It’s increasingly obvious that one branch of the provincial government is not interested in community input.
B.C. Timber Sales is moving ahead with a contract for road construction on Cherry Ridge although residents of Cherryville have frequently expressed concerns that possible clearcut logging on a steep slope could lead to a landslide and threaten homes and community facilities in the valley bottom.
“Hanson Park is right at the edge of the creek as is the school and community hall,” said director Eugene Foisy.
Discussions have been held and requests have been made by the community, but BCTS continues to proceed with its plans.
With the clock ticking before a road work contract is issued, the Regional District of North Okanagan is trying to step up the pressure.
Regional politicians are demanding BCTS not issue a contract until there is a risk assessment done on Cherry Creek in Cherryville. It’s a more than reasonable request.
Frustrated with the apparent rapid-fire pace of the BCTS process, Cherryville residents will hold a protest at Hanson Park today at 4 p.m.
“It’s a safety issue for residents,” said Foisy.
And Cherryville residents aren’t being alarmist as there have been previous slides on Cherry Ridge and four people were killed during a slide in the Kootenays in 2012. There needs to be a go-slow approach to determine if BCTS’ plans are valid or if logging should be done selectively as a way of protecting the slope and the environment.
Ultimately, BCTS officials must remember, that as part of the government, they are answerable to the public.