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Nanoose Bay forestry road closed to the public

A security firm is being used to keep drivers off of a private logging road between Highway 19 and Northwest Bay road.

Island Timberlands, owners of the industrial road between their office off of Highway 19 between Parksville and Nanaimo and their log sort off of Northwest Bay Road in Nanoose Bay, have announced the road is closed to the public. Manager of Sustainable Timberlands and Community Affairs, Morgan Kennak, says this is being done for safety and other reasons.

"The company is increasing its focus on how to manage safety and the security of our different forestry roads," she said.

One of the company's concerns with the Northwest Bay access road is the public's inability to give industrial traffic the right-of-way. While she doesn't know of any accidents in recent years, Kennak said there have been close calls. Up to now, the route has been used, mostly by locals, to get between the highway and Nanoose Bay's residential areas. Safety and liability issues for Island Timberlands means the company is now using a security firm to direct drivers away at both ends of the route.

Kennak said there has been a concentrated blitz of security activity recently. Drivers are being told to turn around as of Friday, and the effort continued on Monday, Kennak said.

Dumping of garbage along the route has been a  problem for years as well — which is an ongoing issue on all of Island Timberlands' forestry roads, said Kennak.

In the short-term, she said the company would be keeping up the security presence along the industrial road. After this first step, they will determine a more long-term solution to public use of the route.

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