Cheakamus Crossing residents and other Whistler community members are invited to a Cheakamus Community Forest open house on Monday, February 1 from 3 to 6:30 p.m. in the Whistler Hostel meeting room (1035 Legacy Way in Cheakamus Crossing). Presentations will take place at 4 and 5:30 p.m. explaining the plans.
The focus of the meeting will be for Cheakamus Community Forest partners to share:
- Proposed 2016 plans for the community forest, particularly in the Cheakamus Valley
- Short-term (one to three-year) and long-term (four to 10-year) harvesting plans
- Wildfire management (wildfire thinning) plans
“I encourage Whistler residents, and Cheakamus Crossing residents in particular, to attend this meeting to learn about the Cheakamus Community Forest and harvesting plans for this year and the coming years in the vicinity of your neighbourhood, and to bring any questions that they might have for the Community Forest partners," said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden.
Harvesting plans were presented at an open house on November 25, are available on the Cheakamus Community Forest website in the Forest Map and Harvest Plans section.
The Cheakamus 16 block is included in harvesting plans for 2016. The block is located southwest of the quarry at Cheakamus Crossing approximately 1.4 km from the turn off to the Jane Lake Forest Service Road. Trucks will access this site from Highway 99 and then Cheakamus Lake Road. Harvesting in this unit was previously deferred until the long-term plan was developed that provides a complete picture of harvesting options in the valley.
Road building for the Cheakamus 16 block is expected to begin in March with harvesting taking place in April and May, and hauling from May to June. Over the longer term, some areas of the Cheakamus Valley will be harvested, similar to other parts of the community forest. The Cheakamus Valley will also be the site of wildfire fuel thinning projects like the Millar’s Pond project undertaken in 2015.
Some additional traffic is expected at times beginning this spring with trucks accessing Jane Lake Road, which may result in some noise and dust. Work is underway to mitigate impacts on Cheakamus Crossing residents and hikers and bikers, who use Jane Lake Road to access the Sea to Sky Trail and mountain bike trails, including “Trash” trail.
The open house will allow Cheakamus Crossing residents to learn about immediate and long-term plans, ask questions and share feedback with the community forest partners.
The Cheakamus Community Forest enables Whistler and its partners, the Lil’wat and Squamish First Nations, to have direct control over harvesting in the area around Whistler, and is one of over 50 community-managed forests in British Columbia. The Cheakamus Community Forest is managed by the partners for views, watershed protection, habitat, recreation and cultural values.
Find more information at www.cheakamuscommunityforest.com
About the Cheakamus Community Forest
The Cheakamus Community Forest encompasses more than 30,000 hectares of land surrounding Whistler. It was established in April 2009 when the Lil’wat and Squamish First Nations and the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) jointly signed a 25-year tenure with the B.C. Ministry of Forests and Range. These three equal partners oversee the management and operation of the forest under the auspices of the Cheakamus Community Forest Society, an independent not-for-profit organization.
Community forests are different from other tenures because they are managed by the community, for the benefit of the community. The Cheakamus Community Forest actively works with local stakeholders to develop forest harvesting and management plans that benefit the larger community, such as protecting viewsheds, cultural assets, and important habitats