Directors at the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) have voted to add comments from the SCRD’s five advisory planning commissions (APCs) and the Roberts Creek Official Community Plan Committee to their submission on the latest BC Timbers Sales (BCTS) operations plan for the area.
The SCRD has already sent comments to BCTS outlining the board’s opposition to logging a cutblock known as A91376 located on District Lot 1313 in Elphinstone, which is seen as a potential park. The board also said it doesn’t support logging in community watersheds or logging within the 1,500-hectare zone identified in the Roberts Creek Official Community Plan as an area that should be protected.
According to a staff report presented to SCRD directors on May 25, “APC and OCPC comments pertained to protecting environmental values and biodiversity, protecting recreational values, the determination of the Annual Allowable Cut, best management practices for logging in community watersheds, and open-minded face-to-face meetings to enhance community consultation… Education and awareness could help further dialogue at the community level.”
The Roberts Creek OCPC also had specific feedback about the 1,500-hectare area on the slope of Mt. Elphinstone.
“Our OCP notes that 30 per cent of Roberts Creek residences use well water and changes in upland forest harvesting ... affect the movement of water and the aquifers that support the wells,” it said. “RC OCPC strongly advises against the planned logging of the 1,500 hectares in Roberts Creek. We ask that it be protected as a recreation and ecological area that is of significant importance to members of the community.”
Roberts Creek director Mark Lebbell said he was disappointed that the SCRD’s Natural Resources Advisory Committee wasn’t able to weigh in before the deadline to make submissions to BCTS.
“The referral out to APCs and the OCPC are a new level of engagement,” he said. “I appreciate staff’s efforts … to work cooperatively with BCTS to identify for communication and community consultation.”