Kimberley City Council Opening Discussions on New Mark Creek Watershed Logging Agreement

Mark Creek Dam. (Credit: Austin Engineering)

The Mayor of Kimberley believes the current deal with BC Timber Sales (BCTS) is an overall benefit to the community but says improvements can always be made.

Council in Kimberley started talks about potentially renewing a Memorandum of Understanding around an Implementation and Monitoring Committee for local logging in the watershed.

It would oversee forestry operations in the local watershed and make recommendations.

Mayor Don McCormick says the ongoing deal lasts for five years and is currently up for renewal.

"It creates an opportunity for us to take a look at what exactly we're doing and how we're doing it and whether or not there may be some additional approaches in addition to the good work that's being done that we can take advantage of. This is one of trying to create opportunity rather than looking at problems that need to be solved."

A report to council Monday evening highlighted the fact that some members of the community and officials at the city remain concerned about the effects commercial logging will have on water quality in Kimberley.

McCormick says he is happy with the work BCTS has done up to this point to not harm the environment.

"As with many things, science marches on and we know a whole lot more about ecosystems like we have in the watershed and how to manage those in a way that's going to be beneficial. In our case, beneficial means that we have clean drinking water here for a very long time."

Council decided to refer this matter back to city staff, for now, to look further into the contract details. It is expected to come up again at their February 25th meeting.

Many members of council expressed their desire to have professional consultants come on board to ensure whatever deal is eventually reached between the City and BCTS is in the best interests of all sides.

Audio: Don McCormick, Mayor, City of Kimberley

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