Alouette Lake views will be protected

But logging still allowed on eastern shore

Any logging that does take place will be difficult to see.

Any logging that does take place will be difficult to see.

The shores of Alouette Lake will be protected from unsightly clear-cuts should proposed changes to tighten logging restrictions in the area be enacted by the provincial Ministry of Forests this summer.

The B.C. government is hoping to restrict logging in an area on the northeastern shore of Alouette Lake in order to protect its pristine viewscape.

While logging will still be allowed on the eastern shore of the lake, any logging that does take place will be difficult to see, on a much smaller scale, and will be natural in appearance.

“Currently, small- to medium-sized clear-cuts are allowed, so any active logging is very visible,” said acting Chilliwack district manager Leonard Feldes. “If the objectives are approved, any logging in the area would be very difficult to see.

“It will remain a working forest, but we want to protect the views.”

While the western part of the lake is part of Golden Ears Provincial Park – the busiest park in the B.C. Parks system – the eastern shore is largely Crown land.

Under the proposed changes, cut blocks would be smaller and have irregular edges to make them appear part of the natural landscape.

Any new road construction would also have to comply with new visual standards, said Feldes.

Golden Ears Provincial Park manager Stu Burgess said the protected area is only used by boaters, and not visible to users of the park’s day-use area at the southern end of the Alouette Lake.

The proposed changes are part of the B.C. Forest Service’s re-inventory of the Chilliwack region, which covers the entire Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland.

While logging practices are being restricted along Alouette Lake, elsewhere in the district, the province is hoping to reduce restrictions to allow clear-cut logging.

In all, more than 9,500 hectares of land will see reduced logging restrictions, including upper Stave Lake, the north end of Harrison Lake, and Chehalis Lake.

More than 330 hectares of remote forest north of Pitt Lake will also have logging restrictions dropped under the proposal, while an 80-hectare parcel near Gurney Creek, bordering Golden Ears Provincial Park, will be partially protected.

The Ministry of Forests’ proposed changes still have to undergo First Nations consultation, and if approved will take effect late August, Feldes said.