The Conservancy has written to BC Timber Sales, expressing concern over the way that they are providing information to the Bowen Island community, and pointing out that Bowen Island is not suitable for an industrial-scale timber harvesting initiative. We have requested that they remove the island from the list of potential timber harvesting areas in the FSP.
We have backed up our request by pointing out the following:
- Bowen Island is a small island, with populated areas adjacent to every block of Crown Land
- It is located within the Islands Trust area, which was established to preserve and protect the area and its unique amenities and environment for the benefit of residents of the area and of the province generally
- The community has just completed an extensive and expensive process that defined its brand, which centres on the island’s peacefulness and unspoiled natural environment, as well as its suitability as a get-away from Vancouver and other parts of the Lower Mainland
- Bowen Island has an extensive and heavily-used trail network that extends through the Crown Lands, used by residents and visitors from elsewhere
- Many of the parcels which are proposed for BCTS development purposes include important water-supply watersheds for residential areas. Impacts of logging on water availability and quality are likely
- At least two of the parcels are adjacent to Nature Reserves owned by the Islands Trust Fund. The idea of logging operations taking place a short distance from these reserves is disquieting
- The impact of logging operations on wildlife will be magnified on Bowen Island since the Island is small and is relatively urbanized: there is nowhere else for wildlife to go
- Ferry congestion resulting from logging trucks and other vehicles used in logging operations will interfere with commuters, as well as the ferry schedule
- The impact of logging operations on Bowen Island’s tourism economy, which attracts visitors not only from the Lower Mainland but elsewhere in BC and farther afield is likely to be significant
The cumulative effects of any logging operations, therefore, will be too much for Bowen Island, and will also have a negative impact on all British Columbians.