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Questions and concerns over proposed cutblocks near Vernon

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November 25, 2015 - 10:30 AM

VERNON - A proposed cutblock in the Coldstream area has the City of Vernon asking more questions.

The city received notice from B.C. Timber Sales in September regarding proposed cutblocks covering 261 acres within the BX Community Watershed, just east of Vernon in electoral area C. 

The area is located on Vernon Mountain and while the city has no policies or bylaws with an effect on the land, B.C. Timber Sales has asked that it forward any comments, questions or concerns as part of a referral process. The deadline to respond is Nov. 28.

A report from the city’s long range planning and sustainability department outlines several questions and concerns about the project, including impacts on the watershed, visual impact of the harvesting and what roads will be used to access the cutblocks.

In the report, city planner Rob Miles said the provincial office confirmed a hydrological assessment has been done for the watershed, but has yet to be shared with the city.

“(B.C. Timber Sales) has also confirmed that no environmental assessment is required as part of this cutblocks proposal,” Miles said.

Timber sales has also said work vehicles will access the cutblocks from the highway system through Coldstream, not through Vernon. No specific routes were provided.

Three of the four proposed cutblocks would face west toward the city, but the provincial forestry department has not yet confirmed the visual impact as seen from Vernon.

The city will be asking for a copy of the hydrological assessment, an explanation of why the project is exempt from requiring an environmental assessment, a visual impact analysis, and a detailed map of the proposed access routes.

When contacted on Tuesday, Nov. 24, electoral area C director Mike Macnabb said he was ‘in the dark’ about the project and hadn’t been made aware of the proposal.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infonews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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