Here’s my (uncharacteristically restrained) letter to Ucluelet council, put in the mail yesterday. Thanks to the apparently defunct Ukee Tattler for the borrowed pic, and for reminding me what year the logging happened.
Dear Mayor Russcher and Ucluelet council,
I recently had the opportunity to drive to Toquart Bay, past the Maggie Lake timber block that was logged back in the summer of 2006. I see that it has still not been replanted, and is growing wild with brush and alder.
As I recall, this cutblock was an initial step, after much negotiation, in creating a permanent “community forest” for Ucluelet. I believe the UEDC was the driving body behind both securing this piece of land and (in conjunction with Interfor) in logging it.
“Community forest,” in most people’s minds, speaks to a notion of stewardship, of a piece of forest being under the care of a neighbouring community, as opposed to being a mere entry in an account book in some faraway city.
It also speaks to taking multiple values into account, such as non-timber forest products, local value-added processing, and future productive use.
However, this piece of land has gone through three winters now, with a fourth coming up, apparently in a state of complete neglect. It is quite steep in parts, and subject to erosion. I can spot no evidence of replanting, or stewardship of any kind.
This seems to be a significant oversight. It reflects badly upon the UECD and by extension Ucluelet itself ― especially as the block was unfortunately logged right down to the Toquart Bay access road (which is travelled by many campers, kayakers and vacationers) without leaving a scenic buffer.
I urge the District of Ucluelet and the UECD to see that this land is properly replanted. Even if it is not your responsibility directly, an effort in this direction would both argue for the proper stewardship of the land in further efforts toward creating a community forest, and with luck would make the cutblock harvestable once again by local workers when the time is ripe.