Trucks will be moving forest material along 30th Avenue North in Cranbrook beginning later this week, as part of community wildfire protection fuel management work organized by the Rocky Mountain Trench Natural Resources Society.
Between December 15, 2017 and February 28, 2018, fuel management treatments will be made on the College of the Rockies private land and the Cranbrook Community Forest crown land adjacent to the City of Cranbrook. A local Cranbrook owned and operated company – CHIL Logging Ltd. has been contracted to conduct the work. The treatments will include the harvesting and delivery of timber for saw logs and pulpwood to forest project company facilities in the East Kootenay region.
Moving this forest material along 30th Avenue North to Highway 3 will reduce the need to have large trucks travel down 2nd Street North to Victoria Avenue and out to the highway, which has disadvantages for both truck and regular vehicle traffic. This will also help reduce wear on 2nd Street North, which was recently repaved as part of the City’s capital roads program earlier this year.
“A great example of how innovation and collaboration between partners on this project will simplify the moving of the material and save wear and tear on our new roads,” says Mayor Lee Pratt.
“This is a great initiative in a very high risk area,” says Chief Wayne Price, Director of Cranbrook Fire & Emergency Services. “The work being undertaken greatly reduces the fire risk to the community. Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services totally supports this project.”
The harvesting waste and smaller non-merchantable trees from the treatment program will be ground up on site and used at the co-generation facility at the Skookumchuk pulp mill to produce heat and electricity. This will eliminate the need for slash burning on site adjacent to the City, which will have many environmental and health benefits.
“The proposed fuel management treatments in the dense forests in the Community Forest surrounding the College of the Rockies and the City will help to reduce the hazard of a catastrophic wildfire,” says Dan Murphy, Coordinator with the Rocky Mountain Trench Resources Society. “This work will also help restore the open forest ecosystem that is historically more natural to the area.”
As the work will be conducted in the Community Forest, which is a highly used recreational area, signage and information will be posted around the treatment zone. Residents, visitors and users of the Community Forest trail system are strongly encouraged to follow and obey any signage for their own safety.
The City of Cranbrook and the Rocky Mountain Trench Natural Resources Society appreciates the patience and understanding of the public as this important wildfire protection project is completed.
– From the City of Cranbrook