reed Road forest will remain off the auction list until a land use plan is developed, has proven a head scratcher for at least one director.

“I am in a state of confusion,” Elphinstone director Donna McMahon told the April 11 planning committee where the letter was part of the agenda package.

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The letter is the latest in a chain of correspondence between the SCRD and the province as the former works to save both forests from logging. A land use planning process initiated between shíshálh Nation and the province is underway, which is delaying a final decision on Reed Road Forest, also known as DL1313.

McMahon said the “legal situation” of the land on which Reed Road forest sits is still not clear.

“I do need to really understand what our next steps are in terms of securing the property.”

Chair Lori Pratt said she had a brief “face to face” with forestry minister Doug Donaldson recently, where he said he wants to continue conversations with the regional district.

Pratt said the letter and her brief meeting with Donaldson presented an opportunity for bridge building. “This letter effectively says SCRD and BCTS, work it out and let us know.”

Water consultations

The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) is considering whether to spend up to $20,000 on public engagement on the water situation.

When the board meets April 25 it will debate a motion put forward by Sechelt director Darnelda Siegers that was passed by the planning committee last week.

Seigers said she’s concerned that despite ongoing press coverage the public still isn’t aware of everything the SCRD is doing on the water file.

Resolutions move to provincial convention

Motions on climate change, logging and land use, and parking were introduced by Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) directors and endorsed at a local government convention last weekend.

Directors voted earlier this year to bring the resolutions to the annual Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC) convention, which this year was held in Powell River.

The resolution on climate change would see the provincial government declare a province-wide climate emergency, “in order to emphasize the critical imperative for immediate action and to assist with province-wide collaboration and coordination of resources that will support local government and communities.” This was the first time such a resolution was considered at an AVICC convention.

“It communicates to the public that we are not alone in dealing with this problem,” said Roberts Creek director Andreas Tize, who introduced the resolution. “Declaring an emergency will hopefully create an unprecedented level of cooperation between all levels of government.”

Resolutions endorsed by the AVICC move on to the Union of B.C. Municipalities, for consideration at its convention in September.

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