The Owl Forest, between Post Creek and Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park, is one of the last vestiges for spotted owl habitat in BC, and in fact, the world. With the bird on the brink of extinction, you’d think we’d want to protect that. Yet according to Friends of the Chilliwack River Valley, the Ministry of Environment, has granted exemptions to log certain parts of the forest, and did so under Barry Penner’s watch.
NDP Member of Parliament Peter Julian was one of many concerned citizens up at the site this week stressing the importance of protecting the biggest trees in the forest. He says he will use his political clout if he has to.
“IF, it turns out that the provincial government refuses to listen to people of this area, then the federal government has a role, and I’ll be making sure the federal species at risk legislation applies, and that the federal government gets involved.”
Julian says his family has a cabin at Post Creek, and for him, its the centre of BCs nature. He says to have the province even contemplate removing the habitat seems inconceivable. The forest was deemed a wildlife habitat area in 2007.
The province maintains there has not been a confirmed spotted owl sighting in this harvest area in the past 20 years, but Glen Thompson with Friends of the CRV says without these big trees, there is NO chance the owl could survive here. He wants Penner to explain his role in these negotiations and the subsequent approval of the exemptions.