The regional director from the Columbia Shuswap Regional District Area B has voiced concerns of herbicide use by B.C. Timber Sales in her June Report from the Region.
In the report, CSRD regional director Loni Parker states she is opposed to both the use of herbicides as well as the lack of general public notification from BCTS.
“BCTS aught to be aware of the concerns of the citizens of our area in regards to pesticide use,” Parker states in the report. “Due to citizen concerns, the Revelstoke Community Forest Corporation does not use herbicides and the City of Revelstoke has banned the use of cosmetic pesticides.”
The BCTS has planned to apply the herbicide glyphosate to areas of harvested cut blocks within Area B, which encapsulates the rural area surrounding Revelstoke, between mid-August and early September. The herbicide application aims to treat thimbleberry, fern and fireweed.
According to an email from BCTS to the Revelstoke Review, the choice to apply herbicide is to ensure the success of future harvests.
“Herbicides are being used to control brush in high competition areas in order to ensure survival of planted trees following recent harvests, which is also a legal requirement,” the BCTS email reports. “These trees will ensure a sustainable timber supply in the future.”
BCTS also stated that area First Nations, local governments and area stakeholders were reached out to prior to herbicide application, and adjustments to treatment plans were made with consideration of their feedback.
According to BCTS, original plans have been adjusted to not treat some areas based on feedback, including an area of high use by recreationalists on Mount Macpherson.
Public information was also made available to the citizens through the BCTS Pest Management Plan from 2016.
In her report, however, Parker states the general public should also be directly made aware of choices such as herbicide application in order to properly voice possible concerns.
“While I appreciate that the CSRD has received the referral, citizens in Area B and the City of Revelstoke need to be able to voice their individual opinions and concerns regarding this type of treatment.” states Parker, “They deserve to be consulted.”
Previous concerns of BCTS logging without community consultation were also mentioned by Parker’s report.
In 2015, the BCTS hosted two open houses to address public concerns surrounding logging plans for Mount Macpherson
Parker urged residents with concerns to reach out to BCTS.
The CSRD Area B consists of an area of 10,231 sq. km with just under 600 residents according to the 2016 census.