The following list contains a number of items that the Kimberley Nature Park Society needs to see in the logging plan for the Park. However, more important than all of the mapping and prescriptive details that make up a logging plan, is an understanding and a commitment by all parties involved in the logging that this is a Nature Park . The intent of the logging is to reduce the fire risk to the town while preserving the aesthetic, recreational and ecological values of the area. Without this understanding and commitment the area will not be logged successfully and the incredible values of the Park to the community will be seriously damaged
We have recently learned that Tembec, as part of its certification by the Forest Stewardship Council, has designated much of the Park and Horsebarn Valley as a High Conservation Value Forest . This designation will require Tembec to develop a management plan for the area in consultation with the City and Nature Park Society. We look forward to working with Tembec to develop long term strategies for the area which address the wide range of values and issues in the Park.
1. MOU - Some of the following items can be written into the logging prescription and drawn on the logging map. Others may need to be dealt with in a written Memorandum of Understanding, similar to the one proposed for the Kimberley Nordic Trails. We would like a commitment from Tembec that no road building or logging will occur until the KNPS and City of Kimberley sign an MOU.
2. Leave tree density - We would like to see more trees left in the “managed forest” unit. The current plan calls for a long term goal of up to 1000 stems per hectare, but proposes that the logging remove all but 200 stems per hectare and we wait 80 years for the rest to grow back. We would like to explore some options for leaving more trees in the Park. These options might include lodgepole pine only removal or leaving 600 stems per hectare.
3. Diameter Limits - In order to meet the leave tree density goals, the current plan calls for the larger trees to be left and the smaller trees to be logged. The general diameter limits for trees to be logged are 30 cm. at the stump for Douglas fir and 25 cm. for western larch. We support these limits as a general rule but believe that trees somewhat smaller than these limits must be left if necessary to meet leave tree density goals and to provide buffers to trails. The current plan calls for the preservation of any tree over 50 cm. in diameter and we would like this lowered to 40 cm. We assume that skid trails must therefore avoid such trees.
4. Trail Buffers - In order to protect the trail network we need a 60 metre wide shade and aesthetic buffer along all trails. (30 metres each side) Before logging begins this buffer, which will be a new Standards Unit (SU 6) must be flagged in the field. Nature Park volunteers would be available to help do the layout and flagging.
5. Winter Logging - To reduce soil disturbance, ground cover damage, trail damage, noxious weed spread and conifer regeneration, we want all the logging done in the winter on snow and frozen ground.
6. Machine Free Zones - Most of the trails that are not going to be used for skidding have been flagged as no machine zones. There are one or two smaller paths that have not been flagged and must be. On the Nordic Trails these zones were fairly ineffective in preventing damage to trails, as machines crossed them everywhere. Logging in the winter on frozen ground will help protect the trails, but in sensitive areas we should also designate and flag trail crossing sites.
7. Landings- The original plan avoided the construction of landings in the Park but we have been told by Tembec that, for economic reasons, landings are now necessary. The number and location of landings has not been specified pending the outcome of discussions on Williamson Sapsucker habitat. The Nature Park Society membership is not prepared to accept landings in the Park.
8. Dwarf Mistletoe - We understand that Tembec may be required by provincial regulation to remove trees infested with dwarf mistletoe. Since the Nature Park is not primarily about timber production and dwarf mistletoe is an interesting and important part of the forest ecology we may need to retain these trees in areas where they are needed to buffer trails or achieve our target leave tree densities. If this requires a special dispensation from the Ministry of Forests it should be applied for in advance.
9. Haul and Skid Roads - The number and placement of roads can have a huge impact on trails, soils, drainage and Park aesthetics. We need to discuss the placement of haul roads and ensure that the upgrading of existing roads does not disrupt the Park any more than necessary. In general we would like to see the length and number of skid trails minimized. Skid trails should be built on old mining and logging roads wherever possible. We would like an opportunity to review skid trail locations in the field, prior to their construction.
10. Selection of Logging Contractor - Tembec has told us that we can have input into which company does the logging in the Park but that it must be one of the contractors they normally use. We currently doing some research on this issue and will have a recommendation for Tembec before the logging begins.
11. Reclamation of Disturbed Areas – We would like to see any disturbed areas, such as skid trails, recontoured and planted with a seed mix appropriate for the site.
12. Access Control – The plan does not deal with access control. The upgraded main haul road in from Matthew Creek will need to be gated and side of gate trenched to prevent motorized access into the Park. All upgraded access points, if not required after the logging, should be deactivated to prevent motorized access into the Park. 13. Snags – We will work with Tembec to identify important standing dead trees in the areas to be logged and try to preserve them. This may require Tembec to apply for a variance from Worksafe B.C.
14. Replanting and Stocking Standards – There is general agreement by all parties that the legally mandated stocking standards will result in too dense a forest for an interface area on the edge of town. We would support an application by Tembec for a variance in the stocking standards to avoid this problem.
15.Timing of Logging – While the Nature Park Society has no interest in delaying the thinning of the Park we do not want to proceed with roadbuilding and logging until an acceptable plan is in place and the Memorandum of Understanding signed by all parties. The optimum scenario would be to build and upgrade roads in the summer and log on frozen ground in the winter. It is now too late to start this work, this year. We will work with Tembec to resolve all outstanding issues so that road building can begin in the summer or fall of 2007.