Crown logging on Bowen Island

July 26, 2017 Update:

Mayor Murray Skeels has received information from Tom Johnson of BC Timber Sales (BCTS) that Bowen Island has been removed from Forestry Stewardship Plan 643. The Open House scheduled for Sunday, July 30 is cancelled. Council will meet with BCTS staff in the fall to discuss possible options for Bowen Island moving forward. The island remains in the provincial working forest, so we will continue to work with the Province to change to a more appropriate designation.


In summer 2017, Bowen Island Municipality (BIM) was advised that BC Timber Sales (BCTS) intends to pursue industrial-scale logging of five areas of the Crown lands of Bowen Island.

This webpage provides background materials related to this proposal and links to other information and resources.

A statement from the Mayor
Correspondence
Council business related to the proposal
In the media
Additional information and resources
 


Conflict of interests: A statement from Mayor Murray Skeels

Bowen Island is the only island municipality in British Columbia and is within both the Islands Trust and the Metro Vancouver Regional District.

The Islands Trust was created in 1974 under provincial legislation by the Social Credit government. Its primary mandate is to preserve and protect the islands for all British Columbians. While we work within the Islands Trust, we also control land use through the authority given to us by the Province under our Letters Patent, the Municipal Charter and the Local Government Act. All of the Crown lands on Bowen Island are within municipal boundaries.

BC Timber Sales is also a creation of the provincial government and has a primary mandate to generate income for the Province both directly and indirectly through logging Crown lands. Because Crown lands are typically exempt from municipal bylaws, a conflict of interests appears to exist.

BIM takes very seriously the obligations under the Islands Trust Act. We are faced with the current proposal by BCTS to log 28% of the island over the next 20 years. Preserving our unique and self-contained ecosystem while logging our forest are concepts that don’t mesh in most people’s minds.

BIM is willing to listen to BCTS to try to understand how these concepts may not be mutually exclusive. However, it must be understood from the outset that the Province and the people of BC have entrusted our Municipality with a responsibility to prevent exploitation from compromising the natural attributes of the island.


Correspondence

June 14, 2017: Email from Enrique Sanchez, Planning Forester, BC Timber Sales, to Corporate Officer requesting meeting with Municipal Council

July 11, 2017: Reply from Mr. Sanchez to resident Mr. John Stiver re-published in Facebook group “Bowen Island Everything Else”

July 12, 2017: Letter to Mr. Sanchez from Mayor Murray Skeels

July 12, 2017: Reply from Mr. Sanchez to Mayor Skeels confirming September meeting

July 17, 2017: Letter to Mr. Sanchez from Mayor Murray Skeels regarding process to date

Letters received by Mayor and Council from members of the community are published in Council meeting agendas under Information Items:

July 24, 2017 Regular Council meeting


Council business related to the proposal

Council resolutions

July 10, 2017 Regular Council meeting:

It was moved and seconded:

RES#17-256: That BC Timber Sales Chinook be requested to extend their public review and comment session at least until September 30th.

RES#17-257: That Council invite BC Timber Sales Chinook representatives to a Committee of the Whole in September as per their request.

RES#17-258: That Council request BC Timber Sales Chinook to postpone their July 30th open house until after a Committee of the Whole meeting with Council.

CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

Meeting Minutes

Minutes will be posted once they are adopted by Council.

Video recordings of Council meetings where the proposal was discussed

July 10, 2017 Regular Council Meeting (public comments and discussion begins at 0:26:00)


In the media

July 12, 2017 - Logging interest prompts swift reaction (Bowen Island Undercurrent)

July 12, 2017 - No is an acceptable answer (Bowen Island Undercurrent)

July 19, 2017 - Bowen Island residents fight provincial logging plans: Mayor (Vancouver Sun)

July 20, 2017 - Mayor alarmed by potential for logging on Bowen Island (CBC The Early Edition)

July 20, 2017 - Community alarmed by potential for logging on Bowen Island (CBC News)

July 20, 2017 - Islanders mobilize to defend island forests (Bowen Island Undercurrent)

July 24, 2017 - Interview with Tom Johnson of BC Timber Sales (CBC On the Coast) discussion begins at 0:01:15

July 26, 2017 - BCTS Cancels open house, pulls Bowen from FSP Proposal (Bowen Island Undercurrent)


Additional information and resources

Defend Island Forests

Metro Vancouver Memo re: Forest Harvesting History in Metro Vancouver Watersheds

Waterscape Bowen Island (2005)

Bowen Island Conservancy: “Let’s say NO to industrial logging on Bowen Island!”

Tourism Bowen Island re: Logging on Bowen Island

Image renderings prepared by Bowen Island resident John Dowler


 

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