kayakers glide past our anchorage in the Discovery Islands

Reviewing the scenic impact of logging in the Outer Discovery Islands

The BC Government is currently reviewing the scenic impact of logging in the Outer Discovery Islands. They are determining the level of viewshed protection for scenic corridors important to the $50 million-a-year marine tourism industry, local residents, and recreational users. All of the crown lands on Cortes, Read, Maurelle, Raza, Stuart, and the Redonda Islands are being given new Visual Quality Objective designations.

Cropped image from Photo credit: Working in the Woods by Hans Peter Meyer via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

Scenic Areas of Concern

Some local residents and tourist operators are concerned about the fact that small to medium scale logging, where up to 7% of the trees may be removed, is proposed for most of the West Coast of Maurelle Island. This is just half a kilometre from the Octopus Islands Marine Park

Other coastal parcels where small to medium scale logging is being proposed are in the northern half of West Redonda Island, a large strip of Pendrell Sound in East Redonda Island and almost the entirety of Raza Island. 

Proposed Visual Quality Objectives for Maurelle, Raza and Stuart Islands. The line designates the boundary between the Campbell River (l) and Sunshine Coast Forest Districts – courtesy BC Government

The Visual Quality Objective Review

The stated objective of this Review is to determine a level of viewshed protection for scenic corridors important to the tourism industry, residents, and recreational users. While Visual Quality Objectives designations do not stop logging, they limit the amount that is visible from given vantage points. 

Quadra and Sonora Islands are outside of the target area, as they are in the Campbell River Forest District

The Outer Discovery Islands are in the Sunshine Coast Forest District.

Proposed Visual Quality Objectives for Cortes and Read Islands. The Khaki areas are where up to 7% cuts are allowed, pink areas are parks where no logging is allowed – courtesy BC Government

Cortes and Read Islands

The proposed designation for most of Cortes Island’s coastline is “Retention,” and the remainder is parks. There are pockets of crown land where up to 7% of the trees may be removed, stretching across the interior of the island from Whaletown to Squirrel Cove.  

Similar blocks, where small to medium scale logging is proposed, are found in the northern interior of Read Island. However the coastline is designated either parks or “Retention.” 

Proposed Visual Quality Objectives for the Redonda Island and Desolation Sound – courtesy BC Government

Going forward

People wishing to express opinions about the proposed designations for:

  • Maurelle Island, 
  • Raza and/or the Redonda Islands
  • the visible coastlines of Discovery Islands

Email Derek Lefler, District Manager, Sunshine Coast Natural Resource District at Derek.Lefler@gov.bc.ca

Links of interest:

Top photo credit: Kayakers glide past our anchorage in the Discovery Islands by Dale Simonson via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

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