The Western Canada Wilderness Committee’s request to halt construction of a logging road into the upper Elaho Valley was denied by Madam Justice Gill Friday. The upper Elaho is part of the proposed Randy Stoltmann Wilderness WCWC wants protected. The decision handed down in B.C. Supreme Court allows International Forest Products to continue building the road until the full case can be heard in October. "We are extremely disappointed by the decision," WCWC campaign co-ordinator Joe Foy said in a press release. "InterFor has a history of pushing lightening fast logging roads into sensitive areas, as we saw last year when they pushed into Garibaldi Park." Lawyers from the Sierra Legal Defence Fund on behalf of WCWC had argued that InterFor should have given notice and provided a 60-day period for the public to comment on its road building plans, as stipulated in the Forest Practices Code. Because no public notice was given WCWC argued that the road building should be halted until the full case could be heard in B.C. Supreme Court in October. Gill ruled that since InterFor had succeeded in constructing three-quarters of the road bed already and that additional work would have to be completed to prevent the freshly bulldozed earth from eroding in heavy fall and winter rains, that the remainder of the road should be completed. "This case shows how weak and ineffectual B.C.’s Forest Practices Code really is," Foy said. WCWC has vowed to continue to work toward the protection of the entire 260,000 hectare Stoltmann Wilderness. The government has said the area will not be preserved because it exceeds the amount of land the province had set out to protect in southwestern B.C. However, the Soo Coalition ... worried about more land being protected

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