Video Presentation: 25 yrs of Harvesting @ Apex

Posted by: APOA2016  /  Category: News

This week representatives from the APOA Forestry Advisory Committee met with government staff from the forest ministry and from 3 of the 4 timber harvest licensees who have been actively harvesting in the Apex area:  LSIB, Weyerhaeuser and Gorman Brothers. The APOA, Nickel Plate Nordic Centre, and Apex Resort have an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in place that provides a forum for the licensees to convey their harvest plans, and the local stakeholders to provide their input with respect to those plans.

For many years the forestry committee has been voicing concerns about the annual rate of harvesting, and especially the cumulative impact of clearcut harvesting on the Apex area.  That is why we started off our portion of this year’s discussion with a video that shows just how extensive the harvesting has been in the last 25 years. It is definitely having a visible impact!  For example, Nickel Plate Nordic Centre is now surrounded by clearcuts, eliminating the opportunity for any significant trail expansion for the next 50 years.  Trees only grow 6-8 inches a year up here.  Take a look and see what you think:  Apex harvesting video

The Apex MOU is actually the type of landscape level planning and collaboration process that is being discussed during the provincial government’s “phase 2” updating of FRPA, the legislation that governs forestry in BC.  FRPA was updated this year via Bill 21, with more extensive updates planned for next year.  See the discussion paper for details.

The APOA’s position is that in theory our current MOU with the harvest license holders does define a collaborative mechanism for protecting recreation values. But in practice the lack of supporting legislation and regulation inhibits the ability of the participants like the APOA to achieve their goals with this type of ad hoc MOU.  Outcomes such as “protect recreation values” are not well-defined in regulation nor in the licensee’s Forest Stewardship Plans, and hence left up to interpretation and debate.  This leads, not surprisingly, to local residents feeling the cumulative impact of harvesting is too high, while the licensees see it as appropriate for an area that remains included in the timber harvest land base.  What is missing, and what we need added to FRPA and its associated regulations, are well defined measures of compliance.

Compliance in this case would mean achieving the specific goals established during the landscape-level planning phase, which is the phase where well-established intensive recreation areas such as Apex are designated as “special” and hence not to be considered just another part of the timber supply.  The Carmi trail system is another example of an area that is already specially designated, but where the actual goals in maintaining the recreation quality are not well defined. We all want a strong and viable forestry industry in BC, but especially as the timber supply dwindles we must also ensure non-timber values are protected and the economic and social value of area such as Apex are conserved.

The great news is that you can get involved and voice your opinion!  There is a simple online government survey available at:  The deadline is July 15, 21019.  So don’t delay!  Let the government know how you think our society can better ensure the Apex recreation area remains one of BC’s premier winter and summer recreation areas.


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