During the May 13 Village of Burns Lake council meeting, the mayor and councillors tabled a motion to support Burns Lake Community Forest Ltd. in the extraction and clean up of blowdown trees in the village owned Burns Lake Heights area.
Burns Lake Heights is 60 acres that the village owns behind the Ninth Avenue subdivision.
Concerns about the potential for wildfires in the Burns Lake Heights area, and the need for the clean up of the significant amount of fresh spruce blowdown were brought to the attention of council in a letter from Cliff Manning a forest protection technician for the Nadina Fire Zone, after he and Burns Lake Fire Chief Jim McBride walked the site where a good portion of the blowdown occurred.
In a letter, that was presented to council, Kerry Martin, Operations Manager at Comfor said that the estimated impacted area of the blowdown was three quarters of a hectare.
In the letter, Martin added, “even though this is a small area and the cost of mobilization and de-mobilization will be high, I believe I can negotiate the harvesting and reforestation costs so that we would be looking at a revenue neutral scenario for the treatment of this area.”
Concerns were raised by coun. Beach over the visual impact of the selective harvesting of the blowdown material in Burns Lake Heights.
Councillor Varga said that visual areas are often defined with specific viewpoints when amending the landscape.
“What they’ll do is they’ll identify certain heights of land points of scenic areas and they’ll take pictures and they’ll look at how well you can see that particular area of proposed harvesting,” Varga said, “so that area might have a very specific visual landscape structure that it falls into. It might be full modification, it might be partial modification or no modification and based on that they have to leave a certain amount of standing timber in place to meet those landscape criteria.”
Council passed a motion that requested Comfor Management Services Ltd. to act as an agent in the harvesting of the Burns Lake Heights area, and that before proceeding with the harvesting make a presentation to the village about the prescribed plan to remove the harvest.