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Duhamel Creek residents take action over Kalesnikoff logging

There were plenty of residents, concerned about logging in the Duhamel watershed that attended at recent meeting at the North Shore Hall. — Suzy Hamilton photo

By Suzy Hamilton, The Nelson Daily

Members of the Duhamel Watershed Alliance are learning how to take  non-violent action this Saturday, as a means of halting Kalesnikoff Lumber’s logging plans in their watershed.

And they are inviting the community at large to attend the all day workshop Saturday (September 7) at the North Shore Hall.

The workshop is in response to Kaslesnikoff’s plans to build a four km road and remove 600 truckloads of timber from what residents believe are unstable slopes above them at Six Mile on the North Shore of Nelson. 

“To make matters worse, the Ministry of Forests is proposing to revise the Visual Quality Objectives around Kootenay Lake by downgrading the ratings, to allow a greater density of clear cutting along the lake and West Arm, which can place all communities along the lake at greater risk of potential landslides,” said Nadine Podmoroff, a member of the Alliance.

But a geotechnical report prepared for Kalesnikoff by Will Halleran of Apex Geoscience Consulting in Nelson says Kalesnikoff’s road building plans pose a very low risk, providing the company follows the plan described in the 17 page report prepared August 6, 2012. 

“Road construction will not significantly increase the low likelihood of landslide initiation provided the recommendations within this report are followed and culverts are installed as flagged in the field and marked on the map provided to me by Kalesnikoff Lumber Company,” Halleran stated in his summary 

“Terrain stability assessments made in this report assume good road building standards are met. Even if all standards are met there is still a possibility of landslides. Terrain assessment can reduce the risk of landslides not eliminate it.”

According to the Alliance, Ron Mickel, RDCK director for Area F, viewed the roadwork done July 6 and noted a number of areas of concerns.

He concluded in his report to the Ministry of Forests that “the road building activities are already having a negative impact on the Duhamel creek watershed and that further activities should be halted until these issues are addressed and the residents of the Duhamel creek area can be assured that their interests are being protected.”

The upper Duhamel watershed has been heavily logged and landslides have occurred in the area, including two in 2012  according to the Alliance.

Members of the Alliance met with Kalesnikoff Lumber on Tuesday (September 3).

“We retrieved almost all of the reports we requested and they will be reviewed,” said Podmoroff.

Residents have also written the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thompson asking him to intervene and halt the road building and logging under Section 77 of the Forest Practices Act.

See Letter to the Editor: