A petition to spare the Mount Rose Swanson area from logging later this year has eclipsed 21,000 signatures as of Jan. 20, 2021. (Rose Swanson Mountain/Facebook)

A petition to spare the Mount Rose Swanson area from logging later this year has eclipsed 21,000 signatures as of Jan. 20, 2021. (Rose Swanson Mountain/Facebook)

Controversial logging will cut 4% of ‘sensitive’ Armstrong forest area: Ministry

A petition to spare the Rose Swanson area from logging has eclipsed 21,000 signatures

North Okanagan residents are calling for the protection of the Mount Rose Swanson area from logging that’s scheduled to take place before the end of 2021.

Located within the Okanagan timber supply area, Armstrong’s Mount Rose Swanson is earmarked for a total of 28.3 hectares of logging next winter season, according to the Ministry of Forests.

“Rose Swanson has not contributed to the annual allowable cut in many years. Timber harvesting must be spread out between all operating areas in the Okanagan TSA to ensure that all areas of designated public land contribute to the AAC,” said Tyler Hooper, Ministry of Forests spokesperson, in an email to the Morning Star.

The Rose Swanson area was designated as a sensitive area by the Vernon Forest District in 1997, a designation that is still in place. The objectives behind creating the sensitive area included maintaining and enhancing the trail network for recreational use and protecting the visual quality of the area.

According to Hooper, the ministry’s chief forester determines the annual allowable cut (AAC) for all public lands in B.C. The AAC is the rate of timber harvest determined for an area under the Forest Act.

READ MORE: Armstrong residents oppose future logging at Rose Swanson Mountain

A planned timber auction is slated for the fall of 2021 for the Mount Rose Swanson area, Hooper said. Harvesting using non-clear cut systems will likely begin early winter 2021 and may be completed by the end of that season.

Word of BC Timber Sales’ intention to auction the lands has irked a number of local residents, who have launched an online petition to spare the mountain from the axe. The petition has been signed by more than 21,000 people in two weeks as of Jan. 20.

A Facebook page and dedicated website have also been created as part of the community-driven push to protect the forest.

BC Timber Sales has initiated public consultation for the Rose Swanson area with its Forest Stewardship Plan (FSP) established in 2014. FSPs require all forest development activities to be approved by the B.C. government and are available for public review and comment prior to that approval. The Okanagan current five-year FSP can be found here. Public comments are being accepted until March 18, and can be submitted online.

However, if you ask residents who have aligned themselves with the Save Rose Swanson From Logging group, accessible public consultation has been either non-existent or lacking in explanations as to Rose Swanson’s ‘sensitive’ status.

“The sensitive area was designated as a consequence of public and stakeholder input,” one unnamed advocate said in a letter to the Ministry of Forests’ Okanagan district manager. “It was not a hollow designation. It crystalized actual values and protections sought by the public.”

“There is simply no way that any person who spends time in our Interior forests can escape being struck speechless by the beauty and the existence of the ancient trees growing since before B.C. entered Confederation,” continues the letter by a resident of Armstrong since 1992, when the issue of protecting the mountain from logging first led to the creation of the sensitive area.

As it stands, the logging development has been split up into 10 small cut blocks ranging from 0.5 to 7.5 hectares in size.

The ministry says recreation trails will be protected, but the planned logging will contribute to a four per cent impact to the Rose Swanson sensitive area. The exact location of the cut blocks is not currently known, but Hooper says a map of the logging areas will be made available online in the coming weeks.

“Referral letters were sent out to First Nations and stakeholders, including citizens with adjacent private land parcels,” Hooper said. “Multiple meetings were held with the Township of Spallumcheen, private citizens who’ve requested field trips, and the Armstrong Trail Society,” Hooper said. “BCTS has and continues to consult with First Nations on all harvest proposals.”

READ MORE: Lavington man chains himself to tree as crews clear space for child care centre


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Environmentforestry

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Baldy Mountain Resort is temporarily closed following the death of a resort family member. Pictured above is a sunrise at the resort, Feb. 19, 2021. (Baldy Mountain Resort/Facebook)
Baldy Mountain ski hill closed following death of resort family member

Authorities currently investigating, resort set to reopen Sunday, Feb. 27

The Oliver Municipal Aiport runway will be extended in spring 2021. (Oliver Municipal Airport / Facebook)
Oliver airport runway to be extended

The extension will be funded through a provincial grant

Butter and sourdough bread is shown at a house in Vernon, B.C. on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. A Quebec dairy farmers’ group is calling on milk producers to stop feeding palm oil or its derivatives to livestock as controversy churns over how these supplements affect the consistency of butter. (THE CANADIAN PRESS - Jesse Johnston)
Poll: Care to spread your feelings on butter?

Reports of hard butter have rattled the Canadian dairy industry

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

BC Housing has proposed that the emergency winter shelter at Victory Church at 352 Winnipeg Street be extended as a shelter until March 31, 2022. It was originally intended to be open until April 1, 2021. (Jesse Day - Western News)
One more year of ‘temporary’ homeless shelter in Penticton?

BC Housing has applied to extend Victory Church as a shelter for those experiencing homelessness

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Chase RCMP arrest intoxicated man running into highway traffic

The man was wanted on several warrents in Alberta; was held overnight but released

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

Most Read