While they would like to do some work on the 100 Mile House Community Forest ridge above Centennial Park, they’re not entirely sure yet what that will look like, says Bill Hadden who’s with the Community Forest.
They’re still in the planning phases and are working with the Ministry of Forests and the Ministry of Environment, he says, adding that they are hoping to have boots on the ground in May or June.
He’s not sure that’s feasible.
“Most of what we’re talking about doing hasn’t really been done before,” he says. “We’re going into uncharted areas.”
The agencies are working together on what can be done, says Hadden.
“There’s a couple of things up there. There’s some older snowpress. There’s still some residual pieces of pine, mountain pine beetle-killed pine. There’s some red and green attack douglas fir bark beetle trees,” he says. “On the east end of the ridge towards Doman Road there’s some minor blowdown blocks. That’s what’s there for pathogens.”
A lot of the ridge closest to 100 Mile House, however, is covered off as an Old Growth Management Area (OGMA), he says.
“OGMAs are very difficult to do anything in.”
The other thing that’s up there is mule deer winter range which is also very constrained in the species that can be harvested.
“There’s a very minimal chance there’s going to be any clear cutting going on up there.”
People will have to be patient on finding out what will happen because of all the restrictions, says Hadden.
There are a few areas on the ridge that aren’t restricted where they will be going in and doing some work, but they’re going to be quite small with the largest block currently sitting at seven hectares, according to Hadden.
“We’re also developing some beetle management blocks and some fir blow down blocks along Highway 24 between Highway 97 and Lone Butte and we’ve got some small blowdown blocks along Horse Lake Road and Highway 24 in what we call the southeast corner of the community forest and we’ve identified some blocks out in the Doman Road area. These will be specifically to deal with some blowdown and minor bark beetle issues,” he says. “You’re only talking a block of three hectares.”
Finally, they’re also working on some fuel management and fire break planning, says Hadden.
“The fuel management portion of it we have funding applications in to [the] Forest Enhancement Society.”
The FES funding applications are for planning and prescription at this point, which they won’t hear back from until late February or early March, he says
“People are going to have to be a bit patient.”