Our Forested Environments

The Sechelt and Chapman Landscape Units have both been extensively logged in the past and logging continues to fragment these environments. Protection for at-risk species is sadly lacking. There are no designated Deer Winter Ranges and salmon returns have been either small or erratic. There is very little environmental regulation of private managed forest lands and very little protection for small water source areas.

1.) Would you be willing to support creation of a new Class A Park on Mount Elphinstone?

2.) Do you support the efforts of the District of Sechelt in conducting a public consultation about their Community Forest?


Steve Baker
Candidate for SCRD Area D

1. Yes, protection of forested areas and access to parks and wildlife is essential to the community and for wildlife.

2. While I support consultation for the Community Forest, the effect of harvesting impacts the entire Coast and requires input from the Regional District with more authority to control the impact of harvesting on the Coast. Local control requires local governments to deal with issues that cross government jurisdictions. The local government has the responsibility to protect the resources within the community and that responsibility should be under control of local government.


Bill Beamish
Candidate for Gibsons Mayor

1. Willing to participate in a discussion of a new Class A Park on Mount Elphinstone with our community, the Province, Areas E and F,the Squamish Nation and other stakeholders.

2. Yes, I support the efforts of the DoS in conducting this public discussion.


Verna Chan
Candidate for Gibsons Councillor

From my current knowledge of these examples: Yes, and yes.


David Croal
Candidate for Gibsons Councillor

Timber and logging rights are difficult to control at a municipal level as they are granted at the Provincial and Federal levels. Many people are not aware that these rights often permit more than one harvest. Much of what we look at today is second growth. There are many companies who still hold rights to yet another harvest. We desperately need to work with all levels of government to ensure That logging practices are more in the style of management, selective logging, control of the forested areas, eliminating the forest floor fuel source which has proved so damaging with the recent wave of interior fires. We currently live in a global village and in many cases these rights are no longer held by Canadian companies.


Annemarie De Andrade
Candidate for Gibsons Councillor

1) Yes. I will support and lobby for the creation of a new Class A Park on Mount Elphinstone to ensure ecosystem’s recovery, habitat protection and the protection of Gibsons aquifer main recharging area. I will also lobby for a well-designed forest restoration project to ensure the reestablishment of a healthy and resilient forest.

2) Yes. A meaningful and structured public consultation process overseen by a credible and neutral third-party will support community engagement and unbiased results.


Carol Doyle
Candidate for Gibsons Councillor

I have reviewed all the questions and given great thought into each of one of them. Climate Change, Sustainable Water, Adequate Environmental Regulations and the Forests are all of great interest and concern to everyone on the Coast and indeed in the province and across Canada.

However these areas fall under the jurisdiction of the Regional Districts, and or the Province and, in some cases the Federal Government. As a Municipal Government we can lobby for causes, for and against for each and every one of these as issues pertaining to them may arise in our immediate area but decisions cannot be made at the Municipal level rather they will be made at the higher levels of government.

I thank your organization for being the watchdog on these very important environmental issues.


Cathrine Fuller
Candidate for SCRD Area D

1. Yes. As a general policy I support the creation of Class A parks on the Sunshine Coast. I would need to see details regarding the particular area under consideration and the long term impact of this designation before I express an opinion on this specific area.

2. Yes. I believe their recent efforts have done a lot inform the public about both the purpose and the possibilities for community benefit.


Jacqueline Gillis
Candidate for Sechelt Councillor

Well, this is probably another answer that won’t win me much support with your organization. I support logging. I simply do. Resource extraction is an integral part of the Canadian economy. Have any of the members of your organization studied forestry? I did some rudimentary forestry studies during my degree. These programs are comprehensive and elaborate. And they are designed to allow extraction with minimal impact. Generally the people working in forestry care about it as much as you do. The people on the ground, I mean. Does this mean the system is perfect? No. It’s made by humans, after all. And there have been bad logging companies, no doubt about it. But I use paper. I live in a cabin with lots of wood. I support the forestry industry here and the good jobs it creates.

a. I don’t know enough about the creation of a class a park at Mt. Elphinstone. I would have to have it explained to me. Why is it needed? As for your assertion that there is “very little environmental regulation of private managed forest lands and very little protection for small water source areas,” I don’t have enough information to speak to whether this is true or not. What does “very little” mean? I would need to be waaayyy more informed to draw a conclusion about this topic.

b. I think the public engagement process on the Community Forest is commendable. I have attended two of the world cafe’s and it was fantastic for me. I didn’t really know what the community forest was. It was a good way to educate the public, and also get ideas about expenditure of the money generated by the forest. So, yes, I absolutely support their efforts. It’s our forest, we should be a part of it’s management and profit allocation.


Mark Hiltz
Candidate for SCRD Area F

4.1 Yes. The Provincial Park proposal is something to support. This is an opportunity, though not easy, for the settler governments (Province, SCRD), settlers and the indigenous governments (Squamish and Shishalh) to cooperate and reconcile different interests for these lands.

4.2. Yes. Reports from the District of Sechelt Community Forest public consultation indicate success in increasing transparency, trust and understanding with the management of the community forest resources.


Darren Inkster
Candidate for Sechelt Councillor

A class A park could be a good idea to once and for all delineate untouchable park land that is for public enjoyment and non exploitation. Next, we need then to discuss the boundaries of this park and accessibility for the public to enjoy. Yes, I support the dos consultation on the cf, that’s why as a council member I felt it was important to have a discussion, a sort of, 10 year review of the community forest.


Janice Kuester
Candidate for Sechelt Councillor

There are many past parties in our community that the creation of a class A park would effect. There would need to be consultation with First Nations and economic stakeholders before any decision could be made. Protecting areas of true old growth and significant ecological impact within Mount Elphinstone is something I would support .

I am fine with the public consultation regarding the community forest. I believe that the initiatives such as this help our community grow together from the knowledge we all learn. I am surprised how little I knew about the Community Forest and the Legacy fund. I am also impressed with the dedication of volunteers and financial benefits that have resulted from this initiative, and I am pleased that the benefits and control over the activities are retained within the district.


Lorne Lewis
Candidate for SCRD Area E

I have a clear voting record in favour of conservation. I am in favour of conserving land on Mount Elphinstone. As most people who follow this topic will be aware I have been working on saving DL1313 (in Elphinstone) from being logged. We are leading into a discussion with the Ministry FLNRORD on conserving land on Mount Elphinstone as a result of this effort.


Stafford Lumley
Candidate for Gibsons Councillor

Yes and yes.


Alice Lutes
Candidate for Sechelt Councillor

I have been quite supportive of increasing the park boundaries, especially if we look to a reservoir for our water supply needs, this will help to protect the watershed from over use.

The community consultation around the Community Forest has been a very good effort at sharing the information about the operations, educating the public to the benefits and alternatives to the Logging operations. In my mind the tenure could be altered in such a way that the park could be enlarged and the boundaries of the Forest altered to allow both.


Matt McLean
Candidate for Sechelt Councillor

I fully support the public consultation on the Community Forest. In fact, it should be a regular occurrence. Community Forests are a great way to promote economic development and the needs of our community and ecosystem, and we need to have regular consultations with the public to ensure that the use of this precious land is most beneficial for our community.

To that end, I would be more in favour of dedicating more land to the Community Forest in this area. Once that has been done, we, as a community can determine the areas that have the most ecological significant, the most recreational significance, and the most financial benefit. A sweeping park designation does not call for this balance, and if we continue to engage the community in the Community Forest, we can determine these areas on a micro level.


Donna McMahon
Candidate for SCRD Area E

It is my understanding that First Nations are not in favour of creating new Class A parks because parks don't permit traditional cultural activities, such as harvesting. So I think we have to look at other protection strategies that would be supported by the Sechelt and Squamish Nations. We certainly need to consult proactively with the province and BC Timber Sales around future logging on Mount Elphinstone, so that we can avoid conflicts in the woods.

Regarding the District of Sechelt's public consultation on the Community Forest, I think this is an excellent initiative and long overdue. I am glad to see a renewed effort to engage the community and make the organization more transparent.


Bruce Milne
Candidate for Sechelt Mayor

1. In principle, this is easy to answer yes. So, Yes in principle. I have supported various RD resolutions and recommendations over the years in favour of establishing more protected areas on Mt. Elphinstone. However, I have not been an outspoken advocate and have relied on protected areas emerging from appropriate land use planning processes which I have advocated for. The Mt. Elphinstone slopes are a classic ‘contested site’. Balancing the interests at play has not been easy and will not get easier in the immediate future.
shishalh nation interests are broad and encompassing and will likely not align easily with positions of special interest groups. For example, indigenous rights and title preclude their support for the current provincial Class A Park status. As well, economic interests (as currently understood) are deeply embedded on the Mt. Elphinstone slopes and will require accommodation.

2. Yes. It was largely my initiative. It will be important to carefully consider the results of this work and
ensure that public interests are served in the actual practices and activities of the Community Forest.


Hans Penner
Candidate for SCRD Area D

1. Yes, I fully support the creation of an expanded Class “A” Mt. Elphinstone Park. According to the Ministry of Forests there is less than 3.7% of old growth forest left on the lower slopes between Sechelt and Port Mellon. Establishing the expanded Mt. Elphinstone Provincial Park and protecting the ancient forests on Dakota Ridge and Bowl, must be done now, while there is still some natural forest left. I welcome working with Sechelt and Squamish First Nations regarding the future of these lands.
The immediate priority is to prevent the proposed sale for clear cut logging of the Clack Creek block in the heart of the park. This is scheduled to occur within the next 3 months.

2. Yes, I support the District of Sechelt in conducting a public consultation about their Community Forest. Hopefully this will result in a Community Forest with an open and transparent governance structure which will provide the necessary framework whereby all the various stakeholders and residents of the Sunshine Coast will have input to the CF, including public involvement in the appointment of CF Directors.


Lennea Perpet
Candidate for Sechelt Councillor

Yes I would be willing to support a new class A park at My Elphinstone.
Yes I always feel that public consultation is important.


Mike Price
Candidate for SCRD Area A

Now this is interesting. You have jumped in with a solution then go looking for support. First I’m not convinced the poor salmon returns are due solely to deforestation. Species at risk and deer wintering areas can be addressed without creating a park and herding them all into it.
So, no I don’t jump in to support a park unless you tell me that the Sechelt Nation has been consulted and ideally some cultural mapping has been done to identify the region’s cultural resources. That would be followed by a Cultural Assessment — analyze the cultural resources' strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; determine how to connect them to the land use planning context.

As far as District of Sechelt conducting a public consultation process, it is easy to agree with. I have participated in this and will be very interested to see how the District decides to allocate the huge pot of money it has accumulated from the forest logging, that is meant to be distributed throughout the Coast.


Brenda Rowe
Candidate for Sechelt Councillor

1. Broad public consultation should take place with all stakeholders, including with the First Nations communities. In principal I support a Class A park that further protects our old growth forests.

2. I am a strong supporter of public consultation with regards to any topic that affects the greater community, including the Community Forest.


Suzanne Senger
Candidate for Gibsons Councillor

a. I am fully in support of the creation of a new Provincial Park on Mount Elphinstone, in collaboration with the Squamish and shishalh First Nation.

b. Yes, I commend the District of Sechelt for its recent efforts to ensure transparency and conduct public consultation about its Community Forest operations.


Darnelda Siegers
Candidate for Sechelt Mayor

1. There are competing interests on the land that has been contemplated for inclusion in a Class A Park on Mount Elphinstone. A Class A Park would have the complete area protected with no allowance for addressing the current multiple interests in the land. I would support a fulsome conversation on this topic with the broader community on the Sunshine Coast so long as all who came forward had a voice and were allowed the opportunity to be heard and have their interests considered.

2. Yes, as a current member of the District of Sechelt Council, I did support the public consultation about the Community Forest. There were a number of outcomes that we were looking to address, namely, what values do the public want the CF to adhere to and how are these incorporated into the day to day operations of the CF. We were also looking to educate the general population, potential beneficiaries of the profits through the Legacy Fund, about the CF operation and, in particular, the Legacy Fund and its uses.


Andreas Tize
Candidate for SCRD Area D

I am currently not familiar with this initiative. I think Community Forests are a much better solution than having the province be in charge of it. I would think that a public consultation is generally a good idea.


Alton Toth
Candidate for Sechelt Councillor

A) I certainly wouldn’t oppose the creation of a new Class A Park on Elphinstone. As has been pointed out to me recently by a candidate in Gibsons, we currently protect less of our forests than the provincial average. Some of that unprotected land may be completely unsuitable for development, or logging, and there are other areas that have been committed to full protection through other legislation. I think the creation of a park needs to be spearheaded by community leaders in Gibsons and Elphinstone, with support coming from the other areas of the Sunshine Coast.

B) I attended one of the World Cafes for the Community Forest. I thought I knew everything about it, but was surprised to discover things that I had no idea about. For example, with the protected areas set aside, and other areas off limits due to terrain, the Community Forest currently has enough tenure for 200 years of harvesting at their current rates, without ever needing to return to an area. Maybe we should look at dedicating areas as suitable for more frequent re-harvesting, as that would allow us to protect or restrict activities in more areas. The Community Forest needs to be much more active in its communications with the community, to highlight the benefit to our community by way of jobs and grants, but otherwise I feel that it’s of great benefit to the Sunshine Coast


Doug Wright
Candidate for Sechelt Councillor

1. Provincial Park designation, this would be good for the Coast and I support the idea

2. Community Forest, not only do I support the idea of community engagement around the Community Forest, I spent the better part of 4 days and several evenings at the various locations helping Sechelt listen, explain, and answer questions from our community, about the Community Forest.