Logging operations aim to reduce fire risk near Cranbrook
Tree harvesting will take place on about 105 hectares of Crown land east of Cranbrook over the winter to reduce the amount of forest fuels and help lower the wildfire risk to the community.
This project was initiated by BC Timber Sales, with logging to be completed by a local forestry contractor. Harvesting could begin as early as Nov. 15, and is expected to be complete by March 15, 2020, provided weather and site conditions are favourable.
Specifically, logging will take place on a parcel of Crown land south of the Cranbrook Community Forest, between Baker Mountain Road and the power line to the road’s north. The goal is to reduce the number of trees in the wildland-urban interface, where urban development borders on grassland or forested areas, which will reduce the amount of forest fuels that could burn in the event of a wildfire.
The land being treated was identified as a high hazard in a Community Wildfire Protection Plan completed by the Regional District of East Kootenay in 2012.
This project will complement other fuel reduction activities planned or completed by other agencies around Cranbrook, including work recently done northeast of the College of the Rockies campus.
* Logging activities in these areas will take place primarily on weekdays (Monday to Friday), from about 6 a.m. to about 5 p.m. Some logging may also occur on weekends.
* Heavy equipment and logging trucks will be used during active harvesting periods.
* For safety reasons, members of the public should stay away from the areas being logged, use caution on nearby roads and highways, and watch for logging trucks on 2nd Street South and Baker Mountain Road.
Potential impacts on recreational trails in the area:
* In the area being logged, the use of the following trails will be restricted from Nov. 15, to March 15, 2020, south of the power line, depending on logging activities and weather conditions: Logger’s Lane Trail; Fenceline Trail; Arbour Trail; Brody Trail; Forest Grove Trail; Meander Trail and Pole 62 Trail; as well as two small parking areas just north of Baker Mountain Road that provide access to Brody Trail and Forest Grove Trail.
* These trails will remain open north of the power line and can be accessed from the College of the Rockies (Cranbrook campus) parking lot.
Planning for this forest fuel reduction project included discussions with Cranbrook Community Forest Society representatives, public open houses in the summer of 2018 and referrals to the City of Cranbrook, the ranching community and local outdoor and recreational user groups.
The timber that will be harvested during this project was sold through an auction conducted on BC Bid in September 2019.
BC Timber Sales was established in 2003 with a mandate to support the market-based pricing system for the province’s forest resources, by setting cost and price benchmarks for timber harvested from public land in British Columbia.