A mini skidder is used to remove trees damaged by the Douglas-fir beetle from the Malibu trails area in South Canoe on March 6, 2020. (Shuswap Trail Alliance photo)

A mini skidder is used to remove trees damaged by the Douglas-fir beetle from the Malibu trails area in South Canoe on March 6, 2020. (Shuswap Trail Alliance photo)

Trees in Lumby to be felled due to presence of Douglas-fir beetle

The Vernon School District holds the affected woodlot; Tolko will harvest the trees before end of February

A stand of trees in Lumby will be felled due to the presence of Douglas-fir beetles and their associated wildfire risk.

The Vernon School District holds a woodlot on Crown land near Lumby through a subsidiary company, 554210 BC Ltd., which supports the school district’s educational forestry program at Charles Bloom Secondary.

According to a Friday, Nov. 19 release, the Douglas-fir beetle is present in an area of the woodlot. As a result, the trees will be cut down, thereby removing the beetles’ nesting opportunity.

“If the trees in this area are left standing, the beetle will continue to kill the trees over time, creating an increased and substantial fire risk. Additionally, the beetle will potentially spread to other areas,” said Adrian Johnson, acting secretary-treasurer for School District 22.

554210 BC Ltd. has entered into an agreement with Tolko to harvest the trees and purchase the wood. Harvesting will commence this winter, before the end of February. All activities will be monitored by a professional forester in compliance with B.C.’s Forest and Range Practices Act.

All First Nations whose traditional territories overlaps with the woodlot have been consulted. A geotechnical engineer is being consulted as well.

Melissa Yurkowski, principal at Charles Bloom Secondary, and president of 554210 BC Ltd., said she is pleased with the potential experience this project will offer students, as well as the proactive measures towards reducing forest fuels and risk during forest fire season.

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Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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