The fight to prevent logging of this North Okanagan wilderness | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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The fight to prevent logging of this North Okanagan wilderness

View of Hullcar Valley and the Enderby Cliffs
Image Credit: Submitted/Cheri Saunders
October 08, 2020 - 1:00 PM

It’s been almost a decade coming but the logging of Mount Rose Swanson, west of Armstrong, is expected to go ahead this winter or spring.

That’s why outdoor recreation enthusiasts have started a Change.org petition that has attracted more than 1,000 signatures in just a few days.

“One of the awesome things about this mountain is the wide diversity in variety of trees and plants,” Cheri Saunders, one of the people behind the petition said in a text to iNFOnews.ca. “This area never really dries up. Even in August there is still water and it is still damp.

“If they log it, even if they do replant, it would be years until it is like this again and it would not have the same diversity.”

There is an existing parking lot and hiking trails at what some call Mount Rose Swanson Park. Although it does not appear to have official park status, it is highlighted on The Shuswap Trail website showing four to eight kilometres of trails.

The trails are also listed in hiking websites like alltrails.com and explorethemap.com.

View from the existing Rose Swanson Mountain trails.
View from the existing Rose Swanson Mountain trails.
Image Credit: Submitted/explorethemap.com

But that’s only a small, and heavily used, part of the mountain (named after the daughter of Overlanders Catherine and Augustus Shubert who homesteaded in the area in 1862).

“The actual Rose Swanson Park is often full, especially during the covid world we currently live in,” Saunders wrote on the petition site. “A lot of people now turn to the Crown land surrounding the park for their outdoor activities.”

She estimates that 32 hectares of that Crown land is destined for logging but has been unable to get detailed information.

When the logging issue first came to her attention in 2014 she was told there would be a community consultation process but that hasn’t happened and does not appear to be in the works.

The Ministry of Forests will not comment on logging plans because, during the election, communications officers only provide “health and public safety information, as well as statutory requirements.”

“It is a local treasure that is well used by the community,” Saunders wrote. “It should be saved and made available to the whole community to enjoy now and for many years to come.”

She visits the area four or five times a week, sometimes on horseback, sometimes with friends and her dogs.

“Over the last 7 months I have noticed there are more and more people going there on a daily (basis),” Saunders wrote. “It is one of the last areas where the community can go and escape the craziness of life and be able to social distance at the same time.”

If anything, the existing park/trail area should be expanded, she said.

Sign the petition here.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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