AMBROSE LAKE UPDATE - 14th May 2003
You may have noticed in this week's Coast Reporter that thanks to your help The Sunshine Coast Conservation Association (SCCA) and the Pender Harbour & District Wildlife Society have managed to prevent logging on lands adjacent to Ambrose Lake Ecological Reserve! To gain a permanent solution to the problem, we are continuing to work to secure the addition of these lands (specifically Crown lots 5399 and 5400) to the reserve, as originally proposed in 1989. We are enormously gratified with the response from the community here on the Sunshine Coast and as a contributor to the Ambrose Lake Appeal, we thought you would be interested to know what we have been doing, as well as some of what we hope to accomplish over the coming months.
Since September, our activities have included: legal research; a request to the Forest Practices Board for administrative review of the Sunshine Coast Forest District Manager's approval to log; preparing a renewed proposal for the addition to Minister Joyce Murray of Water, Land and Air Protection (WLAP); on-site meetings with Interfor and government employees; coordinating and participating in an ecological assessment by a forest ecologist; a formal complaint to the Forest Practices Board; and a complaint to Interfor's certification auditor KPMG. So as you can see we have been busy!
On November 1, Interfor decided to defer harvesting and road-building until 2005. This was a step forward, but unfortunately was still blocking the designation of the lots as an Old Growth Management Area (OGMA). Finally, in early March this year, Interfor sent an application to the District Manager to change the status of the cutblock to the Information category - in other words they were asking to have the logging approval rescinded. Interfor is now backing the OGMA designation and official addition to the reserve can hopefully be obtained much more easily. We are very pleased to see that Interfor has responded in this way and we sincerely hope that this marks a permanent change of policy.
The Ambrose Lake Appeal generated $3,613 in direct donations, well on the way to our original goal of raising $5,000. Hundreds of volunteer hours have also been expended and many letters sent to government by individuals and groups. We even had five volunteers helping to dig soil pits and take core samples in pouring rain in December!
We could not possibly have achieved this amount of success without your kind donation and on behalf of the SCCA and all its members we would like to thank you for helping to preserve this wonderful Ecological Reserve for the benefit of future generations to come. We will continue our participation in the Sechelt Landscape Unit plan for the OGMA designation and continue to work with WLAP to secure the addition. I will certainly keep you posted on developments.
With very best wishes
Dr Michael Jackson - Chair SCCA