Province pauses controversial Rose Swanson logging plan in North Okanagan | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Province pauses controversial Rose Swanson logging plan in North Okanagan

The provincial government has put a hold on its controversial plan to log areas of the popular Rose Swanson Mountain area in the North Okanagan. The province said it will be putting a pause on the timber sale development at Rose Swanson in Spallumcheen while it refines its forest stewardship plan.
February 09, 2021 - 11:47 AM

The provincial government has put a hold on its controversial plan to log areas of the popular Rose Swanson Mountain area in the North Okanagan.

The province said it will be putting a pause on the timber sale development at Rose Swanson while it refines its forest stewardship plan.

The province gives no indication of how long the logging project will be stalled but said the forest stewardship plan will be amended to "incorporate revised results and strategies."

The province's move to log areas of the popular Spallumcheen hiking area was met with fierce opposition, and an online petition to stop the logging quickly garnered plenty of support. To date, almost 24,000 have signed the petition.

The 700-hectare Rose Swanson Mountain Recreation Area was designated by the province as a recreation area in 1967 has been a popular outdoor destination for decades.

Township of Spallumcheen mayor Christine Fraser criticized the province telling iNFOnews.ca last month that the community had not been consulted about the logging plan.

The Township then wrote to the province Feb. 1, requesting that before any logging of the area took place it required that extensive community consultation, environmental studies, long-term impacts, and "clearly outlined harvesting plans."

It appears the province paid attention.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development said in an email that consultation with the public and First Nations will be undertaken.

"(The Ministry) will continue to consider information from communities and interested parties while the forest planning process is underway," the ministry said.

The mayor previously said that it wasn't that everyone in the community was opposed to the logging, but that the community wanted a clear plan about what was being proposed and what protections would be in place for Rose Swanson Mountain.

The province had said that consultations about the logging started in 2014 with First Nations and stakeholders, as well as adjacent private landowners.

The province's initial plan was to log roughly 28 hectares at the site, which is around four per cent of the total land. The logging would be broken down into 10 blocks ranging in size from half a hectare to 7.5 hectares. It had been due to start at the beginning of next winter and be completed by the end of the season.


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