Biologist Wayne McCrory thinks this potential bear den should remain undisturbed. Den trees only exist in old growth and he estimates that 80 per cent of the old growth forest in the Slocan Valley has been logged. Photo submitted

Biologist wants to save Slocan Valley tree that’s likely bear den

Wayne McCrory wants industry to move a planned road

A Slocan Valley bear biologist wants a logging company to spare a tree that he says shows all the signs of being a bear den. He wants them to leave a strip in their cutblock and move the planned location of a road.

But Wayne McCrory says the company, Yucwmenlúcwu (Caretakers of the Land), owned by the Splatsin First Nation located near Enderby, has refused to move the road.

The cutblock is located in the Valhalla Range just north of Valhalla Park and Slocan Lake.

“I was hoping that they would be more amenable to this,” McCrory told the Star, “especially when they [initially] phoned me asking for input.”

He said the company told him they would try to save the den tree but might have to “stub” it to make it safe by WorkSafe BC rules. Then they would cap it so a bear might be able to use it later.

McCrory said it may be only one tree, but it’s symbolic. Den trees only exist in old growth and he estimates that 80 per cent of the old growth forest in the Slocan Valley has been logged.

“This is symbolic of what is wrong with our resource management policies today when you don’t protect high biodiversity areas like this,” he said. “Whether you stand up for one tree or many … or you stand up for one grizzly that was wrongly killed or the whole population, it is the same principle.”

Yucwmenlúcwu has not returned the Star’s calls or emails requesting comment.

McCrory was instrumental in pushing for the 2016 Great Bear Rainforest legislation that includes a provision that bear dens should be surrounded by a 30-metre buffer and no road construction.

What he’s recommending here is “leave a strip 40 metres wide and 200 meters long, not a very big area. It mostly means moving the road. Having built lots of mining company roads, I don’t see the problem. It is not like we are asking them not to log or not to salvage, it is just moving things a bit to accommodate.”

He said he’s been tracking and attempting to protect grizzly bear dens and old-growth black bear dens for the past 40 years and is now trying to get legislation that would apply outside of protected areas.

“What I am talking about is not an economic threat to logging companies per se, it is just encompassing new knowledge and new information into more ecosystem-friendly logging, as has happened on the coast.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Biologist Wayne McCrory thinks this potential bear den should remain undisturbed. Den trees only exist in old growth and he estimates that 80 per cent of the old growth forest in the Slocan Valley has been logged. Photo submitted

Just Posted

Town of Osoyoos battling sewer odour issues

The town is apologizing for the odour emitted from its sewage treatment plant

Petition calls for traffic light at intersection of Highway 97 and Skaha Lake Road

The area frequently sees collisions in the summer according to petition

VIDEO: Crews in Summerland film Christmas parade in July

Filming, on July 31, took place during the hottest days of 2020

UPDATE: Solco Creek fire east of Okanagan Falls now classified as held

13.8 hectare was classified as out of control until Aug. 3

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

UPDATE: Water bombers attack wildfire north of Sicamous above Shuswap Lake

Wildfire BC reports fire is still classified out of control, 25 personnel on ground

First degree murder charges for North Okanagan woman

59-year-old woman charged in Round Lake suspicious death incident

Splatsin Elder struggles to stop tubers from accessing his private property

Nathan Kinbasket has a certificate of possession on the area

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

Interior Health expands COVID-19 testing access in Kelowna

First-come, first-serve, no-appointment-needed testing centre opens in downtown Kelowna

Paper mache Dr. Bonnie Henry stars in North Okanagan exhibit

Beyond the Mask art show kicks off in Village of Lumby

Most Read