Campaign Status/Chronology/Background Update:
At August 10, 2015:
BC Timber Sales (BCTS) has commenced reopening the Dakota Creek Forest Service Rd. to gain access to several old-growth forests (including the ‘Dakota Bowl Bear Sanctuary’). The ‘Dakota Bowl Bear Sanctuary’ is further down the road from the protected ‘Roberts Creek Headwaters Ancient Forest’. We have hung a new banner that reads: “Protect Dakota’s Ancient Cedars’ to stand behind in unison. Our picture will be sent to BCTS, Ministry of Forests, and the media.
ELF recently had the first black bear den study on the Sunshine Coast completed by McCrory Wildlife Services. McCrory concluded that if logging proceeds in our ‘Dakota Bowl Bear Sanctuary’ it will destroy up to 12 dens in one block and 16 in another, higher elevation block. He states “…. We are of the opinion that back bear den activity may be concentrated on Dakota Ridge not just due to old-growth structural availability, but due to the extensive loss of similar habitat in the surrounding region from clearcut logging.” Thus, the bears depend on us to help save what remains.
Directions to Dakota Creek FSR camp:
Drive up B & K Rd, (east of Cliff Gilker Park), past the power lines, keep on main road heading straight in a NE direction. (ie: do not turn left at Roberts-Flume FSR). Keep on driving for 10 mins. then see the road making a hard Left going due North. Drive for 10-12 mins. straight up, until road takes a hard Left down a hill. At the bottom of this short hill you’ll see metal culverts stacked up – turn Right here and you’ll see the tents and camp. Please bring some food, and drinks for the people there. Awesome you’re planning on going up. ELF does not like to block ordinary workers from going to a job site, however when required to stop needless destruction of bio-diversity values, and when the Province ignores good science that recommends protection, then we feel its the ethical position to take, and is a form of peaceful protest that all citizens have a right to. We are hopeful that in this case BCTS, acknowledges the science we’re bringing forward defers the logging, & halts the road building taking a 2nd sober look at the impacts logging will have on these Dakota Valley Forests. BTW: ELF has informed all concerned citizens involved, that they should not touch or tamper with any supplies or equipment left at this site. We had a productive 2 hour discussion today (8-11-2015) with a BCTS Forester at the site that was civil and he even listened to a live song performed by Kira, then we coverage a whole range of topics. Thanks to Russel Brewer, RPF for stepping outside his comfort zone to speak with us. We trust he takes back to his bosses the concerns raised, and recommends a deferral.
Check out our Facebook page for further details, comments and pictures. Thank you.
At August 11, 2014:BCTS has restated its plans to again put this forest and another on the Lower Elphinstone Slopes up for sale in a combined timber sale license. They however, at this date, have not yet reactivated this revised timber sale license.
July 2014 – Dakota Bowl tree coring report (Snowline Research) Identifies Key Information on the Age and Characteristics of The Trees in this Ancient Forest.
January 7, 2014 – Culturally Modified Trees (CMTs) Identified – 01/07/2014 – Jim W. Stafford – Archaeologist – Please find attached the results from a Preliminary Field Reconnaissance of cutblock DK44. As indicated in the report, the survey resulted in the identification of many scarred yellow cedar trees, several of which we are confident are CMTs and many others which are uncertain and deserve further inspection. I have recommended that an archaeological impact assessment of this block, and the others in the vicinity (i.e. DK42-44b), take place prior to development.
At November 25, 2013
BCTS has removed the block until further notice. Read the press release in full: ‘Dakota Bowl Bear Sanctuary’ Lives Another Day
At October 31, 2013
At October 14, 2013 BCTS has placed these forests on sale – Voice Your Strong Concern
August 25, 2013
Dear ELF Supporters,
Below is a recent Press Release announcing a new campaign for the protection of the ‘Dakota Bowl Bear Sanctuary’. This area was previously referred to as ‘Dakota Ancient Cedar Forest’, however on a 4th expedition further into the forest we discovered evidence of a unique, black bear habitat running along the top of the ridge.
Additionally, a great tool for forest research is Google Earth for understanding where the old-growth remains on the lower Sunshine Coast. We’ve complied several views of the Dakota Bowl area. Follow the link to get a bird’s eye view of this landscape. Dark green are the remaining old-growth zones:
This new campaign will take hundreds of volunteer hours to collect further evidence to present to BC Timber Sales, Ministry of Environment, publication costs, trailbuilding expenses, so please support us with a donation of as little as $20 and up. One easy way is via our on-line PayPal account found on our web site: www.loggingfocus.org
Should you have any questions on the campaign, please post them back to us for immediate reply. If you’d like to get involved in trailbuilding or fundraising – let us know.
Look for us on Facebook, where a new photo album has been posted of the trip into the heart of the ‘Dakota Bowl Bear Sanctuary’.
The last 2 years has seen us protect 4 parcels of forest slated for logging by bringing forward credible reasons for their protection. With your help, our goal is full protection of all remaining old-growth – the wellspring of biodiversity.
Where do we start saving the Planet? Right here on our beautiful Sunshine Coast.
ELF Press Release ‘Dakota Bowl Bear Sanctuary’ Needs Protection SEE Below
August 20, 2013
‘Dakota Bowl Bear Sanctuary’ Needs Protection
Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) completed a field expedition to a threatened forest in the Dakota Bowl area that contains several special features. The forest is mapped out for clear-cut logging by BC Timber Sales (BCTS) under TFL A79517, that includes 6 separate cutblocks strung together totally 69Ha (170 acres).
On August 13th, ELF members hiked from the Dakota-Sechelt FSR straight up slope onto a ridge where 5 of the 6 cutblocks are located. At this elevation, the forest contains some of the largest red and yellow-cedars left on the Sunshine Coast. As older trees begin to decay from the inside – out, they provide optimal bear den sites, especially for females who will climb up inside the hollowed trees to secure protection for their cubs.
“The way BCTS has laid out these blocks raises several red flags.” Ross Muirhead of ELF says. “The proposed logging road to reach this area cuts across a steep slope which will cause untold drainage and stability issues. Some of the falling boundaries are on sheer slopes. We observed many bear den sites in the hollows of the old cedars, thick blueberry undergrowth and bear scat everywhere. Logging these old trees will destroy one of the best bear habitats I’ve seen on the Coast. BCTS needs to bring in a bear specialist from Ministry of Environment to study this area before any decisions are made to log it.” Muirhead states.
“This is truly a magnificent forest.” Hans Penner of ELF remarks. ”In one small patch there’s clear evidence of 6-8 bear den sites with plenty of scat to show this to be prime habitat for black bears. To that end, we’ve decided to name this forest the ‘Dakota Bowl Bear Sanctuary’. In addition, we recorded BC’s 3rd largest Mountain Hemlock in B.C. (5.36M – 17’7” in circumference). Its one of those wild places on top of a ridge where Coastal bears can live without negative encounters with humans.” Penner adds.
After extensive logging in Dakota Bowl in the 1980’s and early 90’s, Ministry Forests ordered roads leading to the ‘Dakota Bowl Bear Sanctuary’ to be put ‘to bed’, suggesting that a decision was made at that time to leave this mid-elevation forest alone.
Why go back now and destroy the little that is left? Logging these old-growth forests would be a tragic loss to the Sunshine Coast’s forest ecology, bio-diversity values, recreational opportunities and large mammal populations.