Logging Near Habitat for Mountain Goats and Spotted Owl in the Chilliwack River Valley
This report is about a complaint from three residents of the Chilliwack River Valley who were concerned about logging near their subdivision close to Post Creek. One concern was about potential impacts of logging to the sensitive wildlife values in the area.
The area around Post Creek presents challenges for timber harvesting for several reasons: it is adjacent to a rural/residential community, it is close to a provincial park, it is down-slope from designated mountain goat winter range and it is within a designated habitat area for one of Canada’s most endangered species, the spotted owl. The licensee was aware of these challenges and knew the logging would cause public concerns.
Forest licensees in BC are not legally required to consult with the public for every cutblock they plan to harvest, but there are legal requirements for public consultation, which the Board considers to be a minimum. In this case, those legal minimums were actually exceeded; however, the Board has previously expressed the view that licensees should exercise judgment and provide meaningful public involvement tailored to local needs to maintain and build confidence in the management of BC’s forest resources. In the Board’s opinion, Post Creek was a situation that warranted more communication than was provided.