As the latest controversy over logging in the Chapman Creek watershed nears the two-month mark, Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) officials are still waiting for a face-to-face meeting with the Minister of Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations.
AJB Investments started logging a block of private managed forest it owns in the area north of the airport in early February. The group Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) threw up a blockade within days.
SCRD chair and Area B director Garry Nohr had been hoping to meet Minister Steve Thomson during a trip to Victoria this week, but it couldn’t be arranged. Nohr told Coast Reporter he’s now hoping for a meeting “in the next week or so.”
ELF, meanwhile, continues to pressure the SCRD to buy the land from AJB.
In a recent email to Nohr, copied to Coast Reporter, ELF’s Hans Penner restated the group’s position. “The private property has to be acquired by the SCRD, as was done in Vancouver and Victoria. … Please confirm that the SCRD is actively engaged in negotiations with AJB to purchase the private property,” the email said.
Nohr said, based on details from the last sale of those lands, it could cost around $7 million. And he said AJB is waiting to hear the outcome of the SCRD’s discussions with the minister before talking about other possibilities.
“Our discussion [with the minister] will be on the possibility of a land swap. … How far we’ll get I don’t know,” Nohr said.
ELF’s blockade now consists of two people who are camping at the site 24/7, with supporters bringing food, water, and firewood to the site.