Activists call for an end to logging ventures

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MAPLE RIDGE, B.C. — Environmentalists are asking Maple Ridge City Council to join them in trying to halt logging in the Blue Mountain area of B.C.

A group of concerned residents, headed by Green Party candidate Mike Gildersleeve, contends there should be a moratorium on logging the area’s three woodlots so a land use and resource management plan can be developed.

The B.C. Institute of Technology runs the woodlots in question, along with the University of B.C.’s Research Forest project. There is also a tree removal proposal near Alouette Lake that is under the scorn of residents.

“This is one of the larger undeveloped areas of Maple Ridge and we see this as crucial to now address the land use issues,” Gildersleeve told council. “We’re hoping through a community round table that we could come up with a better end result and really consider the whole area.

But Chilliwack forest district operations manager, Steve Demelt, says that woodlot licence holders are required to prove they can adequately manage the resource responsibly. They must submit management and development plans that indicate the area will not be mishandled.

“This is really very low impact and mild,” Demelt says of the planned logging activities. “They are respected ways of cutting that have been proven over time to be fine. We’re well within the forest practices code.”

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