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The basalt rock at Loggers Lake may not be removed.

The basalt rock at Loggers Lake may not be removed. Andy Russell, the man who applied for a permit to remove basalt from the Loggers Lake area in the Whistler Interpretive Forest, says he is investigating alternative sites after opposition from the Whistler community. "I’m just looking for rock, I’m not trying to ruin neighbourhoods," Russell said this week. "I’m not there to create problems. I’m sensitive to the concerns of the local community," he added. Russell had sought a permit to remove up to 200 tons of basalt annually from the volcanic cone that forms part of Loggers Lake and is a key feature in the recreation area. Under the Mines Act, there was no reason he would be denied the permit, even though the Ministry of Forests has invested more than $1.5 million in the interpretive park over the last nine years to make it a tourist attraction and recreational area. However, Russell would have required a permit from the Forest Service to haul material over the Forestry road. Russell had begun sorting the material at the Loggers Lake parking lot last month. But after meeting with local officials and representatives from the Forestry and Mining ministries Russell says he has agreed to get his basalt from another site. "After our on-site meeting, and I became aware of the sensitivity of the site, we looked for alternatives," Russell said. He added that the regional Mines manager was in the corridor to examine alternative sites this week. However, it’s believed most of the other known basalt sites in the corridor are already staked and claimed. Russell said basalt is used in architectural landscaping, as facing stone and as flagstone. Demand for the material has exploded recently. Russell said whereas marble and granite were in big demand a few years ago, basalt is now one of the "hot" materials.