Credit: Photo Contributed

Credit: Photo Contributed

Peachland residents concerned with logging

Concerns expressed by residents included the impact on wildlife habitat

Peachland residents are concerned with the impact logging will have on the recreational trails near Spring Lake.

Twenty-two Peachland residents walked the recreational trails to Spring Lake while listening to Westbank First Nation foresters discuss their logging plans for what longtime residents and outdoor enthusiasts call the park.

Concerns expressed by residents included the impact on wildlife habitat that is already in serious decline. The area is home to endangered species including the yellow badger, Lewis’s woodpecker and mountain cottontail, according to a Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance release.

The Spring Lake area is one of the highest wintering moose densities in the Okanagan, who require mature forest canopy for thermal cover and to mitigate heavy snow levels, said the release. Clear-cut logging and more roads may also result in more predator/prey interactions, said the release.

WFN is currently in the stakeholder input stage this year, with permits granted and logging commencing in 2018.

Residents learned Peachland already has the highest watershed road densities in B.C., which has a negative impact on wildlife and water quality. Increased access by logging companies will lead to a major increase in unregulated harvest of moose and deer, according to the release.

The WFN foresters said that they propose to clear cut the area consisting of Douglas fir and Lodgepole pine in small blocks of three hectares in size, and that they are developing a songbird protocol that includes preserving some of the deciduous trees, according to the release.