Logging in Skidegate Channel Damaged Viewscape
VICTORIA – A complaint about the visual impacts of logging on Haida Gwaii was upheld in a Forest Practices Board report released today. The logging in question took place in 2009 on the north side of Skidegate Channel, west of Queen Charlotte City, in a significant travel corridor for tourists, fishermen and residents of Haida Gwaii.
“In the Board’s opinion, a failure to meet government objectives for visual quality arose due to the licensee’s reliance on unsound professional assessments and refusal to engage in dialogue with government officials and forest professionals who expressed concerns on several occasions,’” said board chair Tim Ryan.
The Board found that professional visual impact assessments done for Teal Cedar Products Ltd. underestimated the degree of alteration to the viewscape. Even though staff of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Queen Charlotte City both raised concerns about the potential impacts of the logging before it took place, the company would not discuss the concerns nor reconsider the accuracy of the assessments before it proceeded to log.
The report also criticizes government for failing to take enforcement action against the licensee for not meeting legal requirements to protect visual quality.
The Forest Practices Board is B.C.’s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices, reporting its findings and recommendations directly to the public and government. The board investigates complaints about forest and range practices on public lands and the appropriateness of government enforcement. It can also make recommendations for improvement to practices and legislation.
More information can be obtained by contacting:
Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250 213-4705 / 1 800 994-5899
November 4, 2014