Cottonwood Lake is a popular recreation area near Nelson. Logging plans could include all the land shown here. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

RDCK negotiating with logging company about Cottonwood Lake

Nelson and nearby rural areas would borrow to purchase land from Nelson Land Corporation

The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) has been negotiating to buy land owned by Nelson Land Corporation that the company is currently logging near Cottonwood Lake, according to an RDCK director.

RDCK directors are concerned that the unregulated private land logging could drastically affect the landscape on the Highway 6 entrance to Nelson and reduce the recreational and aesthetic value of Cottonwood Lake Park, the Apex and Busk ski areas, and the rail trail.

“The cost [of the purchase] would be substantial,” said Hans Cunningham, who represents Area G, the rural area around Salmo.

But he declined to disclose the amount, which would have to be borrowed.

“It has to be approved first by all the members of the committee.”

By that he means his own area plus Area E (represented by Ramona Faust), Area F (represented by Tom Newell) and the municipalities of Salmo and Nelson.

“If they approve it, that will be a standing offer to the owner of the property and then we can progress,” Cunningham said. “If it gets logged we might as well pave over Cottonwood Park.”

Nelson Land Corporation owns several parcels on both sides of Highway 6 from the Giveout Creek area to beyond the Apex ski area, and the company has been logging there since the spring.

Private land logging in B.C. is not regulated by the province or anyone else.

The land to be harvested could include the forests around Cottonwood Lake (except the small area of the park on the northwest end of the lake) and the slope immediately adjacent to the Apex ski area, as well as all of the land in between on both sides of the highway.

Cunningham said the three rural areas would like to go ahead with purchasing the land and adding it to Cottonwood Lake Park, but it is contingent on agreement by the two municipalities, which would bear much of the cost of borrowing.

He said he expects the matter to come to Nelson and Salmo municipal councils very soon. These meetings would be in camera (not open to the public) because it is a confidential negotiation about the purchase of land.

Nelson’s city manager Kevin Cormack, Area E representative Ramona Faust, RDCK chair Aimee Watson, and Salmo mayor Diana Lockwood all declined to comment for this story. Nelson Land Corporation told the Star last summer that it never talks to the media about its projects.

In September, municipalities around the province endorsed a resolution brought to the annual conference of the Union of BC Municipalities by the RDCK asking the provincial government to regulate private land logging. The initiative was spurred partly by the logging at Cottonwood Lake.

Nelson Land Corporation, formed in the fall of 2017 by Mike Jenks and Bernie van Maren, bought the properties in December 2017. Jenks is known in the Kootenays and on Vancouver Island for buying up large tracts of private land, logging it, and then selling it, using several company names.

Sunshine Logging of Kaslo is the contractor hired by Nelson Land Corporation to carry out the logging.

Related:

• The logging plan no one wants to talk about

• RDCK wants province to regulate private land logging



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Police investigating man’s death in Winlaw

Foul play not established, but major crimes unit is investigating

From Fruitvale to Rossland, plenty to do this weekend

Grapevine: List of events in the Trail area for the week of May 23 to May 29

JL Crowe athletes headed to track and field championships

Seven students made the grade at the zone qualifiers in Cranbrook earlier this month

Rossland farmers’ market wilting, organizers hope to spur new growth

12-year-old market considered taking a year off, says manager

Arson the cause of East Trail house fire

RCMP Sgt. Mike Wicentowich says fires were intentionally set

600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

Tourism Minister announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

B.C. woman left ‘black and blue’ after being pushed off 40-foot cliff at lake

West Shore RCMP looking for witnesses as investigation continues

Grand Forks woman assaulted in home invasion

The incident took place Wednesday morning

Kootenay youth substance use trending downward: survey

A bi-annual survey distributed to regional schools shows that youth substance use is decreasing

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the southern Interior

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Most Read