Amendments to Gorman Brothers Forest Service Plan

Posted by: Johnny Smoke  /  Category: Archived Posts

Feeback from the APOA, response from Gorman Bros.

Below is the original letter sent by Denis O’Gorman to Gorman Brothers Timber Ltd.

To see the response from Kerry Rouck click here.  (It is a PDF file).  It is simplest to view the PDF file as this provides Denis’s comments and Kerry’s response interleaved in context.

Denis’s orignial letter is provided below:

Kerry Rouck, RPF

Operations Forester

Gorman Bros. Timber Ltd.


Dear Kerry,

Thank you for drawing the amendments to Gorman Brothers FSP to the attention of the Apex Property Owners Association (APOA) for comment.  As President, I offer the following observations on behalf of APOA.

The interests of APOA focus, in particular, on the Olalla and newly added Shatford Forest Development Unit (FDU) as these units surround Apex Mountain Resort.

In general terms, the addition to the FSP of the specific objectives from the Okanagan Shuswap LRMP are welcome.  Many of these relate to maintaining the integrity of scenic areas, recreational sites and trails, habitats and riparian/watershed areas, all of which are significant values to members of our resort community.

Below, I offer written comments as you requested on selected key features of the amended FSP.

Forest Health

The broad objective (4.4.10.a) of maintaining the resources and values in community interface and scenic areas when implementing forest health operations is strongly supported.

Forest health and dealing with insect attack in such interface areas is critical,  The RDOS has advised APOA of their intent to pursue wildfire protection planning, supported by the Ministry of Forests and Range funding (via UBCM).  We would therefore suggest:

1.       Close coordination between RDOS and Licensees in planning harvesting and related operations, and

2.       Consultation with APOA and other local stakeholder groups in the processes for removing damaged timber and reducing fire hazards.  These two activities may be closely related.

Elsewhere it is stated that stands with high risk of beetle infestation are not subject to cut block size limitations.  Under the new FSP, these stands are called damaged timber and include emergency beetle management units or areas where infestation is imminent.  We understand the Apex area has some imminent risk.  The new strategies propose limiting the harvest scale to that required for control, retaining patches and communicating design plans to the Forest District.

We would propose such communications be broader and also include RDOS and community groups such as the APOA.

The Shatford FDU has been added to facilitate the harvest of lodgepole pine stands that are at risk.  This may also help reduce wildfire risk and that is desirable.  There is however a confusing clause referring to the FSP holder respecting existing plans of licensees.  It would help if an explanatory note is added as it implies there are overlapping FSP holders.  Is that true and is so what coordination is needed?  It will help the community to understand such a practicality.

New Objectives

New objectives for maintaining sample old growth forest variants and allowing for variable width riparian areas are sound.

The broad objectives (4.4.10) for maintaining resource values in community interface and scenic areas when implementing forest health operations (harvesting and new roads) is supported as noted above.  Specific reference is made to notifying local governments that may be affected.  It would be desirable that local communities such as Apex also be notified via APOA and other avenues.

Recreation Sites

The document notes no harvest within 100 m. of the mapped boundary of a recreation site.  Nickel Plate Lake is identified as such a site.  It would help to have a map made available to clarify what areas of the lake that covers.  Is it the UREP Reserves?  The park?  Other?

Scenic Areas

For specified scenic areas the LRMP objectives and direction will apply.  There is a reference to “visual design principles.”  It would be beneficial to have these principles spelled out more specifically.

Intensive Recreation Areas and Regional Trails

The objective of not having material adverse impact on a diverse range of quality recreation experiences is strongly supported as are the strategies of:

-assessing recreational activities

-notifying recreation user groups and seeking information on activities may be affected


-serving information on new/additional recreational features not shown on referral maps.

The Apex RMZ was flagged as an especially important intensive recreation RMZ because of its significant all season recreational attributes and use.  The LRMP specifically cited the need for more detail on recreation management in this RMZ and the need to organize recreation opportunities so that they are compatible. This is a pressing need given growing incompatibilities between motorized and non-motorized uses as well as evident adverse impacts on the quality of recreational experiences and the environment.

The relative short supply of “wilderness” type environments in the South Okanagan increases the importance of more intensive management of this area.  There is the statement that the FSP holder will make “reasonable efforts” to address the concerns.  What happens should there be no agreement that the efforts have been reasonable?  What resolution measure(s) is (are) proposed?

Regionally Significant Trail Corridors

The specific objective of a 100m. management zone on each side of Category A (Brent Mt. and Shingle Creek) trails is good.  The management scheme of single tree or group selection with patches of less than 1 ha. (and no more than 10% of the zone less than 3 m. high) appears sound.

A question is “how might forest health considerations affect this?”

Also the protection should not be restricted to regional trails.  Some trails, for example in the Okanagan Vista/Potholes Area, have great recreation value.  On the Burn to Lake trail a very small harvesting buffer (by another operator) of approximately 50 feet (12 – 15 m.) proved inadequate and serious blow down has closed the trail.

The principle of ensuring portions of trails affected by harvesting or roads are re-established is supported as is the principle of minimizing road crossings of trails.

Also supported is the strategy of deactivation of short term and temporary roads from standard 4 x 4 access.  Not referenced is the growing presence of small off road vehicles and because of this a growing need to properly accommodate and manage their use in order to maintain the integrity of forest, habitat, recreational, scenic and heritage resources.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

Denis O’Gorman



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