Views to the Strait of Juan de Fuca are rarely visible along the stretch of road past Jordan River, but now the water is visible amid the noise of logging equipment and chainsaws.
District Lot 569, one of the properties owned by Ender Ilkay, is being logged by a partnership between the Pacheedaht First Nation and Anderson Pacific Forest Products and managed by Queesto Community Forest.
“Here’s the fact,” said Ender Ilkay. “When the zoning application was turned down, myself and my partners thought we would give it six months to see if any level of government would step forward. We gave it 18 months as we looked for a solution. This was not a knee jerk reaction. We’ve been dealing with this for five years. It’s just time.”
Angus Hope, P.Eng., RPF, heading the logging of the property said they bought the timber on the stump on DL 569 from Ilkay.
Some of the timber will be destined for overseas markets, but most of it will remain on the domestic market for plywood, pulp and specialty logs.
“Not a lot will be exported,” said Hope. “No cedar, no fir. The lower quality logs may be exported.” He added that any logs heading overseas had to pass the provincial surplus test before they go out.
Logging is expected to take another month and so far there hasn’t been any word or action from those same environmental groups who protested Ilkay’s plans for a resort.
“It’s been relatively quiet with the long weekend,” said Hope. “We may start hearing something.”
He said Ilkay had three choices and that was to develop it, log it or sell it.
“If you can’t change the zoning, you have to use it for what its zoned for,” said Hope.
Buffers will be created on the lower end of the lot, 50 metres off the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail. Buffers will also be created around creeks in the block and to within 10 metres of the bottom of the lot.
There is also logging taking place across the highway from Lot 569, also being done by Pacheedaht Andersen Timber Holdings Ltd. (PATH). The 50-50 partnership is keeping everybody working, said Hope. This means they don’t have to take the logs to the other side of the Island.
PATH is the new owner of Tree Farm Licence (TFL) 61. This TFL is l a subdivision of Block 1 from TFL 25. There is no private land attached to this TFL.
PATH is a partnership between the Pacheedaht First Nation, located in Port Renfrew and Andersen Timber, a private family-owned company in Vancouver. This partnership will be managed by their General Partner, Queesto Community Forest Ltd.
“I am surprised but not shocked that they are logging. We had a choice between buying the land for park, preserving 85 per cent of the land and building cabins on the remainder, or clear-cutting all of the land. We only gave Mr. Ilkay the option of clear-cutting and that is what we will have to live with every 50 years,” said Juan de Fuca Electoral Area director Mike Hicks. In the end Hicks had voted against the rezoning application.
“I said it all along,” stated Ilkay, “this was not my first choice by any stretch of the imagination.”
Ilkay and his partners are looking at their costs to date and they are in the $6-million dollar range.