Sustainability the key to local forestry



Sustainability is key for the local industry - and a must for the family-owned business that has logged the area for more than 60 years.

There’s no getting around the fact that tree stumps look less appealing than a healthy forest.

But Trail made a lot of green from Violin Lake logs last year, so it’s unlikely the city will cut future financial gain through forestry.

Sustainability is key for the local industry – and a must for the family-owned business that has logged the area for more than 60 years.

“The timber that is harvested supports many hundreds of direct and indirect jobs in our communities,” says Mark Semeniuk, ATCO Wood Product‘s chief operating officer. “And ultimately becomes a myriad of products that can be found in our homes and in lumber stores around the world.”

Recognizing that everyday decisions directly affect the health and future of forests, ATCO has been certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) since 2006.

The Fruitvale-based company remains committed to environmental stewardship and responsible forestry on both crown and private lands– because after all, they also live, work and play here.

With aggressive and successful silviculture, otherwise known as sustainable forestry management, the city lands will support a healthy stand of trees in 30 years, much like the reforested hectares that ATCO logged in the early 2000s.

While a newly harvested site looks less appealing than a healthy green forest, Semeniuk maintains that stage is a necessary part of the renewal process.

“We are proud of our efforts to minimize the negative aspects of the harvesting process,” he said.

“And the ultimate results of a healthy, diverse new forest only a few years after harvest.”

The company was recently certified for another five years under the voluntary SFI program, which uses guiding principles of sustainable forestry to enhance the link between healthy forests, responsible purchasing and sustainable communities.

Every five years SFI standards are revised to update forest research data and to address emerging issues such as conservation of specific species, water protection and the minimization of chemical use.

Biodiversity and sustainability has long been part of ATCO’s practises, noted Semeniuk. “Forestry activities that local mills conduct, including ATCO, are important pieces of the social and economic health of our region,” he continued. “As such ATCO has a vested interest in long term health and sustainability.”

While the SFI certification only applies to Crown land, the company incorporates the same standards of practise to City of Trail private lands.

Forest planning and harvest management practises include training to identify potential species at risk, Semeniuk said.

Rather than replanting only one or two species on City of Trail property, ATCO plans to plant six varietals, including Douglas Fir, Englemann Spruce, Western Red Cedar, and Western White Pine.

“This will allow for a vibrant new forest consisting of the “Kootenay Mix” of species that has historically grown on these lands,” he added.

By the end of the current logging project, up to 75-hectares of land will be clear cut logged, said Gus Young, ATCO’s woodlands manager. “We have left wildlife tree patches (reserve areas) throughout these clear cut areas,” he explained. “We also plan to do a light selective cut on another 15 to 20 hectares.”

Keeping with SFI principles of prompt reforestation, most of the logged areas are slated to be replanted with multiple conifer species in May, he added.

The SFI is a non-profit organization, governed by a board of directors, that covers 100 million hectares from Canada’s boreal forest to south of the international border.

Total revenue from Violin Lake logging by the end of 2014 was $735,000 said David Perehudoff, Trail’s chief administrative officer. Some of the money was used to pay for the second phase of downtown revitalization, he noted, adding that the remainder would most likely remain in surplus for future capital projects.

Just Posted

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

South Slocan’s Ti Loran is among the recipients of this year’s Neil Muth Memorial Scholarship. Photo: Submitted
Neil Muth Memorial Scholarships awarded to 4 students

Students in Creston, South Slocan and Revelstoke are sharing the honour

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

A wildfire near Cottonwood Lake was put out by Nelson firefighters Sunday night. Photo: Submitted
Wildfire extinguished near Cottonwood Lake

Lightning-caused fire was near one of Nelson’s water sources

West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline
Central Mountain Air leaving Castlegar airport in July

The airline says market can’t handle two airlines

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Most Read