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Posted: February 1, 2019

Council asked to balance industry growth and tourism

City of Fernie council was asked to balance industry and tourism during the public input period of its January 28 regular meeting.

Randal Macnair, Elk Valley Conservation Coordinator for Wildsight, in consultation with Krista Turcasso, President Fernie Trails Alliance (FTA), spoke to logging activity on private land owned by CanWell.

CanWell owns approximately 136,000 acres of private timberlands, strategic Crown licenses and tenures, log harvesting and trucking operations. The Fernie Trails Alliance was given notification January 25 that a number of their trails would be impacted by logging on private land along the Morrissey Ridge.

Macnair asked council to consider the history of previous logging operations in the Elk Valley and previous industry partners’ willingness to consult the community. Macnair is seeking council’s support to lobby the provincial government that log harvesting on private land be held to the same standards as those on Crown land.

Both the FTA and Wildsight are concerned about the impact of CanWell’s clear-cut logging of the Morrissey Ridge.

Turcasso stated the FTA has felt threatened by the process and lack of clarity from CanWell. Notification from CanWell to the FTA stated logging would start January 28, a subsequent communication from CanWell stated logging had already begun.

Turcasso commented that logging was identified as a key threat on the City of Fernie’s Tourism Master Plan.

The Fernie Trails Alliance in consultation with Wildsight is seeking support from Fernie council to assist them with engaging stakeholders.

– Riley Wilcox/e-KNOW

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