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West Fraser urges scrapping of timber pooling plan

October 3, 2016

By: Edson Leader

West Fraser has commended the Alberta Government for its caribou preservative plan but there could be a fly in the ointment – the loss of timber supplies and jobs.

West Fraser officials appeared before members of Yellowhead County Council on Sept. 27 to inform councillors of the possible consequences of the Little Smoky and A La Peche Caribou Recovery Plan.

The recovery plan would require that companies in the caribou conservation region share wood supplies, something that West Fraser is hesitant to do.

“West Fraser is most likely the company most negatively impacted by the draft range plan,” said West Fraser Silviculture manager for Edson and Hinton Hal Jackson.

The impacts on the Hinton Forest Management Area (FMA) and the Alberta Newsprint FMA directly affects West Fraser’s Hinton, Edson, Blue Ridge and Whitecourt (50 per cent owned by West Fraser) facilities. The company claims that any reallocation of timber from West Fraser tenure areas will result in job losses in West Fraser facilities.

The caribou range covers 63,019 hectares of the Hinton FMA.

Company officials are concerned that there is no plan on timber harvest after the first five years.

Robb-Brule-Cadomin-Hinton Coun. Jack Williams commended West Fraser on past caribou preservation efforts.

Williams wondered why logging and Caribou preservation could not co-exist.

“Why do we have to interfere with the logging process because of these animals?”

The West Fraser delegation told council they will urge the provincial government to respect the current timber agreements and to scrap the timber pooling plan.

No objections to rezoning

Council held a public hearing for Bylaw 13.16 for a section of land located south of Edson adjacent to Tollerton Estates, near Willmore Park, that would rezone the property to country residential.

The surrounding areas are residential based lands, and the proposed zoning would be a better fit for this particular property and allow for the property owner to subdivide the property separating the house and the shop. No concerns were brought forward during the hearing.

Date set for property tax auction

The 2016 property tax recovery public auction for the parcels of land on the tax arrears list will be Nov. 30.

A municipality must offer for sale, at a public auction, any parcel of land on its tax arrears list if not paid prior to the auction.

(With notes from Yellowhead County)

By: Edson Leader

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