jane lakes 

Jane Lakes logging proposal held up A controversial plan to log near the boundaries of the Whistler Interpretative Forest has been put on hold while municipal representatives and forest service officials figure out what to do. Pacific Forest Products had put a 40 hectare cut block on their summer logging plans, but had the proposal stalled because the block is within the Cheakamus Spotted Owl Conservation Area. The proposed cut block is in the Jane Lakes area 3 kilometres north of Black Tusk. Don MacLaurin, RMOW consulting forester and head of the Whistler Interpretative Forest, says even though the interim SOCA guidelines will not allow harvesting in the area, a cut block of that size should not even be planned near the Interpretative Forest. "We are trying to showcase forward thinking planning and logging in the Interpretative Forest," says MacLaurin. "A cut block of that size does not fit in with what we are trying to achieve." Mike Wallace, tenure officer with the Squamish Forest District, says the plans for how timber will be harvested within SOCA's have not been finalized so whether or not the plans to harvest will proceed are unclear. "That entire SOCA could be removed from any type of protection and it might not," Wallace says. "What happens in the area will not be certain until the SOCA guidelines are set in September." A proliferation of flagging tape in the area had local anglers worried about the health of the Jane Lakes area, but Wallace says the flagging tape is only in place for planning purposes. While the area is being studied, Pacific Forest Products is allowed to continue with its planning process, as outlined in its five-year development plans. "If they (forest companies) are not allowed to continue with the planning process something could happen to free up that land and all of a sudden they are a year and a half behind and no one works," Wallace says. Mayor Ted Nebbeling says a meeting he had with Wallace regarding the plans to log in the Jane lakes are went well and the RMOW is going to continue to oppose any large cutblock proposals in the area of the Interpretative Forest. "Some people in the (forest) industry are trying to push as hard as possible to get as much timber out of some areas before the Forest Practices Code comes into effect," Nebbeling says. "We have given notice we are not in favour of any clearcuts in that area and we will fight for it."

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