Status Update – Elphinstone Park Expansion

At September 30, 2018 – The Campaign For the Elphinstone Park Expansion continues.  View our latest ad in pdf form at this link below.

ELF Park Expansion Sign Ad (1)

At September 25, 2018

Hello ELF Supporters,

We’ve an update to share on the Mt. Elphinstone Provincial Park expansion discussions ELF has been having with Forest Lands Natural Resources Operations (FLNRO) and BC Parks, and also ask you to Take Action below to move this long standing campaign forward.

In late 2017, The Minister of Environment George Heyman and Minister of Forests (FLNRO) Doug Donaldson instructed staff to review and report on the park expansion. When we received their Draft report we were shocked to read that they had used such a narrowly defined set of objectives, that it appeared it was set-up to ensure that the park expansion would stall.

The report ONLY looked at the habitat needs of 3 endangered species on Elphinstone (Marbled Murrelet, Northern Goshawk, and Roosevelt Elk), and also in the larger Chapman Landscape Unit (LU) of approx. 50,000Ha. Staff concluded that habitat needs of these species was being met in the larger area so there was no need to protect any additional forest in the proposed park expansion area.  They stated that logging could continue in between the 3 small parcels that make up the current park, without effecting habitat requirements.

The report excluded the need for wider protection of red and blue listed endangered plant communities found in the expansion area ignoring recommendations by their own BC Conservation Data Centre, plus no mention of the amazing fungal diversity (165 species) found across this forest, and not a mention of recreational, community values or tourism potential of a new expanded park.  They made only slight mention of the ‘Elphinstone Conservation Review’ by the well respected conservation biologist Wayne McCrory, that called for full protection of this endangered ecosystem. They offered no compromise.

The 3 species FLNRO looked at were ‘Identified Wildlife Species’, which if found in an area, compels government to legally protect the species habitat.  Two of the 3 species referenced have never even been noted in the park expansion area. Marbled Murrelet are not found in these forest types, the Northern Goshawk has never been seen in the area, and even though there’s Elk habitat here, the FLNRO biologist claimed that there’s enough suitable habitat across the larger Chapman LU for them. And, here’s the kicker – BC Parks was not allowed to contribute a stick of information to the report even though it’s a park proposal!

     Are we disappointed? Yes, it’s a shocking stance from this NDP government that many of us supported.  FLNRO did not give an inch in terms of addressing the connectivity issue between the 3 island parks.  The NDP is taking the same position on this park expansion as the BC Liberals – keep on logging it. The Clack Creek Forest, needed to retain connectivity between two of the existing  small Mt Elphinstone Park parcels, is coming up for auction next month. Its a critical to protect this forest, it’s endangered plant communities and the integrity of the proposed expanded park.

So, we’re back to the strategy of placing direct pressure on key government decision makers to win this one. Only a political decision will save this forest, even though ELF has commissioned several scientific reports, that based on the data conclude these forest types need protecting.

Please  email Minister of Environment Heyman”. Copy/paste the sample letter below into your email as is, or with revisions, and send as soon as possible.

Thank you.

ELF

Sample letter to Minister of Environment Minister George Heyman and Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Doug Donaldson
(copy and paste into your email to george.heyman@gov.bc.ca and doug.donaldson@gov.bc.ca )
Dear Minsters Heyman and Donaldson

I’m a Sunshine Coast resident in favour of expanding the minuscule Mt. Elphinstone Provincial Park from 140Ha to 2,000 ha to protect red and blue listed plant communities and increase recreational opportunities for a growing regional population.  The narrowly defined ‘Identified Wildlife Species’ approach that FLNRO used was not undertaken in good faith as it ignored broader ecological and social issues. This province faces a biodiversity deficit – this park expansion offers an opportunity to get us out of that hole.  In addition, the Sunshine Coast needs to diversify its economy from resource extraction to more sustainable industries, such as tourism. First Nations could be partners in managing new campsites and an interpretive centre as a way to also diversify their base.

This forest is our last and only chance to preserve a significant low elevation natural forest ecosystem on the lower Sunshine Coast, everything else has been developed or converted to tree farms. The only sizeable parks we currently have are 3 mountaintop parks, not accessible for year round use nor are they close to where we live, work and play. We need this park to retain our connection to nature, to preserve our quality of life here, and for the generations that come after us. Planted trees farms do not meet our needs nor those of nature.

The Clack Creek Forest that connects 2 of the 3 small parcels that make up the existing Mt Elphinstone Prov. Park, is scheduled to be auctioned off to industry next month, which would permanently destroy the connectivity and integrity of an expanded park. We ask you to intervene and stop it’s destruction. I also request that you instruct FLNRO staff to allow BC Parks to contribute missing information on the positive aspects of this park expansion. The additional land required for the park expansion would require less than 1% of the Sunshine Coast Forest Districts timber supply area, so little that I’m surprised we’re still fighting for it.

Standing by to hear some positive news from this government.

Sincerely

Update September 2013 – The Campaign For the Elphinstone Park Expansion continues despite the logging of the Wilson Creek Forest,  the key western forest of this proposed expansion.

Here is another gallery from ancientforestalliance.org of Wilson Creek Forest photos.  This forest will not be forgotten

Update At December 10, 2012 – Logging of the Wilson Creek Forest (EW002) – the key Western Anchor Forest in the 1500Ha proposed Mt Elphinstone Park Expansion logging of this forest is proceeding despite overwhelming calls of protection from ‘the Community’ to the District of Sechelt Mayor John Henderson and Council and the Sunshine Coast Community Forest’s president Mr. Glen Bonderud and his local board of directors.

Unfortunately, if logging is not stopped soon it will end up looking like Ed Hill’s painting ‘The Community Forest‘  or much worse. Join us today to stop this and further elimination of our legacy, our old-growth and natural – unlogged forests on the lower Mt. Elphinstone Slopes before it is all gone. Call for Immediate Stoppage of Further Logging and Support the Proposed Mt Elphinstone Park Expansion Today – See recent Posts for full details

Date: March 11, 2011

Subject: Good News and Bads News

It was revealed in February, that logging will never take place within the lower Mt. Elphinstone Prov. Park section.  Its been the called the ‘Heart of the Park’ block. A BCTS cutblock was surveyed (complete with hauling roads) to take out a forest piece surrounded by existing park boundaries.  We have a campaign page on the web site that spoke to this issue, raised a banner in the cutblock and every-time we met with BCTS raised the folly of logging within an area that most residents already consider to be a park.  This old forest will also be designated an OGMA.  BC Parks has always stated that the 139Ha Mt Elphinstone Prov. Park (in 3 separate sections) is too small and vulnerable to adjacent logging.  So, that’s great news – 2 new protected areas for our lower Sunshine Coast Forests.

Now, a piece of bad news.  TrailFest-Wagon Forest, on the northern boundary of the proposed park expansion, has been awarded to a logging contractor – Continental Pole Ltd. Its 29Ha in size and will leave behind a ugly clearcut scar on the slopes.  It will ruin all of the trails in the area, as there is no provision for buffers.  We’ve been hammering away at BCTS to cancel the block, or at least delay it for further studies.  You’ve maybe sent in an ELF produced mail-in card to Victoria.  You may have read Ian Jacques (Editor of the Coast Reporter) editorial requesting to BCTS to listen to the community’s wishes – all to no avail.  The majority of BCTS staff planning this cutblock, have never even set foot in this forest. To them, a functioning forest has Zero value. Its only until the trees are cut down and shipped off Coast that they assign a $ value to them.

You can contact the company that’s scheduled to log TrailFest-Wagon Forest and asked them to consider:
•not proceeding with logging, or,
•modify the plans and protect the trail system.

Turns out that they’re a value-added log home builder from Pemberton, BC (Continental Pole Ltd./Continental Log Homes) .  Could easily have been a raw log exporter.  Anyways, we’re still left with a hole in our bio-diversity.  Below is a sample letter you can send them which makes a statement & offers alternatives.

Thanks again for your support. Elphinstone Logging Focus

Date: February 17, 2012
Emergency Meeting Scheduled Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at the Roberts Creek Hall – 7:30
See the News section for details!


For a succinct understanding of the Park Expansion Proposal please read the latest letters below the Update – dated February 16th – Presentation to SCRD.

Update: At this date logging cutblock areas within the proposed 1500 Ha Mt. Elphinstone Park expansion boundaries on the Sunshine Coast are at great risk of being clearcut logged.  The two significant ‘Forests’ at risk are the TrailFest Wagon Forest (Cutblock #A87124) and the Wilson Creek Forest (Cutblock EW002).  These two Forests are key forested areas within the proposed park expansion area boundaries representing respectively the key northern forest and key westen forest.

BCTS (BC Timber Sales – Ministry of Forests) has indicated its desire to sell the TrailFest Wagon Forest (Cutblock #A87124) during the month of February.

SCCF (Sunshine Coast Community Forest) a logging company owned by the District of Sechelt has indicated its intent to log the Wilson Creek Forest (Cutblock EW002) early in 2012.


Date: February 16, 2012
Subject: ELF Park Expansion Presentations by ELF Members; Laurie Bloom/Hans Penner/Ross Muirhead to the SCRD Board of Directors. Feb 16, 2012

ELF Mt Elphinstone Park Expansion – Bloom – SCRD presentation – Feb 16-2012

ELF Park Expansion Presentation – Penner – SCRD Board of Directors. Feb 16, 2012

BCTS A87124 Site Plan ELF critque – Muirhead – SCRD presentation-Feb-16-2012

Presentations of the above material (by Bloom and Muirhead) were also made to the Town of Gibsons Council on Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012


Date: February 1, 2012
Subject: The RCCA, in a letter to Terry Lake, Minister of the Environment and cc to Doug Konkin, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Forests and others, the RCCA endorses the proposed 1500 HA Mt. Elphinstone Park on the Sunshine Coast and urges a moratorium on any further logging within the proposed park boundaries.

RCCA Endorsement of Proposed 1500 HA Mt. Elphinstone Park

Take Action:  It is not too late to make your voice heard to save these forests.  Follow the Get Involved` tab and then Take Action“ tab to write an email – Everything is there to make it easy for you.  It will only take 3 minutes!

 

Help Protect the Last of the Old Growth and Natural Mt. Elphinstone Forests!

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