A government agency insists it won’t abandon logging plans despite protests in Cherryville.
Road construction contractors backed off initiating work Thursday after they were met by about 55 people opposed to the project on Cherry Ridge.
“Flat-out no,” said Colin Johnston, B.C. Timber Sales woodlands supervisor, when asked if the agency may completely scrap logging because of the protesters who claim logging could cause landslides.
“It’s not in the interest of BCTS to do that.”
However, the prospect of further public demonstrations has BCTS reviewing its next steps.
“It will take us a few days to review the options and decide where to go. There are lots of options to consider,” said Johnston.
One possibility is possibly sitting down with Cherryville residents to find some middle ground on the issue.
“If we can see a pathway that makes sense and meets both sides’ objectives, we’d be willing to go there. Communication is the best option,” said Johnston.
However, residents have accused BCTS of not consulting with them fully and proceeding with the road although the Regional District of North Okanagan is looking at proceeding with a risk assessment of the slope.
“We want to get a hold of (MLA) Eric Foster and if he’s heard from the forests minister yet. I hope they hold off on the road until we do the study,” said Eugene Foisy, RDNO director for Cherryville.
“There’s no point spending tax money on a study if they’re going ahead with it (road) any how.”
BCTS has stated that there has been dialogue with the community and Cherry Ridge has long been identified as a working forest.