Qualicum seeks to purchase DL10 logging rights

Environment committee urges action on sensitive habitat

If Qualicum Beach residents want to preserve the land around the Little Qualicum River, they’re going to have to come up with some cash in hand.

That was the message brought forward from Town of Qualicum Beach’s environment committe’s recent meeting. Council representative Barry Avis said the committee recommended a joint effort between the municipality and the committee to raise the necessary funds to purchase the logging rights of the property, listed as District Lot 10, from Island Timberlands.

Avis said the land is owned by the town, but the logging rights belong to Island Timberlands.

“We thought we had no option but to do this,” he said. “The motion is for the environment committee to work with the town to come up with $175,000 to avoid the logging, which we feel would be detrimental to the Little Qualicum and to our water supply.”

Chief administrative officer Mark Brown noted Island Timberlands had quoted a net price on the timber on the 100-acre property, located on both the west and east sides of the river. The company, he said, was willing to give until June of 2012 for fundraising efforts to come up with their price.

“They would prefer, given the timeframe, that council provide an indication by fall of this year as to whether the funds have been raised, and if council wants to purchase those rights.”

Avis said the committee has not determined how they intend to raise the money, only that it has to be done.

“It could be that only a portion of the money raised through donations and maybe the rest coming form the town,” he said. “This is the first step to make it happen.”

Brown noted the town can issue tax receipts for any donations to a DL10 fund.

Council agreed with the request.