Nakusp and Area Community Forest intends to do selective logging on Box Mountain as part of wildfire mitigation work. Photo: Nakusp and Area Community Forest

Nakusp and Area Community Forest intends to do selective logging on Box Mountain as part of wildfire mitigation work. Photo: Nakusp and Area Community Forest

Nakusp community forest answers citizen concerns about wildfire mitigation

Residents of Box Mountain watershed are concerned about planned selective logging

A group of property owners in the Nakusp area is concerned about plans by the Nakusp and Area Community Forest (NACFOR) to log part of their watershed as part of wildlife mitigation work.

Protectors of Box Mountain Watershed says logging will threaten the water source of up to 177 residents.

“We’re not going to let this happen, because we have water issues already where we live,” said spokesperson Ed Evans.

Frances Swan, project manager at NACFOR, told the Nelson Star that some timber harvesting was always a possibility under the 2018 Nakusp Community Wildfire Protection Plan.

The goal is to selectively log parts of the mountain to “open up the stand, open up the crowns to reduce the likelihood of a crown fire,” she said, adding that 50 per cent of the trees would be retained, and that fuel mitigation work – limbing, clearing undergrowth and deadfall, all done by hand – would follow.

Swan said NACFOR plans to have a meeting with anyone directly affected by water or industrial traffic issues early in the summer, after it has completed hydrological studies. She said this consultation has always been part of the plan.

“We are intending to consult and hopefully do a field tour at some point get out on the landscape with residents that could potentially be impacted by this project by this activity,” she said.

That tour is one of many things that still need to be done before any logging might take place, including applying for and receiving a forest licence contract to do the cutting, Swan said.

Evans also suggested that the planned logging is a commercial venture disguised as fuel mitigation.

Swan says there will be no profit from the logging. The proceeds will partially pay for the hand treatments in the fuel mitigation work that would happen later.

Evans, arguing that wildfire mitigation work is not necessary, described the area as a “premature old growth forest … on a north side. There’s very big trees there. And there’s natural spacing, lots of limbs are very high up.”

Evans’s group recently invited UBC forestry professor Suzanne Simard to inspect the forest, which she did on May 25. Simard’s letter to the group, which she describes as “preliminary observations,” describes the forest and states that “the lack of understory, north aspect and presence of multiple ephemeral streams together indicate the site is at low risk of fire.”

Swan said she did not want to refute Simard, acknowledging that she is a highly respected forester.

“But we’ve done a lot of work in there,” Swan said. “We did 80 plots there, we’ve covered that mountainside really thoroughly, we’ve collected a lot of data. And we have a pretty good idea of what that forest looks like.

“And there are certainly areas that have old trees, there are areas that are more mossy, but there are also areas that have a higher risk as there is way more blowdown. There’s other issues in those areas.”

There are two of other reasons why this work is not likely to happen any time soon, according to Swan.

The first is road access. NACFOR still has to negotiate a route through a rural residential area and it is unknown how long this will take.

Second, there is no funding for the fuel mitigation work that would follow the selective logging. Funding for such work usually comes from the provincial government, and none has yet been approved. Swan said without funding for the fuel treatment work, the logging will probably not proceed either because NACFOR wants the two stages to proceed in tandem.

Related: Box Mountain residents rally to protect their water

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter



Just Posted

Waneta Manor is located on Laburnum Drive in Trail. Photo: Sheri Regnier
Senior dies as Trail tenants continue wait for broken elevator to be fixed

The elevator in Waneta Manor has been out of commission since February

Area A Director Ali Grieve (right), Village of Fruitvale Mayor Steve Morissette (front), and Village of Montrose Mayor Mike Walsh (left) held a congratulatory ceremony for Beaver Valley students who are part of the Class of 2021 graduates of J. L. Crowe Secondary at Beaver Creek Park on Thursday. Photo: Jim Bailey
Beaver Valley Grads of 2021

Beaver Valley mayors, RDKB Area A director celebrate their 2021 graduates with gift ceremony

Adrian Moyls is the Selkirk College Class of 2021 valedictorian and graduate of the School of Health and Human Services. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College valedictorian proves mettle in accomplishment

Adrian Moyls is a graduate of the School of Health and Human Services

A volunteer delivers food to families as part of a West Kootenay EcoSociety program. Photo: Submitted
Farms to Friends delivers 2,500th bag of food to families in need

The program services communities in the Nelson, Trail and Castlegar areas

Selkirk College has begun its search in earnest for a leader to replace president Angus Graeme who is set to retire from his position in May 2022. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College seeks community input for president search

Current president Angus Graeme retires next year

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Most Read